Contract Engineers can be a huge boost to your company during times of transition or when dealing with short, time-sensitive projects. These hired hands often bring serious skills, but require no long-term commitments or need for unemployment insurance.
With that said, the modern workplace isn’t a one size fits all situation. No two firms are the same, and bringing in a contract engineer isn’t always the right decision. In certain situations, hiring contract engineers can actually present numerous drawbacks, making a permanent hire a better course of action.
When weighing your options, here are some (potential) contract engineer drawbacks to consider:
No Fee Refund
When a direct hire does not work out, you typically get a refund of any fees paid to a recruiter (usually prorated over a 90-day period). When a contract engineer does not work out, there are typically no refunds. Although you may be able to quickly hire another engineer or IT professional to finish the project, momentum may be lost, creating delays that cost time and money. Always check to see what your contract engineering service provider will do for you in the event that your star contractor walks off the job.
In the past few years, the unemployment rate for engineers has been much lower than in other industries. Some use contract work to hone skills in specific areas, but many engineers available for contract work are either new graduates with limited experience or those between jobs. With that said, an increasing number of highly skilled engineers are taking contract work voluntarily. They can work wonders cleaning up a messy project or pushing it across the finish line.
Lack of Commitment and/or Loyalty
As a matter of pride, most skilled contract engineers display a commitment to the task at hand, but their commitment to your company often begins and ends there. This can be great for quick assistance with short-term, rush projects, but contract employees rarely feel invested in the success of the company as a whole.
The same holds true with loyalty. If an engineer taking contract jobs to put food on the table while searching for full-time employment, it is possible he/she could leave your project before it is completed. If a well-paid, full-time opportunity comes knocking it may be too tempting for her to justify staying in a temporary position that may hold no future promise. Of course, this can also work to your benefit, as contract employees that prove their mettle on a specific project can then be extended long-term.