Why Contractors Are Invaluable In A Downturn (Or Anytime)

Let’s face it. No matter whether the economy is strong or weak or the market for talent is loose or tight, our teams still have work to do and need people to do it. The following is a list of some of the key reasons why contractors are valuable additions to your projects.

Ramp Up (and Down) When You Need To:

Contractors add a much-needed element of flexibility. When you need them you can ramp up your team. For example, one of your best clients needs a number of customizations so that your product works seamlessly with their workflow. This client generates significant revenue for your company and you want to keep them happy. You can’t tell them that the economy isn’t strong and as a result you are short-staffed and can’t help them right now.  Contractors are a brilliant choice here. You bring them in to do the project. When it’s done you either end the contract or, if they’re really strong, you assign them to another project or convert them to full-time.


During challenging times, CFOs typically aren’t keen to add to operational expenses. In fact, they likely have a mandate to slash them. Hiring into this kind of environment is exceedingly difficult. Save your goodwill and political capital for another day and bring in a contractor – a capital expense. They don’t show up on the balance sheet as additional overhead and, as mentioned above, can be directly linked to revenue generating business in most cases.

Special Skills

In cases where business is slow, it might also be a good time to dust off those projects that you’ve been unable to dedicate time to during busy periods. Perhaps there are special skills that you need but don’t have in-house. You need to do a cloud migration but your own team don’t have the necessary skills or experience.  Engaging highly qualified consultants, is both a cost-effective and efficient way to complete these projects.

Team Augmentation

Even if you do have a large team already working on a project, it could be the case that the team is not large enough to get the job done in the time required. Again, it is quick to add a contractor to fill any obvious gaps and to add needed resources to the team to complete the project, lighten the load on the existing team and even boost morale because the initiative doesn’t become a death march to an impossible deadline.


While leveraging contractors can be a good idea in any market, they are particularly valuable during recessions when professionals are in greater supply but the money to hire full time staff isn’t. Temporarily hiring contractors means that managers can bring in additional resources without impacting the operating budget. This means that projects get done whether it means hiring specialists that the team doesn’t have or simply adding horsepower to a team that desperately needs more hands.

The Pearl Fisher Group helps companies find the talent that they need in order to grow, thrive and succeed. If you have questions about hiring contractors or full-time employees, please contact us.