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Direct Hiring or Contracting in Technical Recruitment?

Hiring skilled software developers, technicians, and engineers to meet competitive market demands can prove difficult if the talent pool is not easily available.

When technical expertise is required, employers have the option to choose between a contractor versus direct recruiting.

So how do employers decide between contracting and direct hire placement in such a competitive marketplace?

Given the nature of the high-tech economy, rapid advancements in technology and growing market demand to fulfill projects, it is not surprising that employers often hire contractors to do the job.

A trial period may be involved in the contracting to ensure the person performs as expected and fits within the culture of the company.

There are both advantages and drawbacks when contracting work in specialised fields such as engineering.

Contractors can provide specialist expertise and lend their skills set to the technical team working on the project, but they can also be on a constant lookout for a more permanent solution to cover their needs, e.g., benefits such as health insurance or medical aid.

Hiring directly is a good option to avoid the above. As a rule of thumb, It is recommended to hire skilled engineers directly, especially when the technical skill set is scarce and can be a serious advantage to the company working on critical projects.

Of course, hiring directly comes with its own set of long-term considerations.

If this is not an option, organisations considering the contracting option for technical jobs due to project time constraints or lack of good talent and expertise are advised to determine upfront the candidate’s intentions.

If you are serious about contracting for a technical role, rather opt for seasoned contractors, and keep the run-of-the-mill options to address temporary spikes in the workload only when necessary.

Always establish the candidate’s comfort levels and needs beforehand to avoid any surprises down the line, since replacements for technical jobs are not the easiest or fastest to come by. Therefore recruiters should tread carefully.

A recruitment agency specialised in technical industries can assist employers to determine the best decision as to their hiring needs.

Professional Sourcing is a top-tier South African-based recruitment agency operating internationally, IPM accredited, LEVEL 2 BEE RATED and 51% Black recruitment Owned.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector. -- Patricia Koekemoer

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