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"A Contractor?? You must be joking...."

17/02/14 - 11:08

With 2014 looking to be the most exciting year yet in the already buzzing Scottish IT market: with a number of exciting start ups continuing to excel; multi-nationals organisations choosing Scotland as a technological base and the jobs market looking healthier than ever – there still seems to be reservations and hesitations when it comes to utilising a contractor for short term projects. With a range of people talking about the massive IT skills shortage in Scotland (http://bit.ly/1m87v5C) from Government to industry bodies and experts, it strikes me that so many companies might still shy away from exploring this as an option.


The most common objection I have faced when discussing utilising a contractor is cost. On the face of it this can seem a fair concern, but let’s look deeper…  On top of a permanent employee’s basic salary, there is:


     ** Employer’s national insurance (12.5%);

     ** Benefits;

     ** Holiday pay;

     ** Sick pay and

     ** A recruitment fee.


Add all of this together, and it would probably give you a healthy budget for a daily rate contractor for starters, and that’s before taking in to account all the benefits of going down this route – like an increased skill set and a quicker turnaround. In many cases the overall benefits and current lack of skills in the market should far outweigh concerns on cost.

Some of the main benefits of going down this route are:


     ** Hit the ground running with projects, as working to tight schedules and in unfamiliar teams become a speciality;

    ** Skills transfer - The skills and techniques a top notch contractor will use will be left behind in the team;

     ** Quick turnaround - Depending on how urgent a requirement is, they can typically interview within a day or two and start the assignment not long after;

     ** Expert skill set  – many of the most highly skilled people on the market will decide to contract at some stage in their career, meaning in order to get the very best people for your organisation it is something you can’t ignore;

     ** Short term need – if you only need someone for a project, you can take a contractor just to cover that


With UK companies recently admitting that there are not enough people to meet the growing project demand (http://bit.ly/NCGY15), there has never been a better time to utilise the skills of an IT contractor.