Sudden growth and an increase in workload might initially seem like a great thing for your company−but scaling your team with new employees to keep up with that growth involves significant investment and risk. Instead of committing to new full-time employees and expensive overhead costs, utilizing contractors or freelancers to temporarily scale your team is an efficient way to pivot when your needs change rapidly.
While you might ultimately realize you need that extra team member full-time, you might also find it helpful to test the seasonal cycles of your business before expanding too quickly and permanently.
So, what considerations should you be making when scaling up your team with contractors and temporary workers?
Ask Yourself Why You Need More Team Members
Sometimes your team is legitimately at capacity with their workloads, and a permanent hire might be needed. However, if what you truly need is an extra set of hands to get through a season or implementation, then you could find better help with a contractor. Here are some scenarios where hiring someone temporarily can be a smarter move than filling a position permanently.
For the accounting industry, it’s tax season. For retail, it’s the holidays. Most industries have a “busy season” they need to push through, but the rest of the year remains manageable with your current team members.
Bringing on a freelancer or contractor during this busy season will help lighten the load and prevent stress on the team. These seasons usually represent a high-earning potential for the company, and you want each team member to perform at his or her best.
When your company switches to a new platform or implements new software, a new teammate can help in the transition. Because your full-time team needs to manage their standard workload on top of the responsibilities of a new system (whether data entry or additional training), the extra help will fill in the gaps.
You might also need access to the expertise your team doesn’t have to complete a unique or new project. Your team doesn’t just need an extra set of hands; they need guidance and creativity. Once the process is in place, the full-time team will be able to carry on without the specialist.
Benefits of Temporarily Scaling Your Team
Some freelancers, contractors, and specialists prefer to change up their environment regularly, instead of returning to the same tasks and team every day. These temporary teammates not only give you the opportunity to save time and money, but also let you test out a position before deciding to fill it permanently. The benefits of a contractor can be numerous, but here are just a few.
The first reason to temporarily scale your team with contractors is easy cost savings. While a contractor or freelancer might seem to cost your department more than a full-time employee when comparing hourly rates, you’re actually saving costs in onboarding, health insurance, and other benefits. If you don’t see a specific purpose for a team member beyond this project or season, it’s better to utilize someone part-time temporarily.
You might think freelancers require more training (especially if you hire different ones throughout the year), but many times they come in with specialist expertise to contribute. For example, they might already have processes or systems from previous jobs that meet the team’s needs without additional training.
Freelancers also know the process of jumping into a new team every few months, requiring less of the un-learning and re-learning that onboarding typically covers. They’ll come ready to fit right in with team.
Test a Position
You might not know if a position needs to be permanent right away. Maybe the team needs support in one area, and once they have it, they find new, more efficient ways to use their time. The temporary staff member could also become a permanent position. But you won’t know that until you solve the immediate problem of an over-capacity team.
Ready to Hire a Contractor?
By working with a staffing agency, you’ll save time finding the perfect fit. Recruiters have connections within an amazing pool of candidates, and they can make recommendations based on your specific needs and team culture. Many agencies place the same contractors at multiple positions, giving them better insight into their accomplishments on the job and personal strengths.
If you’re ready to find your next great contractor, we’re your hiring experts. Let us save you time and money. Connect with us today to get started.