Contracting is the New Black

Contracting employees is the new norm and is just going to grow. While some companies abuse the system and classify employees as independent contractors, it can be done right and with big advantages for your company. We recommend going with a specialist staffing company over a large national general staffing firm since the niche providers will be more in tune with your needs and provide better service overall. Here's how contracting can be done right.

  1. Give potential employees a trial. Contracting is a great way to find talent who can be converted to permanent employees. Interviews are proven to be terrible indicators of how well an employee will work out, but using a temp employee for a few months first will allow you to simply discontinue the contract if it's not working out. Getting rid of a permanent employee is much harder and potentially more expensive. You could face lawsuits if a fired employee feels discriminated even if that's not the case. A high turnover rate means higher unemployment insurance rates, which is why you must consider contract employees if your demand fluctuates or the project really is short term. 
  2. It can fill a gap. If you need someone in a vacant position immediately, a contract or leased employee could be the way to go. While a permanent placement takes weeks or months, a contractor can fill in while you are interviewing and sourcing a permanent person. A contractor may not be perfect, but if they are between projects they can usually start right away versus a permanent person who may have to relocate, give notice to an old job, etc. If you have a relationship established with a leasing company or recruiter they can probably have someone available for your company within days. With cyber security roles, a vacant position could mean a breach and a loss of a client or worse. Even if the match is not perfect, sometimes you just need someone in the role, even if it doesn't last, and this is where leased employees can help. 
  3. Work with a professional. There are a lot of considerations government agencies make when determining if employees are not classified correctly, but using a leasing company or recruiter to supply your contracted employees puts a much needed barrier between you and the contractor when it comes to the IRS. If you are hiring contractors directly and telling them where to work, when to work, paying them directly, and overall acting like a boss/employer then the government will probably think you are their de facto employer. This could leave you on the hook for tax penalties, and no one wants that. If you use a leasing company that makes the hiring decisions, completes payroll, provides a work schedule, etc. then you are not as exposed to potential problems. Always consult your attorney and accountants.
  4. Use a niche leasing company. They may not be the easiest to find, but if you have a recruiter you've worked with before they may know someone reliable or belong to a network where they can hook you up with an expert. We specialize in cyber security professionals, and I can tell you from experience most generalist recruiters will have no idea where to begin if you call a big chain and tell them you need a penetration tester or an infrastructure director. The most common complaint I see on LinkedIn is that a recruiter has called someone about a job they are completely wrong for. Sometimes this happens because your profile is vague, but usually this happens because the recruiter is not specialized and also probably inexperienced. These people also tend to act unprofessional on the phone and will be representing your company to potential candidates. I have experienced this in the past myself, and almost everyone I know has a story of a recruiter being out of line. This is nearly always a big chain recruiter. The comparison is similar to going to Walmart when you need a specialty car part - it's just not going to get you what you really need. 

If you'd like more information about leasing or contracting employees give us a call anytime at 727-308-7887 or email Zach@stratussearch.com.