Key Factors To Consider When Hiring Contract Engineers

When are you developing enterprise applications, there are numerous factors to think about, such as time, features, testing, user experience, and functionality. Each aspect of an application needs to work correctly.

To produce the most efficient and powerful software, it’s important to hire experienced and competent software engineers. But going through the hiring process can be difficult. In addition to sorting through a large pool of candidates, a dilemma that every employer faces is whether they should hire a contractor or a full-time engineer. Let’s look at some factors one should consider before hiring contract engineers.

1. Job Experience

When you have to choose between two candidates, one with experience and one without, it is obviously prudent to opt for the former, especially if you are on a shoestring budget and have no time to train new employees. Experience can be a differentiating factor to consider when you are hiring contract engineers. If the candidates have a proven track record in similar jobs, they’ll probably be able to replicate that success at your company, too.

But experience is not the sole criterion. While you make sure to consider experience, don't prioritize it over all the other factors.

2. Hard Skills

Hard skills reflect the skills acquired by the applicant either at their educational institution or at past jobs. They are measurable and easy-to-define skills that will enable you to judge the applicant. It's hard to overlook them, since they are indispensable to the job that they are being hired for.

In the absence of the right skills, special training has to be arranged for the candidate. For instance, you may need to teach the applicant a specific software language, framework, or tool, which is usually not worth the investment with a short-term contractor.

3. Soft Skills

Soft skills reflect the personality of the candidate. Though hard to measure, they are often reflective in the applicant's behavior. Soft skills are less critical when hiring a contract employee than when hiring a full-time employee. However, they become more important depending on the urgency of the development project. An employee with poor soft skills will have a much more negative effect on the team's productivity during crunch time than they will have on a build with a longer timeline.

4. Potential  

An experienced interviewer often spots candidates who may not have adequate experience, but possess good educational credibility and potential. For such promising candidates, sometimes it pays to take a chance by hiring them as they might grow into top performers.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Contract vs. In-House Developers?

As with most things, there are pros and cons associated with each choice. Depending on the needs of your company and expectations from a new employee, their role will shift. Factors like autonomy, company loyalty, and working hours differ between contractors and full-time employees. Nevertheless, the biggest difference between the two is that while a full-time employee can be managed more closely, a contractor exists as a separate and autonomous entity.

Advantages Of Hiring Contract Engineers

  1. Perform or Perish: Contractors are generally more active and quicker, as they are aware that once they stop delivering value, they are gone.
  2. More Productive: Contract employees often telecommute and are exempted from office meetings and other such time-consuming events. Furthermore, these employees are seldom affected by interoffice politics or corporate red tape. This amounts to higher productivity.
  3. Hire and Fire: Contract employees are employed temporarily to execute a task. Once the job is completed, the contract comes to an end. Thus, the organization has no liability toward the contract employee and is not obligated to provide health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, or any other benefits.
  4. Less Expensive in the Long Run: If your organization is looking for assistance on a short-term project, hiring a contractor will turn out cheaper. Similarly, it pays to hire contractors in case of small businesses that need some boosting.
  5. Diverse Portfolio: On average, a contract employee works on multiple projects, is adapted to many more teams and organizational cultures, and works for a set of stakeholders that run the gamut.
  6. Technical Knowledge: Contractors are likely to have a much broader base of expertise and experience than average in-house developers.
  7. Faster Execution of Work: Due to their autonomous state, contractors independently plan their schedules at their own pace, which makes their work proceed more smoothly.
  8. Low Investment: If the company is assigning a task to a contract engineer, then the company doesn’t have to invest in equipment, training, annual raises, or other supplemental costs.

