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How to get hired by private firms and public sector organisations

Contractors are always in demand by client firms as they fulfil a range of vital roles. And because contractors like you have a part to play at every stage of the business cycle, demand for your services is sustained during economic booms and recessions.

By understanding why they want to hire you will help you better focus your sales efforts at selling your product - which is you.

Why clients love contractors like you

Clients love contractors like you for three main reasons:

  • because you are highly skilled;
  • because you are a resource that can be paid for on an as-needed basis for particular projects;
  • because clients don’t have to employ you.

That ticks a huge array of boxes in the client’s mind, such as ‘flexible’, ‘high skill’, ‘low risk’, ‘turn-key’, and ‘cost-effective’.

Main reasons client want to hire contractor like you

Common reasons include:

Flexible: contractors begin and end projects when the client wants them to and , within reason, work the hours the client requires. There is no lengthy on-boarding, costly training or expensive redundancy, so contractors are truly flexible.

Turn-key: contractors start contributing to the project immediately from day one. There is no learning curve or ‘bedding down’ or training and induction – contractors hit the ground running, and represent a ‘turn-key’ solution for the client.

Low risk: contractors can be ‘hired’ and ‘fired’ at will (within the terms of their contracts) and have no employment rights, because they are not employees. They have fixed-term contracts for services, and not contracts of service, just like any other supplier. And if they don’t perform, they can be terminated immediately, which makes them low risk.

Objective: contractors are not part of the client’s organisation and are therefore not influenced by internal politics, and don’t have an agenda. They bring a fresh perspective, and often bring lessons from other organisations.

Focus: contractors are typically hired to perform a specific role with a specific, measurable outcome. They don’t have to go to staff meetings, because they are not staff, and don’t get diverted from their project focus by being dragged into working groups or task forces.

Specialised: contractors bring specialist skills. Either the client only needs those skills for a specific reason or time, or the skills are extremely specialist with only a limited number of people, mainly contractors, having them.

Productive and efficient: contractors aren’t paid if they don’t put the work in, and are typically highly motivated and project focused. This can introduce efficiencies and increased productivity to the client.

Cost effective: Although contractors typically cost more, sometimes much more, than comparable employees, over time contractors are highly cost effective. The client only pays for contractors when needed, so any downtime, training, sickness and holiday are the contractor’s problem, not the client’s. There are also no hidden costs with contractors, no employment taxes and no benefits to pay for.

Business reasons for hiring contractors like you

Contractors are not only attractive to clients because of the benefits their flexibility and skills bring; they can also play a vital role at specific stages of the business cycle. These include:

Start-ups: contractors can support start-ups on an as needed basis. Not only does the start-up have immediate access to a potentially significant skill set, but it also only has to pay for that resource when it needs it. For cash-starved start-ups, contractors can be life-saving both in terms of the skills they bring and the basis on which they are paid

Innovating: organisations of all sizes choose contractors to help with their research and development or other advances. That’s partly because a specific product or service innovation is usually a finite project, but also because contractors can bring a wealth of skills and experience from working on other innovation-led projects

Capacity management: the flexible and turn-key nature of contractors means they can step into the breach when times are busy and walk away when they are less busy. That make contractors ideal for helping organisations with managing capacity without increasing permanent employee headcount, particularly in industries with seasonal or unpredictable patterns of business

Projects: contractors are the ultimate project workers. They come into an organisation that requires a specific skill set for a limited time period to achieve a measurable outcome.

Using this information to get hired

One area for improvement for many newbies to the contracting arena is sales skills. As a contractor you have to sell one product - yourself. when you are speaking with clients and agents focus on the reasons above for why they might be considering to hire you. Try and understand their need and then explain how you can fulfil that need and solve their problems.

Contracting continues to grow as client organisations recognise how the above benefits help them to achieve their organisational strategies and goals. No matter what the prevailing economic conditions, contractors are in demand as highly skilled and motivated experts who can hit the ground running.

Updated: 08 November 2016

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