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Hiring contractors without the headache

Three month? Six months?

An extra pair of hands for a temporary project – it’s a need almost all organisations have at some point. Our contract recruitment consultants know this better than most.

At this time of year, the demand for contract resource in many industries starts to heat up. Before long – really! – we’ll be into the run-up to Christmas, an absolutely critical period for most businesses and one in which activity may double, treble or more. Finding the right talent in the right timeframe is more crucial than ever.

Nevertheless, the same principles always apply. Here’s how to do contract recruitment smoothly and simply:


When you’re looking for someone to be an integral part of your business for years to come, a huge number of factors come into play. Things like language skills, or where a candidate was working six years ago, or whether they’ve used an obscure CMS. Cultural fit will be critical. An unusual skill set might outplay direct experience in the area they’re going to be covering.

Contracting is different. To turn around a contract requirement fast, you need to recognise that only the essentials matter. The priority is ensuring they can hit the ground running, not worrying about whether they will be an ambassador for your brand in a five years’ time. You need a crisp, clear list of the essentials – no compromises. And you need to get comfortable with the idea that a fantastic contractor might not have the same skills and experience profile as someone you’d hire long-term.


The surest way to slow down a recruitment process – any recruitment process – is to change your mind about what you’re looking for halfway through.

We get it – sometimes this can’t be helped. Things change.

But if you find yourself repeatedly altering job specifications halfway through the callout for a contractor, you need to reassess how you’re creating those specifications in the first place.

The most effective contract recruitment processes can go from requirement to hire in the very same day – but this won’t happen if you’re not absolutely sure of what you need.


Another sure way to slow down recruitment? Advertise with unrealistic rates – and then try to negotiate once you’re at interview stage.

By being absolutely clear on rates from the start you’ll ensure that you attract candidates of the appropriate skill and experience level. In short, it’s a no brainer.

Clarity on rates from the start ensures two things. First, applicants will know whether they have an appropriate level of skill and experience to apply – and, ultimately, whether they can deliver your project. Second, you’ll know that you can afford each of those applicants. No dithering, no excuses.


This can seem alien if you’re more used to making permanent hires. But face-to-face interviews are time-consuming to arrange, especially as contractors are more likely to be based far from your offices. Phone interviews, properly prepared for, will still give you all of the information you need. We even work with contract clients who so totally trust our contractor judgement and process that we will organise every element of search and selection – all they give us is the final ‘yes’. Now that’s a sign of a clear ‘essentials’ list!


Fast turnaround contract requirements are one (of many!) areas where a great recruitment agency can be a godsend. A decent contract recruiter, specialising in your sector, will have a broad network of hard-to-find talent at all levels – a list of names at their fingertips that they can call as soon as they get off the phone with you.

If you’re serious about finding contract resource quickly and efficiently, it’s well worth speaking to an agency…just like Instinct! Call us today on 0161 714 0600 for more tips on making contract recruitment headache-free.