The Benefits of Hiring a Contract Engineer : Are they Worth it?

The Benefits of Hiring a Contract Engineer : Are they Worth it?
The Benefits of Hiring a Contract Engineer : Are they Worth it?

Over the past several decades, the tech industry has thrown a wrench into the way we view work in America. Years ago, employers may have looked at contract workers with some skepticism, as most people wanted full-time stability. Today that is no longer always the case. There are many skilled contract engineers who prefer to work on short-term projects rather than tie themselves down into long-term commitments.

For those of you who follow sports, these specialized contractors can be thought of like trade deadline acquisitions or high-profile free agents. 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce has played for every team in the AL East in recent years, often joining rosters explicitly to provide reliable right-handed power in the playoffs. Similarly, Golden State Warriors offseason addition DeMarcus Cousins has accepted a temporary role on a great team, even though it is unlikely they will be able to sign him after the season.

The benefits of hiring a contract engineer might not include game-winning home runs or monster dunks, but there is still a lot of value to be had.

FASTER HIRING PROCESS

Filling contract positions is a much quicker process than permanent placements, meaning you can have someone on-site and ready to work long before a direct-hire would be under contract.

I’ve had clients undergo the entire contract engineer placement process in under a week (to great results) but with permanent positions, the process of interviewing candidates, negotiating salary, and onboarding can take months.

BUDGET FLEXIBILITY AND SAVINGS

Contract engineers can also benefit the bottom line (or at least the budget). Contract hiring often falls under a different line item on a company’s budget than direct hiring. Often, it’s possible to hire contract employees using a project-specific budget, even when a company is under a hiring freeze.

Additionally, even though contract engineers are often paid a higher hourly rate, they generally do not require full-time benefits or employment-related taxes and fees.

READY TALENT POOL WITH SPECIFIC EXPERTISE

By regularly hiring contract engineers, your company can develop a network of trusted, experienced talent. This can be beneficial when there are short-term engineering needs in the future.

Your full-time engineering staff will benefit from these contract engineers as well, as they can learn specific skills from these on-call specialists.

FEWER RISKS

When the services of a contract engineer are no longer needed, their job ends. This is an expected part of their job and there will be no hurt feelings or need to worry about severance or benefit extensions.

If your firm is looking for a full-time staff member, hiring a candidate to work on a contract basis is an opportunity for an extended, low-risk trial period. This is true whether the position is for a contract to hire or a temporary need situation.

Want to learn more about the benefits of hiring contract engineers? Click here or check out the video below.

 

34 Comments;

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    1. Hi Gavin,

      Thank you for the nice comment on my blog post above. Do you write for an industry news source?

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  3. I recently completed a basic engineering course in my town as a hobby. There are so many complex tasks that engineers are doing, and I had no idea. The fact that companies can hire engineers on contract basis while still enjoying all benefits makes having an engineer on staff seem like a great option for companies. I’ll always remember how impressive engineers are.

    1. Yes, us engineers are responsible for the design of many things that enhance our lives. Whether it’s software, mechanical, electrical, or any other engineering discipline, I encourage all curious spirits to study engineering and how it benefits our world each day.

  4. Do you need a skilled, experienced worker for a new project? Hiring a contractor instead of a full-time employee may save you time and money. So what are the benefits and disadvantages of using independent contractors?

    1. Hello, we have lots of great blog posts that cover the Pro’s/Con’s of using independent contractors. Is there a particular topic you’re interested in?

  5. I think that it would be important to make sure that when you are in need of a contractor to find someone who is freelance so that they can help with small jobs. Having everything that you are going to do planned out before hand would be very beneficial. If you do that you will be able to get different bids from the different engineers that you are looking into.

    1. Hi Dave, I can’t agree with you more! Accurate project planning and bidding is crucial to the success of any project involving contractors. Please connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for the reply!

  6. Wow, it’s interesting that professional engineering contractors can build a network of experienced talent. In my opinion, I think it’s important to have people that can be relied on for short-term needs for a specific project. By having reliable people working on a project, the amount of stress that can come with it, is drastically reduced.

    1. Hi Thomas, thank you for the reply & feedback. I have a lot more helpful articles if you’re interested. Please let me know if there’s any topic you’re interested in. Thanks again! CHRIS

  7. It makes sense that you would save money hiring an expert engineer for only a project compared to having one constantly in your employment. Considering that you wouldn’t have to provide benefits or pay a monthly wage it definitely seems like you would save in the long run. Plus, you would be able to have access to a professional service who has experience in their field rather than someone who is fresh out of college or who has a questionable amount of experience under their belt.

