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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Use Contractors While Keeping FTEs Happy

September 9, 2001
Q

Dear Workforce:

How are IT departments handling the mix of contractors and employees -- dothey usually place contractors in key leadership roles, or work to trainpermanent staff up to have the "plum" jobs -- thereby minimizingturnover?

-- HR Consultant, transportation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

A Dear Calgary Consultant:

IT departments have several situations where the use of contractors iswarranted:

  • There is an internal leadership decision that the company would like tooutsource all non-core functions.

  • The company needs to hire expertise in certain areas, and this expertiseis difficult to hire as full-time staff because there is a shortage of skills.

  • The IT department has a project with quick ramp-up and a finite timeframeand does not want to hire permanent staff.

Many companies have placed contractors into leadership roles (alsosupervising permanent employees) because of the level of technical expertise andproject management skills.

This is becoming an acceptable practice. Some contractors are also used as aninterim solution to train permanent employees to backfill for the contractors atsome point in time.

SOURCE: Mike Sweeny, T. Williams ConsultingInc., Collegeville, Pa., April29, 2001

LEARN MORE: See "Human Capital in the BusinessWeb"

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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