Project managers sometimes have to hire contractors to fill out the gaps in a project teams roster. This can happen even after an extensive recruitment campaign, because not all projects have the same requirements. Some projects will need more manpower or expertise that your previous hiring campaign did not foresee or could not afford.
In certain cases, hiring a contractor is more expedient and efficient than recruiting an additional employee:
Low on Resources
Project teams can sometimes be left understaffed despite the best of planning. Unexpected problems, emergency tasks, or even sick leaves are just a few of the unexpected hurdles a project manager has to face. And that doesnt even count teams that are understaffed right from the start. In this case, bringing in a contractor is a great, quick way to bring in another pair of shoulders to lighten everyone elses load. This way, youll have a better chance of meeting your deadlines.
No team, no matter how well rounded, can be good at everything. So when you encounter a problem that is beyond your teams expertise, youre better off finding someone who knows what theyre doing rather than stumbling around in the dark yourself. Find yourself a contractor with the kind of experience and skill that you need, so that your team members can focus on what theyre good at and not waste time scratching their heads.
Other Teams are Committed
Both of the above points could actually be solved by recruiting someone from another project team. But if theyre anything like yours, then they dont have the manpower to spare. In fact, youre probably going to be competing for more resources and fighting to keep the ones you already have. As a result, youre better of going outside for help, because it sure isnt going to come from internally.
The Need is Temporary
Contractors are a great way to quickly plug holes in your lineup, but at the end of the day theyre really just that: band-aid solutions that give you just enough time to finish a project. You might use a contractor more than onceespecially if youve got a great cloud-based system for coordinating and sharing informationbut youre not likely to hire them on a full-time basis.
Most contractors are perfectly happy where they are anywayindependent entrepreneurs who help out, get paid, and go. If you really did need services like theirs on a consistent basis, then you wouldve hired a full-timer. Unless you cant afford to. In which case its a good thing you have great contractors to fall back on, right?
Image credit, My Blue Van, Flickr