In some industries, the use of external IT contractors has proven to be a strategic solution that contributes to overall business development and the control of long and short-term growth. While some companies only use IT contractor support to compensate for planned and unplanned staff shortages, other companies value their stimulating power. For other sectors and companies, external employees are only now becoming a valuable and useful source of knowledge. 

In this article we examine the value that companies of all types, sizes and industries can create through the use of external IT contractors.

Contractors are cost efficient

Contract employees (freelancers) usually receive higher pay than internal employees. However, it would be misleading to include the mere payment of IT contractor employees in cost accounting. It is true that external IT contractors receive a higher hourly or daily rate, but they are not entitled to any vacation pay, Christmas bonus or employee participation programs. Severance payments, parental leave or in-house bonus payments are also only reserved for permanent employees. Although the remuneration of the external IT contractors may be higher than that of the internal employees, the long-term savings can still outweigh the short-term costs.

By employing skilled external IT contractors, the company can increase or decrease its work performance and staffing levels without changing the number of permanent employees. In this way, the company can act flexibly and save the effort involved in lengthy recruitment processes.

Helpful during staff shortages

External IT contractors offer companies the opportunity to deal with planned and unexpected staff shortages. This can be due to maternity leave / parental leave, long-term absence due to illness, increases in business activity or new projects for which you have to bring in another expertise at short notice.

Replacing permanent employees with temporary employees is rarely effective. The company often incurs additional costs as a result, which can be attributed to the necessary training period for the new employees and training-related delays before they actually become productive.

Bring a lack of expertise in-house

Permanent and external IT contractors prove to be valuable to the company in different ways. Permanent employees are hired in order to expand the professional competence and expertise of a company in the long term, while external IT contractors are usually only hired for a specific specialist service.

External IT contractors give companies access to skills that they normally do not have, or that they do not have sufficiently, or that they do not need in the long term. In this way, companies can access certain knowledge and skills when they need them, and adjust their workforce accordingly precisely and flexibly.

The best outside staff have extensive experience in many different projects, companies and sometimes even different areas and industries. The experience and technical competence brought in by the external IT contractors are very important and can be put into practice immediately. Previous projects, their main topics and - equally important - previous successes have given them extensive knowledge. The permanent provision of such experience and specialist knowledge within the company would require considerable financial and time investments as well as a larger workforce and cannot be achieved by many companies.

Raise the bar in the company

By commissioning external IT contractors with special competencies, a company has a direct influence on which specialist knowledge and experience it can access. In the long term, however, you can also influence the professional competence of permanent employees in this way.

The competence of the permanent workforce is influenced to the extent that external IT contractors promote the implementation of best practices, can provide useful assistance and pass on their knowledge. You can bring in new ideas and perspectives and provide the company with further experience and skills. Permanent employees can benefit by enabling them to learn and rethink.

Motivation & Objectivity

External IT contractors are only as good as their previous project. Each project shapes their reputation positively or negatively. As a contractor, you're striving for success which means results and success-oriented, while not being concerned with a possible promotion or a better reputation within the company. External IT contractors are eager to do their job to the best standard and quickly. They do not pursue strategies or tactics, as can sometimes be the case with full-time employees.

Desirable traits:

  • Having the necessary skills and experience for this work
  • Confident and assertive, but without appearing aggressive or arrogant
  • Personable and can work with people at different management levels and with different personality types
  • Performance and success-oriented
  • Good communication skills, can motivate others, and are good listeners
  • Inquisitive and not afraid to ask questions
  • Sufficient experience in your industry and with similar projects
  • Strategic around efficiencies

Warning signals:

  • Too concerned about their own gain, not what's good for you
  • Noticeably creative when they talk about previous experiences (ie expand on the truth)
  • Generally talks too much or talks over others
  • Very opinionated and inflexible
  • Focuses solely on the project and not considering the economic consequences of the service delivery
  • Not open to other points of view
  • Not asking questions about your company or showing no interest in learning more about the project / assignment 

Hiring for IT jobs can be a daunting task, especially when determining whether you should hire a full-time employee or find an external IT contractor to bring in for your project. Hiring an external IT contractor can have many strategic advantages that contribute to your overall business development. We at Computer Futures specialize in finding top IT talent and if you're trying to figure out ways to expand your long and short-term growth, we can help you put together a plan and find the right people to execute that plan.


Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled talent, the team at Computer Futures are here for you. By combining our local expertise and specialist market knowledge, we can provide expert recruitment and employment solutions across a range of IT markets.