Hiring IT Contractors
We put here the case for hiring IT Contractors. Here are the reasons why we belived that companies should use IT Contractors.
When a downturn comes you can get rid of them easily in order to cut your costs. You can’t so easily do this if you have taken on permanent workers either onshore or offshore. It gives you greater flexibility.
IT Contractor Costs Fell
The costs have come down whereas those of employees haven’t during the downturn. You can’t legally cut employees salaries. So, contractors are now cheaper in comparison with employees.
No Pension and National Insurance Contributions
There are not the additional costs for contractor like pension contributions, national insurance etc. which reduces the differential again.
Contractors More Experienced
Most software is by developers with less than two years experience. Your own people want promotions and you give it to the best of your own workers. Hiring IT Contractors is actually cheaper.
Very often you can get contractors with 10 or more years’ experience doing a job that only people with limited experience are doing at your company.
The difference in terms of productivity and quality between a developer of 10 years’ experience and one of 3 months to 2 years’ experience is immense and will more than wipe out the difference in price.
Work Closely With Business Users and Business Analysts
Freelancers have an advantage on offshore workers as they can work closely and interactively with both the Business Users and the Business Analysts.
During a project, a developer will often go to a business analyst and say “do you really mean that?” That’s just as a business analyst will go to a Business User and ask the same question.
The understanding of the requirement evolves through much close interaction during a project. Sending work offshore will lose this quality. So, you’ll end up getting the system you asked for rather than the one that you really want and need.
Freelancers don’t have cultural differences with the business users and speak the same English that they speak. This is important in the communication on a project.
Hiring IT Contractors – Customers Data Secure
Sending work offshore has certain difficulties. Many of the offshore countries are in unstable parts of the world. Also there has been no scandals yet about misusing anyone’s customers’ data in foreign parts – but there will be.
There’s also the point that the countries that have cheap workers at the moment won’t always be as cheap as wages rise, as will the strength of their currencies against the pound sterling
Freelancers Cross Fertilise Compaies
Freelancers, having seen the way that things are done at other companies, cross-fertilise companies with ideas that they’ve gained elsewhere, adding to the productivity and quality of the work done at companies where the contract
Mentoring Permanent IT Staff
With the amount of experience that they have in the area of the skills that you have, contractors often spend a fair deal of their time bringing on your own people, with their expertise in the particular skills
Suitable for Peaks and Troughs in Project Work
You often have peaks and troughs in your work, e.g. when a new project or major system change commences.
You don’t really want to take on a whole load of new employees for what is temporary work.
That’s where having contractors around is very useful – especially now that they are a lot cheaper
Best Educated Group in IT Sector
A survey by e-skills recently showed that software developer / analysts are the best educated of any group in the IT sector. 65% of them have degrees, compared to 64% for IT strategists and planners, and 61% for IT managers, and 51% for the ICT sector as a whole.
The main reason for this is that many of the highly educated software developers go freelance instead of into management.
Therefore this is a highly educated, very experienced, easy-to-get-rid-of workforce out there that is now competitively priced and who can be hired for the peaks of your workload.
As freelancers have been operating in the market for years, they are a known quantity, unlike sending work offshore where many companies have experienced difficulties with the physical distance between their business users and their software development capability.
Downturn Business Drivers and Upturn Business Drivers
During normal times the main business driver for most companies is Time-To-Market and not Cost. At the moment companies are looking to cut costs, but doing so in a long term basis.
However, unlike other downturns where they have just chopped contractors and employees, these cost cuts where they send work offshore are gained at the cost of flexibility.
When normal market conditions come back, many of those companies will not get the Time-to-Market advantages that companies who use UK freelancers will have. So, may lose market share because of it.
Business Change Through Technology
The main complaint of business users in normal times in not the cost of their IT department but that they are a drag, time wise, on the process of business change and therefore of business opportunities.
Those that use freelancers rather than sending work offshore will have this close-to-the-market flexible Time-to-Market advantage that the others may have lost forever.
We believe that hiring IT contractors makes sense for businesses.