Unsettling times and discomfort about the national economy and the future of business are upon us. Future-focused businesses are instilling plans to improve key operations with technology systems that contribute to competitive advantage. When executing technology projects, people are the key ingredient to completing projects successfully, on time and on budget. When it comes to people, how do you keep your resources maximized while dealing with hiring freezes and budget cuts?? Answer: Contract consultants!
When implementing process improvements and technology systems, people also have to be considered. Projects require people with certain skill sets to be successful. Demand for systems and business professionals reached a peak in early 2008, which makes finding the right resources more difficult. Many projects still lack the necessary resources to be completed as originally targeted.
To ensure business continuity, some corporate executives are forced to halt hiring and stop increasing employee head count. Enter the dreaded hiring freeze. No more head count can be added. What to do? In past down cycles, successful projects and businesses resorted to the proven strategy of hiring contract consultants to finish strategic work. Technology projects demand completion in order to initiate return on investment (ROI) and prepare the corporation for the next expansion cycle.
Contract consultants are just-in-time staff resources that expertly contribute to the rapid completion of projects. More importantly, contractors will not be a long-term burden on the corporation as the business cycle deteriorates and revenues slow in reaction to economic slumps. As companies respond to market slowdowns and revenue shortfalls, many full-time professionals find themselves on the market. Contract opportunities provide those professionals with the opportunity to support their families and continue to grow professionally. Many out-of-work professionals will take contract opportunities. Projects halted during periods of peak demand for professionals will benefit from contract consultant staffing. One benefit is the rapid completion and successful implementation of projects that were slipping due to lack of resources. Executives who understand the benefits of the contract consultant strategy will reap rewards for aggressively completing projects, resulting in more efficient business processes. Contract consultants provide multiple benefits, including…
- Upgraded internal skill sets and productive attitudes, resulting in more efficient operations due to the highly specialized nature of contract consultants
- Trimmed benefits and employee costs. This will improve cash positions. Strong cash positions during recessionary periods help companies survive until the cycle once again turns positive
- Replacement of marginal performers with highly skilled experts I would be interested in either supporting views or opposing opinions on this subject.
After 28 years in this business, I have formed some strong opinions based upon the five previous business cycles. However, I am always interested in learning the opinions and views of others. What are your thoughts on hiring contract consultants vs. full-time employees?