Disadvantages Of Hiring Contract Engineers

  1. More Expensive Per Hour: As contractors have to handle their taxes, health insurance, benefits, and other marketing costs, one must be prepared to shell out more money to hire contractors, as compared to regular employees, over the long run.
  2. Lack Of Supervision: Due to the independent working methodology of contractors, the employer might find it difficult to supervise the project and make amendments. They have to wait till the project is submitted and then make changes, if any.
  3. Lack of Loyalty: As the contract employee doesn't need to be a "culture fit" for an organization, no loyalty should be expected from such an employee.
  4. No Flexibility: Due to the temporary nature of work, there is no flexibility in working hours or in assigning any work.

Advantages Of Hiring In-House Employees

  1. Scope of Flexibility: Having a full-time employee provides you more freedom to plan. There is a scope of flexibility in allocating and assigning the work.
  2. Loyalty: Over time, some full-time employees might develop a sense of responsibility and belonging. They can turn out to be great assets to an organization and develop a sense of loyalty.
  3. More Adaptive: Being permanent employees, they are aware of the needs of the company and can adapt to them faster than a contractor.
  4. Culture Fit: Full-time employees can be tailored to a specific working style to suit the needs of an organization.

Disadvantages Of In-House Employees

  1. Lengthy Onboarding Process: Hiring a full-time employee is a tedious and tough process. Finding the right person for a job is as tough as it is for that person to find the right job. There can be a lot of delay in executing a project when there is a vacancy to be filled for a given position.
  2. More Investment: The advantage of having in-house developers comes at a prohibitive cost. Having in-house developers means buying equipment, training, and maintaining employees. The employer is also saddled with the responsibility of bearing the expenses of employee insurance, health care, annual raises, and other incidental costs.
  3. Lack of Exposure: Having been confined to the routine of office work, an in-house employee may lack the vision to execute a task dynamically. Due to limited exposure, in-house employees may also not be acquainted with trending technologies.
  4. Work at Ease: As there is a flexibility of working hours, manner of work, and interdependence between co-workers, there is often delay in executing projects.

What Types Of Projects Are Geared Towards Contractors?

Many organizations set up a huge infrastructure and carry out all IT services in-house. They can have much higher research, development, and implementation time, and all of this increases the operational cost. But if the same task is assigned to contractors of a quality IT services organization (such as Crowdbotics), the project could start immediately. Handling the same project in-house might involve weeks or months to hire the right people, train them, and provide the support they need, thereby escalating the cost and duration.

Another advantage in handing projects off to contractors is that you stay focused on your core business without getting distracted by complex IT decisions that can be managed by experienced contractors. Most small and upcoming companies cannot afford to match the in-house support services enjoyed by big companies. By assigning some tasks or entire projects to contract engineers, small companies get an opportunity to act “big” by getting access to technology and expertise similar to larger competitors.

One should examine carefully all the pros and cons before assigning a project to contractors or in-house developers, and make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

Advantages of Hiring Crowdbotics for Managed App Development

As there are always pros and cons to each choice, there isn’t always an easy solution. For this reason, it's prudent to consider choosing a path that integrates aspects from both contract and full-time employment.

Companies like Crowdbotics provide contracted, high-quality skilled engineers with proven track records. Crowdbotics focuses on hiring remote resources that operate within the client's time zone, possess verified language skills, and are compatible with the client's work culture. Crowdbotics utilizes a flexible, single contract that enables clients to build virtual teams that adapt to every need in the project life cycle.

This offers a best-of-both-worlds approach to application development. Clients can utilize one developer or hire a whole team to work on their application. While regular app development agencies have to divide their time between their clients, Crowdbotics allocates engineers and teams to clients on a 1-to-1 basis. Clients can manage their projects in any manner that they desire with the support of Crowdbotics’ in-house project managers.

Crowdbotics develops all of its apps in a modern React Native + Django stack, so you don't need to worry about getting stuck with obsolete or poorly built technology. Our solutions can help improve your productivity and growth. Crowdbotics can manage all technical requirements, ranging from back-end infrastructure to front-end design and UI.

Do you need high-quality, scalable, rapid application development? Contact one of our experts today.


Originally published:

August 26, 2020

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