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What does contract work look like March 2, 2023

What does contract work look like?

March 2, 2023

Professionals and organizations are using the freelance model

From Seasonedpros.ca Insights Lab

  • Freelancers changing the game in workforce
  • Employers tapping contract model to fill talent gaps
  • Not all contracts are the same
  • How to find reliable freelancers

Contract work is a game changer for employees and hiring organizations.

With changing demographics, a global talent shortage and a new workplace culture emerging from the pandemic, many business professionals are leaving permanent full-time careers and selling their skills and services as freelance consultants.

They are becoming business owners themselves, seeking more freedom over how many they work, when they work and where.

This allows them to build their work around their lives rather than bending their lives around rigid full-time work arrangements. 

Video conferencing technology has opened the door to remote and hybrid work for contract workers.

Some of these freelancers return to former organizations to work on projects, while others transfer their skills to new work pursuits and organizations.

Employers are embracing contract hiring 

Organizations are also changing their hiring practices in response to labour shortages.

They are building talent pipelines using the growing supply of professional freelancers on the market.

Filling talent gaps with contractors helps companies keep projects on track and grow their businesses.

By hiring freelancers, small businesses and entrepreneurs can manage the risks of a full-time hire and realize cost efficiencies by hiring on a project basis. 

Some start-ups and early-stage tech companies only hire contract workers to control costs and mitigate risk.

What does a contract look like?

Contract work can take a number of forms:

  • Interim – a contractor is hired for a specified period to work full-time or part-time
  • Fractional – the freelance works a fraction of the time. This can be a permanent arrangement or for a limited period
  • Part-time – the contractor can is hired as a permanent part-time employee
  • Retainer contract – the company pays the contractor a subscription to be available for work on-call and at short notice. This arrangement is especially useful for IT.

How to source reliable contractors 

Building a reliable pipeline of freelance talent requires HR resources dedicated to sourcing, onboarding and managing freelancers. 

Job platforms can be used to post positions and find freelancer candidates, however, hiring in this way requires a lot of time and filtering of resumes to find the right contractor.

Some organizations use agencies that specialize in sourcing experienced contractors. These agencies vet candidates and conduct initial interviews to ensure the best matches. They draw from proprietary databases where freelancers register in advance. 

The advantage of using the agency model is that do the upfront work to source top candidates for clients to interview. This saves time and costs of recruitment with a traditional head hunter.

Once the contract hire is made, the organization must manage the contracts, working arrangements and needs of the freelancer by including them in teams and conducting regular reviews of the work to ensure outcomes and targets are being achieved.

This is particularly important for retaining critical contract talent.

Next week we will take a look at freelance jobs that are most in demand.

SeasonedPros.ca is an on-demand business talent source. Clients with an immediate need for experienced talent trust us to source professionals for project, interim and part-time roles. Each professional in our national database has 20 + years of business experience. We provide our clients 2-4 four vetted professionals in 10 business days or less.

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