The demand for interim professionals continues to grow, including eLearning contractors. With the latest 2022 data from LinkedIn showing that almost 20% of paid listings for tech roles were aimed at contractors, it’s clear that contract services are on the rise—and for good reason, too.
In this guide, we’ll explore contractors' benefits within the digital education environment, highlighting how they enhance cost-efficiency, grant access to specialised expertise, reduce your time-to-market, and provide you with the free time to continue to focus on core, revenue-generating tasks. After this, we look at the different functions that contractors can fulfil, from design and development to implementation, administration, and project management.
Contractor Benefits Within the Digital Education Environment
Whilst many will be aware of the growing role of contractors in the broader technology industry, their expertise in the digital education environment is not championed as widely.
Despite this, eLearning contractors provide a range of benefits to the organisations that employ them, with expert contract hiring providers helping to cross the “t”s and dot the “i”s, making sure that your organisation is supported every step of the way.
Let’s look in detail at the contractor benefits that are available to those companies that bring on interim employees.
1. Contract Services are Cost-Efficient and Predictable
Utilising eLearning contractors is often more cost-efficient than hiring permanent employees to fulfil the same function within your business. With many discovered through the contract hiring process in the middle and later stages of their careers, they help to save the organisations that employ them time and money on onboarding and training.
Similarly, by leveraging a specialist digital education contract services provider, you can better predict the cost of employment, with the final cost of contractors worked out on a project basis rather than a salary—with a contract provider working out a payment schedule with you based on deliverables and scope.
For those complex, potentially multi-year projects, digital education recruiters will also work closely with your business to establish different types of contracts which can provide long-term cost predictability. From fixed-term contracts to cost-reimbursable models, businesses can minimise the risk of additional expenses creeping in and causing issues with wider project budgets.
2. eLearning Contractors Allow You To Access Specialised Expertise
As we’ve already mentioned, a great deal of contractors tend to be in the middle and later stages of their careers. 29% of contractors within tech-focused industries possess between five and nine years of experience, whilst a further 25% have acquired over sixteen years of experience, so there’s no shortage of true experts to pick from.
eLearning contractors are subject matter experts in their respective disciplines, possessing in-depth knowledge and a unique blend of qualified skills, enabling them to succeed in several placements.
One of the strong contractor benefits that are available to businesses within the digital education space is the opportunity to connect with these professionals much more easily than they would be able to if they were hiring for a permanent role. Contract hiring providers enable organisations to access exclusive networks of passive talent that can be enticed into their next position, ensuring that the skills you need to succeed are in place before your project begins.
3. Contract Hiring Can Reduce Your Time-to-Market
Traditional recruitment for permanent roles can often be time-consuming, with advertising your role alongside screening, interviewing, and onboarding duties all taking attention away from the most important matter: the completion of your project.
Hiring eLearning contractors, on the other hand, grants access to a pool of readily available, pre-vetted talent, ultimately reducing the time you need to spend on recruiting for your business-critical roles. At the same time, given the expertise we explored in the last point, contractors can quickly get up-to-speed with your unique internal processes and culture, ensuring that onboarding is minimised or eliminated.
If you need to quickly test ideas and iterate on designs through user feedback, contract hiring can help you to rapidly prototype. Instead of focusing on orienting a new, permanent employee, you can bring a contractor on board and begin testing and evaluating concepts quickly.
4. Flexible and Scalable Solutions to Personnel Needs
With contract hiring, you can access a talent solution that scales with the needs of your business.
Project demands can fluctuate rapidly, meaning that permanent hiring will often result in over or under-employing the number of personnel you need, saddling you with too large a salary bill or reducing your efficiency and impacting workforce well-being as employees lack the resources and support they need to complete all duties.
When bringing in eLearning contractors, on the other hand, you can supplement existing, permanent staff over a fixed term, extending contracts as necessary if projects run over their deadlines. Similarly, the contract will have run its course once you’ve delivered the completed work, meaning you don’t need to keep additional personnel on when they’re not needed.
5. Leveraging eLearning Contractors Frees Your Time for Core Tasks
By leveraging a provider of contract services and contract hiring, you can free up your time for core, revenue-generating, or business-critical tasks, allowing your employees to focus on their schedules instead of project tasks.
eLearning contractors provide you with easily accessible skills and expertise, allowing your organisation to complete projects efficiently and ahead of deadlines, with permanent employees and managers able to delegate technical or specialised tasks and optimise operations.
Likewise, by the time you’ve chosen to utilise a provider of contractors, you’ll have a clear scope and proper plan in place for your digital education project, meaning that you’ll understand where each employee—whether fixed-term or permanent—will fit in and provide their best work.
