In today’s rapidly evolving business world, companies are looking for ways to optimise their operations and remain competitive. Before diving into the benefits of hiring Contract or Interim employees, let’s first define the differences between an interim employee and a contract employee. Both are hired for temporary periods, however, there are some key differences between the two.
- Interim Employees: Are typically hired for a short-term period to fill a specific role during a transitional time for the hiring company or the temporary absence of another employee. They hold a specific skill set and are expected to hit the ground running, providing immediate insight to the company. Because of this, they are often paid a premium rate for a shorter amount of time than a contract employee. As far as scouting and onboarding, the process for Interim Employees is much quicker than a contract employee or permanent employee.
- Contract Employees: Are hired to complete a specific project or fill a certain role for a pre-determined period. Contract employees are normally handed a more detailed contract, defined pay rate and pre-set length of employment with the hiring company. A contract employee can be assigned either full-time or part-time and their contracts can last from several months to several years, all pre-arranged.
In the last several years, companies have started to rely more heavily on their IT departments to produce solutions and fluent digital transformations. We saw a spike in the demand for IT employees in 2022 and expect to see this growth continue in 2023. This naturally means that the demand for contract/interim employees will also rise this year, giving these employees the upper hand in selecting what roles they accept and which companies the sign contracts with. James Hallahan, Director of Technology Solutions for Hays wrote in one study that the day rates for these types of employees rose from 0.8% in 2021 to 5.3% in 2022. With expected higher demands, these numbers are estimated to continue to rise.
What are the benefits of hiring contract & interim employees?
Contract & interim employees provide a high level of flexibility, as they can be hired for specific projects or periods of time. This means that businesses can adjust their workforce based on their needs and budget, making it easier to manage expenses.
Contract and interim employees often have specialised skills that may not be available in the current full-time workforce. By bringing in individuals with these specialised skills, businesses can improve their operations and complete projects more efficiently.
Contract and interim employees typically are brought in to fill a specific role immediately. They are experienced professionals with a specific skill set and are expected jump right in and provide value to the organisation immediately.
Contract & interim employees can help organisations maintain continuity during a transition period, such as when a key employee is on leave or when there is a gap between permanent hires. They can help ensure that critical projects continue to move forward without interruption.
Contractors and interims are not on the company’s payroll which means that there is no fixed annual salary and no long-term commitment.
What do employers need to keep in mind when they are considering hiring contract/interim employees in 2023?
Promptness in hiring is key, as delays could result in losing the contractor to another company. Therefore, it is advisable to minimise the number of interviews and streamline the hiring process to prevent losing potential hires during the interview phase.
Research has shown that more than 50% of contractors & interim employees prefer to work fully remote. Pre-Pandemic, remote work was significantly less popular. Post-Pandemic, new technology and available software now make it easier than ever for employees to successfully work from home. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UK has seen a surge in remote work opportunities, with a 274% increase in job offerings and a corresponding 674% rise in searches for remote work.
Although contractors/interim employees possess a certain skill set, it is recommended that companies provide training programs to facilitate ongoing knowledge development.
With recent changes in IR35 legislation, responsibility is being placed on employers to determine whether contractors or interim employees are working inside or outside of IR35. Failure to comply with IR35 legislation can result in financial damage for the employer.
The demand for contract & interim employees is set to rise in 2023, making it crucial for employers to keep in mind the key points for successful hiring. By leveraging the strengths of contract and interim employees, businesses can optimise their operations and continue to excel in their respective industries.