Pros and Cons of Hiring Tech Contractors


Tech contractors are a valuable resource for any business that needs quick access to technology skills. They can keep a company agile during volatile periods, help employers address urgent technical needs and level up key projects. Where would we be without them?

To get the most out of tech contractor hires, it pays to understand how they will suit your business needs and the situations where they’re most useful. Read on to get our breakdown on the pros and cons of hiring tech contractors from the technology recruitment specialists!

The Pros

Tech contractors are in high demand and there are plenty of benefits to choosing a contractor over a permanent employee, although both obviously have their place in an organisation. The pros include:

  1. Speedy Hiring

Whether you have a five-week project or a six-month transformation piece at hand, hiring tech contractors can give you fast access to expertise without the speed bumps that slow down the recruitment process for permanent roles. Need to get a website backend sorted ahead of a busy retail season? A contractor can start tomorrow and give your team a vital leg-up to get it done.

With a database full of pre-screened and available tech talent, we can deliver a ready-to-work contractor within hours. For urgent hiring needs, those kinds of turnaround times make for an easy decision.

2. Access to In-Demand Skills and Experience

Contractors typically have years of work under their belt and exposure to a wide variety of business environments, giving them agility and diversity of experience. They understand that possessing the most up-to-date skills is the key to their marketability, so you can expect them to be self-motivated, disciplined and fast learners.

3. Use Resources Wisely

Permanent roles are rarely focused on just one task or tool. Juggling stages of product lifecycles, project management and interacting with a cavalcade of stakeholders are part of permanent positions.

Contractors, on the other hand, can be called in for a single task, e.g., building and maintaining automated CI/CD pipelines, or revamping an online booking system in Java. As they can focus on a single task, you can free up vital team resources.

They can reduce the time it takes to bring projects to completion. For example, hiring contractors to work under a technical lead on a salary could be more efficient than nurturing a team of junior developers who will need time to get up to the same speed.

4. Cost Savings

By hiring contractors only for a specified time, you can avoid the larger outlays associated with permanent employees. Hiring a Software Developer or DevOps Engineer on a daily or hourly rate for shorter periods can be markedly more cost effective than paying them an annual salary with leave and other benefits.

When profitability is an issue and budgets for headcount must be kept under control, it might make sense to engage contractors for the skills that are hardest to find. Another plus is being able to do away with salary negotiations, as the rate is on the table from the beginning.

The Cons

As with anything, there is a flip side to the pros and those are the cons that we have available for you below:

  1. Contractors are Suited to Peripheral Work

Employees are best placed to operate as jacks of all (or several) trades who can move freely between projects and coordinate activities with various business stakeholders. While contractors are perfectly capable of this too, the question is one of practicality. If you need someone responsible for lots of moving parts, you’re best served by someone who commits to staying for the long haul.

2. Loyalty is Not Guaranteed

Short-term assignments are the nature of contracting. If your organisation needs a tech professional to settle into a role and work towards long-term strategies, a contractor will be unable to offer the loyalty you’ll need from the outset. Contractors have less scope to soak in the company’s culture and work their way up the ladder, as the next assignment is waiting.

Employers do ask exceptional contractors to become employees at times – it is natural to want to keep someone who has proven to be a wizard. But there is no guarantee a contractor will say yes, which can lead employers back to the drawing board looking for someone with the same skills. Choosing to make a permanent hire from the start can avoid this situation.

3. Higher Initial Costs

Daily or hourly rates can seem steep, especially compared to the cost of an equivalent permanent role. However, with strong demand for contract and permanent hiring in a broad range of technical areas, the question of which type to hire based on cost has one answer – ‘it depends.’

Keep in mind the trade-off between a higher initial cost for a contractor and the time and expenses attached to wooing, recruiting and onboarding salaried employees. Using the most current data to weigh up contractor rates against salaries is a task that a specialist recruitment agency can easily help you with.

4. ‘Going the Extra Mile’ has Conditions Attached

Tech permanent roles offer more incentives for discretionary effort, as there are potential promotions and other perks available. While contractors are some of the most dedicated tech people out there, they’re not expected to work overtime for free.


Knowing the benefits and limitations of hiring tech contractors can help you make better hiring decisions and understand when to leverage this type of talent. Tech contractors can make a dramatic difference in the agility, profitability and diversity of growing businesses – so it’s always worth considering them as an option.

Are you ready to hire outstanding contractors to accelerate your projects? Our friendly team of tech recruitment specialists can help you find the perfect people in the UK and throughout Europe. For help in deciding the best hiring options, get in touch with us today to find out more.