As we talked about in our last blog, hiring in 2022 is going to look very similar to hiring in 2021. In our usual Carex tone — realistic yet relentlessly positive! — that means that there are going to be the same type of challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent — at least at the beginning of the year. To that end, we’ve been talking to our partners about shaking up their strategy and getting into a new hiring mindset for the year ahead, and one of the shifts we’ve long suggested at Carex is to consider hiring consultants for contract work.
We’ve seen many of our partners — who had never given consultant and contract work a second thought — not only embrace it wholeheartedly, but be able to build out key initiatives and programs because of the expertise and agility contract work provides. Here are a few of the reasons why it might make sense to consider consultant work as part of your hiring toolkit in 2022:
Shorter hiring process
Even though we’ve seen hiring processes get shorter over the past year, it’s still longer than most job candidates — and employers — would like it to be. Consultants are hired for a finite period of time — at Carex, the typical consultant contract is six months, with the possibility to renew or convert the role to a full-time position depending on the company and project. Of course, you want any consultant working at your organization to be a good fit culturally, but there’s less pressure to have multiple interviews with many stakeholders, as it’s not a full-time role.
Consultants are at your company for a reason — they typically have niche experience (more on that below) and are highly skilled. While any sort of company onboarding is important for consultants so that they can get up to speed on your strategy and technology and learn about the company, consultants are typically able to come in and roll up their sleeves a bit faster, because they’re often there for a singular reason. This is especially important if you have a time-sensitive initiative that needs to get off the ground quickly.
No matter how much companies try, there’s always a fair amount of “we’ve always done it this way” comfortability — which makes it hard to approach work with a brand new perspective. This is where contract work shines — consultants are usually coming in cold to your company, and this means you have a fresh, unbiased, and objective set of eyes to help internal employees think differently about the challenge at hand.
At Carex, the consultants we work with have a very specific set of skills that have been honed through a variety of experiences — full-time work, freelance roles, other contract gigs. This detailed and in-depth expertise often means they’re also aware of changing market trends and the latest technology needed for the role — making it possible for companies to stay ahead of the curve. When you’re a company that doesn’t have a needed skillset in-house, hiring a contractor makes it possible for you to accrue that expertise quickly.
Many consultants go into this kind of work for one reason — flexibility. Not being tethered to a full-time job in one organization is appealing to many contract workers, as it gives them the ability to learn new things, build their networks, and not get stale or stagnant in their work. Conversely, this flexibility can be great for companies as well. There’s agility that utilizing contract workers can bring to a company, especially if they’re testing out a new initiative and need support in the short-term or embarking on a transformational project.
Lower hiring costs
Depending on the business, a company may be able to save a significant amount of money by hiring contract talent instead of full-time employees. In addition, because consultants aren’t considered employees, there’s no need to pay out benefits like health insurance, life insurance, or retirement contributions. (And, if you partner with the right talent matchmaking partner, they might even offer their consultants these things, depending on the role and contract duration).
A gateway to a full-time role
An employee that isn’t the right fit can be costly — both financially as well as time wasted during the interview and hiring process. Contract work gives consultants the opportunity to see if the role — and the company — is a good fit for them, and the same goes for the company. When you’ve had the chance to see how a consultant works and how they interact with other employees at your organization, it’s easier to consider converting that contract role into a full-time opportunity if and when it makes sense.
Interested in learning more about hiring consultants or diving into contract work to supplement your hiring needs in the New Year? We’d love to have a conversation with you and share real-life examples of the creative ways our partners have utilized consultants for their company initiatives: Contact Us.