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The real cost of a contractor – not just the numbers!

When it comes to hiring, many businesses will often default to permanent hires without even considering the option of bringing in a contractor. However, this can be a costly oversight. 

Whether a contractor is right or not will be unique to each situation of course and dependent on a number of factors, including: the business and what it’s trying to achieve, the role and its responsibilities/deliverables and also the budget. Of course, when hiring for any role, consideration should also given to how long the interviews will take and allowances for onboarding time, and the impact of this to the business. 

There is also usually a misconception that contract and permanent hires are completely separate and that they can’t go hand-in-hand, and often there is no overlap. However, this isn’t always the case. Very often, contractors can complement your permanent hiring plans and are also a much easier route to market, so why aren’t they considered?
Well, quite simply - the cost. Contractors are perceived to be far more expensive than their permanent counterparts. And yet, in reality, contractors (or interim professionals) are highly beneficial to a business and often cost less; not just from a purely financial perspective, but they can also be far more cost-effective and efficient choice for businesses. 


1. Access to Specific Skill Sets at Short Notice 

One of the most significant advantages of hiring contractors is the ability to source individuals with specific skill sets on short notice. Contractors often have diverse industry experience, having worked in various roles across similar businesses over a shorter period of time. This means they bring a wealth of knowledge that your business can leverage.Contractors also typically specialise in specific areas, making them ideal for temporary or urgent requirements. They are adept at hitting the ground running, potentially reducing the need for extensive training. Moreover, contractors can also serve as mentors to junior staff, further enhancing their value to your organisation.

2. Speed of Hiring 

Contractors offer a significant advantage in terms of speed of hiring. While permanent hires can be a lengthy process, contractors are usually quick to source. They often have minimal or no notice periods, and due to their specialisation, there's a higher likelihood of finding a contractor with relevant experience from a similar business.

This speed in the recruitment process is not only time-efficient but also minimises disruption to your business schedule. Contractors are often hired to deliver specific results and so do not necessarily need to fit into the company culture for the long term in the way a permanent hire would.

3. Financial Considerations 

Now, let's delve into the financial aspects. While contractors in some cases have a higher overall remuneration package, they can be more cost-effective for the business. Here's why:

  • No NI or Pension Contributions: Hiring firms do not have to pay National Insurance or pension contributions for contractors. This reduces the overall cost of employment.
  • Payment for Work Done: Businesses only pay for the days or hours the contractor works, eliminating the need for full-time salaries during slower periods.
  • Quicker Onboarding: Contractors typically have shorter onboarding processes, saving both time and money.
  • Insurance and Payroll: Contractors often handle their own insurance, and payroll is usually managed efficiently through specialised services or umbrella companies, reducing administrative burdens on the hiring firm.
  • Flexible Scalability: Contractors are an excellent option for businesses looking to scale quickly or handle busy periods without the long-term commitment of a full-time hire.
  • No Sick or Holiday Pay: Contractors do not receive sick or holiday pay, further saving the company money.

A benefit to your bottom line and your operational efficiency

Hiring contractors offers numerous benefits to businesses. They provide fast access to specialist skills, quick turnaround times, flexibility, and cost savings in terms of salaries, benefits, and administrative overheads. Whether you need temporary expertise for a specific project, are looking to scale rapidly, or want to navigate busy periods more efficiently, contractors are a viable and cost-effective solution. Don't let misconceptions about the costs deter you from considering contractors as a valuable resource for your firm. By understanding the true impact they can have on your business, you can make informed decisions that benefit both your bottom line and your overall operational efficiency. Maybe a contractor isn't such a bad idea after all?

At EMR, we are always working with a bank of talented professional marketing contractors who often have minimal or no notice periods. And due to our sector specialism, the likelihood of us having a contractor with experience from a similar business to yours is higher. If you’d like to discuss if a contractor is right for your business or need help to hire talented marketing contractors, please get in touch. We’d love to help. 




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