Building for success: tell tale signs you may need a contract employee

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Most hiring managers know all too well the sales call of a recruiting firm looking to “help augment their team” or “drive results…” Whatever that means… These calls often come when managers don’t need a contractor.  When do you, as a manager, decide your team needs help from a contract employee?

Most managers remember a situation where an unforeseen problem arises. Some examples include: a catastrophic hardware failure compromises critical data or cornerstone member of the development team walks out. Suddenly, they need an asset on the ground ASAP. Knowing little about the recruiting process, managers reach out to as many firms as possible leading to numerous resumes lacking real expertise and high-impact professionals. You know this story.

Reading the signs of when you need a contractor and having a known firm to go to is critical. Here are three signs a contract employee makes most sense: First, a key member of your team becomes unavailable due to a leave of absence or leaves permanently. Second, your organization implements a new technology and your team lacks the expertise necessary. Third, your company wins new business that overextends your team’s current resources.

The perfect professional storm: During a lull in work one of the strongest SalesForce developers leaves the company for a competitor. Initially, this does not seem serious because the other teammates bridge the gap while the work load plateaus. Unfortunately, soon after the lead developer leaves, one of the company’s biggest clients brings new, custom SalesForce solution with extensive requirements. Although your company welcomes business with open arms, the team lost its only member with requisite skills to create the custom solution. Now, unable to complete the client’s request, the team fails to deliver. What’s the simple solution? Leverage contract employees to partner smart.

Contract employees maximize your organization’s elasticity. Your contract needs vary depending on the team and, sometimes, you don’t need a contractor. However, as the old saying goes, when in times of peace, prepare for war.

Take some action to prepare for a crisis: Speak with staffing firms and identify one that will suit any future needs. Discuss your environment, team makeup, long and short term goals, and budget. After identifying a reliable firm, maintain a consistent communication regarding any changes that might create a need for a contractor. Allowing a firm to understand your business enables their team to supply you professional contractors with speed and accuracy. This relationship alleviates the pain of a crisis like the one described above.

Instead of scrambling and sifting through a seemingly endless volume of “top tier” resources, know a firm ready to transform your worst nightmare into an opportunity for growth.

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Matt Donovan is a technical recruiter at Marchon Partners.

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