By: Scott Davidson, President
Have you ever hired a traditional consulting firm or a contractor to help you complete a time-sensitive or complex project? When you are managing a team, it is not uncommon to reach a point whereby the time your employees have available in their 40 hour work weeks is not enough to ensure the accurate and timely completion of special projects. So you are left with a choice: you ask your employees to go the extra mile and put in overtime, risking burnout, or seek outside support to assist you through the project’s completion.
Historically when managers begin to explore their options outside of their organization, many instinctively look to reputable, traditional consulting firms as the best “all-in-one” option to support their special project needs. With proprietary resources and an experienced team in place, they are an easy option that you can trust to get the job done. In recent years, the practice of hiring contractors has grown increasingly common within growing organizations. Experienced professionals are not only seeking “contract-based” work that is more readily available within the talent market due to shifts in traditional views of work structure, but they also present a range of benefits to your internal organization beyond what you receive from a traditional consulting firm.
Here are the five primary advantages to working with a recruiter to identify a contractor versus engaging with a traditional consulting firm to support your special project needs:
- Vetted Support & Exact Skill Sets
When working with an experienced contractor, you have the ability to hand-select the individual who will be joining your team. This includes specifying the exact experiences and technical skill sets you need to ensure the successful completion of the project without a long-term commitment or the overhead of another salary. In addition to sourcing the exact technical skill set you need, you also receive the same level of comfort in knowing that the contractor has been appropriately vetted and assessed when working with a recruiter. This ultimately saves you the time you would otherwise be spending to source, interview, and onboard the individual yourself.
- One-On-One Knowledge Sharing
We all know that knowledge is power. When working with a contractor, you have a unique experience to learn first-hand from a professional who has had experience working on similar projects within a variety of different organizations. They can apply this knowledge to improve the outcome of your own project based upon first-hand successes and failures. Additionally, by hiring a contractor, you have the ability to learn from a one-on-one setting versus being told best practices via the traditional consulting firm model.
- Improved Project Oversight & Flexibility
Working with contractors also presents a unique benefit to the project manager in the form of control and flexibility. As the project manager, you know the expectations of your team, processes, and culture better than anyone. By hiring contractors, you remain in direct contact with all those truly executing the work to better manage the project’s timeline and obstacles as they arise. By working side-by-side with the members of the team, a project manager has improved control over not only the outcome, but also the impact on both your team and ancillary departments.
- True Teamwork & Collaboration
When working with a traditional consulting firm on special projects, it is not uncommon for existing teams to develop a sense of “us vs. you.” Traditional consulting firms are a great resource but oftentimes can feel threatening to job security for existing employees. When employees feel threatened at work, productivity, collaboration and even morale can decline. When you bring in a contractor, employees are generally more motivated to help this individual succeed. They have the opportunity to share existing knowledge of the company to help the contractor do the job they were brought in to do, which ultimately helps to ensure the project’s success.
- And… of course, cost
The last benefit to hiring contractors over traditional consulting firms is cost. Working with reputable, traditional consulting firms is expensive. Contractors generally present an opportunity to reduce the cost associated with completing a special project with the same level of expertise as a traditional consulting firm.
Making hiring decisions and determining how to distribute work to your employees are never easy tasks. In today’s business world, we are expected to do more with less. That said, when presented the option to hire either a contractor or consulting firm, it is important to truly assess both your needs as a project manager and as an organization. When working with contractors, not only do you have an opportunity to hand-select the expert joining your team, but you also have an opportunity to apply their experiences to improve the outcome of your own project. In addition, you maintain management control and flexibility without risking your team’s existing culture. Contractors can additionally be leveraged to provide the same level of service as a traditional consulting firm, but at a fraction of the cost. We encourage you to explore how contractors can add value to your team. Contact Maris Consulting Group at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more regarding our IT project management, business systems, mobile application development, and data analytics contract recruitment services.