Staffing strategies for energy companies often differ significantly from those created in other industries due to the significant “boom and bust” cycles driven by commodity prices, demand, and geopolitical considerations. Plus, just like the rest of the economy, the sector also suffered a downturn following the COVID-19 pandemic. Compound these issues with demand fluctuations, and it’s easy to see why hiring energy workers can be a challenge.

To help buffer your organization through the industry’s inevitable cycles, consider making contract employees a crucial part of your strategic staffing. Here’s why.

#1 Contract employees offer specialized skills

When many managers think of “contract workers,” they think of entry-level labor for rush periods – like the staff in the gift-wrapping department of the local mall during the holidays. While seasonal labor typically does fall under the contract category, contract staff aren’t limited to entry-level workers. Many seasoned professionals prefer to work on a contract basis because they like the constant flow of new projects and challenges.

If your company is looking at a sizeable one-time project, talk to your recruiter about working with contract staff who possess the technical skill to do the job well. You may be surprised at how quickly a recruiter can source the right candidate for energy work.

Studies show even before COVID; contract workers were a growing part of the U.S. labor force with wages growing 33% in 2020.

#2 Contract staff can help you control staffing costs

Hiring long-term staff can be expensive, whether they’re full-time or part-time. When hiring contract workers, many of the costs you would typically face are assumed by your staffing provider. As the employer of record, your staffing firm handles tasks like required state and federal employee paperwork, insurance, hourly rates, as well as other potential costs.  Plus, there are no layoffs to assume. Once the job is done, the candidate can move on to another position with your company, or a recruiter can help them find another one. Unless, of course, you choose to make them permanent.

If you’re uncertain whether contract employees can help you manage cost or how working with contract staff will impact your overall staffing budget, talk to your recruiter.

#3 Contract employees want more flexibility

The workforce is undergoing many changes following the COVID-19 pandemic. More people want the flexibility to work from home, and although contract workers in the energy market, in many cases, will need to be on-site, they can pick and choose when to work. According to a Harvard Business Review Report, given a chance, most of the population would choose flexible hours and jobs in locations that allow them to prioritize family and personal interests.

#4 Contract employees help your company stay competitive

Just as soon as you need to hire a candidate for a project, a recruiter can start sourcing them. In many cases, they can have someone on sight the next day. Contrarily, waiting to hire a permanent energy employee could put your company at risk of losing a contract. Not to mention you still have to pay the benefits and insurances on behalf of the employee.

#5 Expand your professional network with contract staff

Many contract employees enjoy short-term work because it gives them a chance to connect with a broader range of professionals and companies than they would see as long-term employees. Likewise, energy companies who work with contract labor can see how many different professionals work in the field and “mesh” with their long-standing teams. Hiring managers can choose whether to extend a long-term job offer to a, particularly well-performing contract team member.

At FootBridge, our recruiters specialize in finding the contract talent our clients need, so you’ll always have experienced professionals ready to step into any project. Contact us today to learn more.