It seems change is the only constant today and the business landscape is ever-evolving. As such, organizations – particularly enterprise companies – are looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to enhance their teams and adapt to new market demands. One increasingly popular solution is a contract-to-hire arrangement. This employment model offers many advantages not only for employers and leaders of corporate communications departments, but also for communications contractors, consultants and freelancers who are open to full-time roles.
Here are just some of the key benefits to both companies and contractors:
The Benefits to Clients A contract-to-hire arrangement can positively impact your recruitment process and contribute to the overall success of your communications department. These arrangements provide a more strategic and streamlined approach to hiring, allowing you to make well-informed decisions that align with your department’s objectives and longer-term growth plans. Other advantages include:
Enhanced flexibility and speed. Need extra corporate communications expertise – and need it now? A contract-to-hire arrangement can give you increased agility in quickly sourcing the right talent. It enables you to swiftly address immediate staffing needs without making a full-time commitment. Considering that corporate communications needs typically fluctuate based on cyclical needs or seasonal workload spikes, you can scale your team’s resources up or down based on evolving needs. The arrangement can also serve as a red-tape remover; if you have discretionary budget but are awaiting approval for added headcount, you can bring in a comms pro on a contract-to-hire arrangement with the aim of converting them to full-time once the money is officially allocated.
Immediate access to specialized communications skills. Contract-to-hire arrangements enable you to tap into a pool of professionals who possess niche expertise – whether it be open-enrollment messaging development or recognition program management – needed for specific initiatives. These arrangements provide an opportunity to bridge skill gaps on your team without the immediate need for a long-term commitment. Moreover, by bringing aboard contractors who have deep experience in various industries or sectors, you and your team can gain fresh perspectives, best practice insights, and innovative approaches that will benefit your entire department.
Sizeable cost savings. Hiring full-time corporate communications staff involves a range of hefty costs, including recruitment expenses, onboarding and training, employee benefits, and potential severance packages if the new hire doesn’t work out. With contract-to-hire arrangements, you can save on many of these costs. Contractors are typically employed by a staffing organization, which means the agency handles payment and associated administrative tasks. This can shift some burden off of you as a leader – and lifts some financial burdens and administrative headaches off your organization and the HR department.
The chance to “try before you buy.” A contract-to-hire arrangement can offer more insight into a professional’s suitability for a permanent role than can be gained from reading a resume or conducting a reference check. Contract-to-hire arrangements provide an opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s skills, work ethic, and overall fit with your departmental culture first-hand before extending a full-time offer. This trial period is like an extended interview that gives both parties a chance to evaluate compatibility in real-time.
The bottom line: Observing an individual’s actual work performance enables you to make a far more informed decision and greatly reduces the risk of ending up with a bad hire who costs you significant amounts of time, money and resources.
The Advantages for Consultants
Are you a corporate communications contractor, consultant or freelancer open to full-time employment if the right opportunity presented itself? If so, contract-to-hire arrangements offer some unique advantages that can enhance your career and open doors to interesting opportunities. The advantages of these work arrangements include:
Steady income and consistent work. While consulting and freelancing often involves securing individual projects and short-term gigs, contract-to-hire arrangements typically allow you to work with a company for an extended period. This consistency and stability not only provide a predictable income stream, it gives you a break from client prospecting and self-promotion, which can be time-consuming (and draining).
Streamlined transition to full-time employment. If you’re a solo professional ready to unwind your own corporate communications consulting practice and you’re not in a rush to close up shop, pursuing contract-to-hire arrangements might be right for you. It gives you the possibility of transitioning into a full-time role with a company at the end of the engagement. If it feels right, great, you can close up with confidence. If not, you can pursue another contract-to-hire arrangement elsewhere.
Outstanding networking opportunities. As a contractor working on a corporate communications team, you get the opportunity to significantly expand your professional network and establish relationships with many people you otherwise wouldn’t have met. If you ultimately decide not to convert to full-time, the connections you made during the engagement can still be incredibly valuable, as they can lead to endorsements, referrals and more introductions to prospective clients.
The ability to grow your skills and knowledge base. Taking on contract-to-hire roles gives you meaningful exposure to different types of corporate communications projects, new technologies, work environments, and industries. And as you collaborate closely with leaders and peers within different companies, you also can gain valuable new perspectives and ways of solving problems that will enhance your professional prospects.
Contract-to-hire arrangements are a two-way street in terms of making assessments. Remember: Just as the company is evaluating you, you can judge whether the organization is the right fit for you as you think about both your personal objectives and career aspirations.
About Evo Communications
Evo Communications knows that strategic communications has the power to drive business results. That’s why we help you fill your temporary communications roles with highly qualified professionals who can onboard themselves and get to work right away!
We are a certified woman-owned virtual agency of independent corporate communicators. We work alone, in pairs or in curated teams to meet the specific needs of our clients. With foundations in Fortune 500 companies, we leverage our collective strengths to meet your needs, acting as a seamless extension of your team.
From supporting your entire corporate communications function, focusing on one specific area of need, and adding temporary bandwidth to your team, the Evo team is motivated to offer innovative solutions that drive results.