    1. Hi Kylie, thank you for the reply! I come in contact with many seasoned contractors that love just doing contract work. They make a nice monthly wage for their skills, and they get to apply all their years of experience doing exactly what they love 🙂

  8. I like that you said you could hire a contract engineer under a project’s budget even when the company itself has a hiring freeze. One of my previous jobs had this very situation and being able to do this saved the company not only money but cultivated a good relationship with the engineer so we could do better projects. Thank you for talking about how filling short-term needs without long-term commitments can still enhance the expertise of the company when they go out and hire engineering services.

    1. Hi Khorae, thank you for the nice comment! Yes, contract engineers and contract employees play a vital part in the development and delivering of all sorts of important services. Many companies have a percentage of their staff dedicated to contract positions and allocate budget just for their skillsets. Please let me know if there are any other topics you’d like to see available here. And feel free to add me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkdedin.com/in/expectdenver

  9. I like how you said that hiring someone on a contract means that you can have a longer trial period. This seems like a great idea to do as an electrical company because of the nature of the job. You could have them do some jobs, see how the results are, and then hire them if you feel that it would be a good idea.

    1. Hi Todd, actually the contract length varies from employer to employer. I’ve had clients keep contractors for 2 years, and those that only use them for 3 months, then hire them full-time. It just depends on their needs. An example; I have a couple companies that I work with that have a policy of hiring everyone on a contract basis for 90 days to see how it goes, before making them full-time employee offers.

  10. My husband’s business is adding a new machine for building their products and they are thinking of hiring an engineering service to help them, so I am glad that I found this article. You make a great point that it enhances expertise within your company because you can get a lot of outside advice and ideas from these engineers. Also, the fact that you will have fewer risks because they can evaluate any dangers will give my husband peace of mind.

    1. Hi Rosie, thank you for stopping by, and thank you for comment. Yes, one of the key benefits of hiring a contractor is that they often bring lots of experience from prior companies, both large and small. For example, a contractor could make a recommendation on a vendor to setup and maintain your new machinery that saves money over the long-term with reduced downtime and increased capacity.

      Please be sure to add me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/expectdenver
      CHRIS

  11. Thank you for pointing out that regularly hiring engineers allows your company to build a network of experienced talent. Hiring engineers seem like a great idea for a business. Hopefully, they do their research and find the best ones possible.

  12. I like how you said that hiring engineers is really handy because you can cultivate relationships with people who you may not need constantly, but who might be needed every once in a while. This seems like a really good idea because that way you might be able to get cheaper rates or something like that. That way you can put the money you save toward other things that might be worth more to you.

    1. Hi Thomas, thank you for the great comment! Yes, I believe one of the most important things a company can do is cultivate a good relationship with their local contractors that specialize in skills relevant to their business. I see this especially with big software development projects, IT, and many engineering projects. And yes, I believe you’ll get favorable rates from contractors if they feel it’s important to create long-term relationships. Please add me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/expectdenver

  13. This is a great article. I think you if a person hiring a contractor or a freelancer, he/she should plan first. after that checking the background of the contractor or freelancer. checking the resume is one of the option. and more important, having a proper communication.

    1. Hi Oscar, yes there is much more planning behind the scenes than we know; timing, budgeting, open desk space, laptop availability, insurance requirements, and many other legal steps. More than ever having a reputable online presence is key for candidate reviews. For example, the use of LinkedIn.

      Thank you for the reply. Please add me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/expectdenver

  14. My dad has been designing his business plan and is thinking about going further on it and he will need to hire an engineer for that. I like how you mentioned that hiring an engineer is beneficial in many ways, especially when you talked about their budget flexibility and saving money. I will definitely pass this on to my dad so that he considers what he wants to do and takes the next action.

    1. Hi Megan, thank you for the message. Right now is a great time to start a new venture; as credit is cheap, resources are available, and talent is much more responsive than this time last year. The one plus of sheltering in place is having the focus to begin a new business. Please share my information with your father in case he needs any additional advice.

  15. My cousin has been thinking about working with a contract engineer. He would really like to get some help from a professional for the right management. I liked what you said about how the hiring process can be a lot faster.

  16. It’s great that you explained why we should work with professional contract engineers and their cost-effective perks. My uncle wants to invest in an industrial project, so he’s looking for the right team for it. I think I heard my uncle talking about hiring electrical engineers, so I’m hoping your tips will be helpful for his project. Thanks for the advice on hiring engineers and how to do it wisely.

    1. Hi Eli, thank you for the message. Starting out with contract engineers is a great idea to develop the product line and not be so committed to full-time employees. There will likely come a point when you’ll need FTE’s, but having specialized contractors is always a great idea.

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