It should hopefully be clear now that eLearning contractors provide the digital education industry with a broad range of benefits, ultimately enabling them to save money and generate revenue more effectively.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can connect with the talent you need to succeed, see our recent step-by-step guide to Finding eLearning Contractors. Here we go into detail on how to define the scope and needs of a digital education project, highlight how you can search for contract hiring agencies to discover the best candidates for your vacant roles, and how to conduct interviews with contract service providers.
The Different Functions that Contract Services Can Cover
So, now that we understand the range of contractor benefits that organisations within the digital education sector can take advantage of, we can look at the different functions and responsibilities that eLearning contractors can fulfil within companies.
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of your digital education content strategy, professionals offering eLearning contract services can support your design efforts by providing expertise on presenting information in an effective, engaging, and motivational way.
Contract hiring providers can connect you with instructional and visual design specialists, empowering you to structure, review, and continuously improve virtual learning programmes. Their work follows a logical flow, foregrounding the accessibility requirements of all learners, ensuring that all students can access information, regardless of their background.
In short, eLearning contractors specialising in design are there to support you in cultivating learning experiences that deliver complex concepts effectively, support educators in creating course materials through well-designed and user-friendly authoring tools, and enable all customers to access content through desktop and mobile best practices.
Deploying a new learning management system (LMS) within the digital education environment can be challenging, especially when it comes to enriching it with carefully designed educational content and setting up the administration controls, user accounts, and settings unique to that customer before a project goes live.
eLearning contractors can help streamline this process, working with customers to develop a robust and comprehensive digital L&D strategy and providing the technical resources organisations need to ensure that implementation is successful.
Likewise, LMS implementation is often ineffective without a plan and a deadline-driven timeline, meaning that permanent employees can often put the breaks on an otherwise successful delivery. On the other hand, contractors can hit the ground running, with organisations able to hire them based on positive reviews and testimonials from prior employers, which can evidence their ability to support the fast-paced implementation process.
Administration and Maintenance
Crucial for ongoing customer success, administration and maintenance can also be covered by contract hiring and contract services providers. LMS administrators manage the product and provide daily support to those customers who require it, helping educators create custom courses and certifications, providing personalised feedback, and resolving issues that appear within any virtual learning environment.
Similarly, eLearning contractors in administration will ensure that your knowledge base is kept simple and accurate, implementing or highlighting the need for training when customers get in touch and providing a customer service-focused platform for the management of electronic learning systems.
LMS administrators ensure that, following successful project delivery, your product continues to work in an efficient, bug-free, and stable manner.
eLearning development can take up a great deal of time. With recent estimates suggesting that one hour of interactive content takes around 184 hours to develop, ensuring that you have all the resources and personnel required is crucial to hitting deadlines, remaining within budgets, and optimising your go-to-market strategy.
As we covered in our first section, thankfully, eLearning contractors provide a rapid way to connect with the talent you need to bridge your skill gaps, especially in development. Contract hiring can enable you to develop and iterate on powerful and easily navigable user interfaces, ensuring that your end users—educators, learners, or any other individual—can access educational content regardless of their geographical location.
Contractors, often coming from a mid-to-high level of seniority, are also comfortable with the heavy emphasis placed on collaboration within the digital education environment, finding it easy to partner with instructional designers, subject matter experts, and educators to ensure a high-quality pedagogical experience.
From ensuring that tasks are properly delegated to changing the scope of a project, ensuring content development timelines are met, technologies and digital tools are properly integrated, and budgets are communicated effectively to internal and external stakeholders, project management is crucial in the digital education environment.
Contract hiring for project managers can help ensure that your organisation has accounted for any budgetary or deadline-related risks, alongside keeping an open line of communication with the customer and end-users, which can help to amend content strategies to ensure that they align with learners’ needs.
Indeed, if any of the end-users have unique accessibility requirements, your eLearning contractors specialising in project management can ensure that your project continues to comply with relevant regulations and standards.
Utilising contractors for your digital education projects brings with it an array of benefits. These professionals offer a range of cost-efficient solutions, predictability in project expenses, and rapid access to specialised expertise, all of which contribute to the attractiveness of contract services within the industry.
Contract hiring provides flexibility, allowing organisations to scale their workforce as needed while simultaneously freeing up valuable time for core tasks within the digital education environment. By harnessing these contractor benefits, organisations across the sector can save costs, generate revenue more effectively, and optimise their project outcomes.
We’ve also seen how eLearning contractors can fulfil a range of business functions, from design and development to implementation, administration, and project management, offering a comprehensive solution for your organisation’s specific needs.
Discover eLearning Contractors with Instinct’s Support
At Instinct Resourcing, our expert consultants have supported the digital education sector for over a decade. With an extensive network of eLearning contractors covering various disciplines, we have the time-served expertise and subject matter knowledge your organisation needs to connect with innovative and ambitious professionals.
Contact us for a discussion of your requirements today, no matter how complex they are.