10 benefits of working with contract programmers and designers vs. hiring employees (no offense to employees :) ).

Programmer contractors

There are many benefits to pulling in contractors to work on your latest WordPress skinning project or tricky backend PHP algorithm. Here are just a few to whet your appetite, 10 benefits of working with contract programmers:

1) Contract coders and designers likely cost less in some cases than employees

Typically if you employ someone to work for your company and their work day requires some degree of coding or design work, you will likely be required to pay for at least 50% of their equipment and software. That can add up very quickly to include laptops, desktops and a plethora of accessories (mouses, keyboards, and webcams to name a few). They will also require software – development IDEs, Photoshop as well as miscellaneous things like a Skype or Google phone number.

We don’t need to get into 401Ks, health insurance, educational opportunities, Social Security and Medicare taxes … all the things an employer has to deal with for the average employee. Altogether, these additional expenses can easily increase the cost of doing business by a third or more.

With contractors you pay a set hourly rate, and with companies like BaseBuild, those rates are much more affordable and competitive than ever before. You specify nice and clearly your requirements and you are good to go! This is a pretty straightforward and uncomplicated way of getting the work done.

2) Build a relationship and contractors become loyal

In many cases, businesses that require the expertise and skills of a contractor likely need it on an ongoing basis, or at least more regularly than not. Finding a quality contractor is the key.  It enables projects to be started quickly, reducing the annoyance of setup overhead. Communications are streamlined, and completion target dates are achieved.  Equally important, this is done with quality workmanship in design and coding. Essentially, a trusted relationship is achieved and maintained as needed for ongoing project assignments.

3) Contractors are often specialists

You don’t need to be a domain expert, thats their job. Because most contractors like BaseBuild bring specialized expertise to the table, they can usually be immediately productive, removing that setup cost previously mentioned. By using contractors, you can expand and contract your design and programming team as needed, without taking on unnecessary expenses.

4) Contract programmers and designers are good for emergency situations

Inevitably there will come the time when you reach your ceiling in terms of internal resource capacity. In these cases what do you do if there is a sudden spike in demand for your services? One option is to hire a new full time worker, but what happens when you go back to normal workloads? You can hire a short term temporary worker – but you run the risk of bringing on someone without the needed expertise. Often, a better option is to push that additional workload to a trusted contract development partner, one with whom you have had success in the past.

5) Contractors don’t necessarily require a contract

Many contractors out there don’t actually require a contract of any kind. There will of course be a list of requirements to be completed to ensure there is an understanding between both parties of what actually needs to be done. Less obligations for all parties just keeps things more simple. It allows both parties to walk away if things just aren’t working out and permits the quality of work being produced to do the talking.

6) Contractors are often local, footloose and fancy free

The nature of the contracting business is that more often than not there is some flexibility in availability. It is nice to know that there are contractors out there like BaseBuild that can be available when you need them and can come and have an impromptu sit down with you to discuss your latest project needs.

7) Contract coders can act as your plug and play technical department

The nice thing about working with contractors is that you can hire them for a specific task or project one time or you can build an ongoing relationship with them. In a sense you have your very own plug and play design and coding department as needed. In some cases, as in the case with BaseBuild, the contractor can act as an extension of your company and work directly with the end client with the know-how and professionalism that your company needs.

8) It seems much easier to boot a contractor than an employee

At the end of the day, if a contractor is not getting the job done, it is pretty easy to quickly terminate the relationship and find another alternative. This is of course beneficial not only to the employer but to the contractors as well. Everyone walks away unscathed and you reduce the need for time and money sucking legal processes.

9) Less politics, drama and social obligations

The unspoken reality of maintaining employees is that as with any group of people that work together day-in day-out for any considerable period of time, drama happens. The personality conflicts that can arise in the workplace can often distract from the task at hand – that of making money. With independent contractors, the focus is on completing the task, not how you can make Joe Bloggs and Mary Lou get along better and resolve their personal differences.

10) Can 1099 em

With contractors you can potentially reduce your exposure to lawsuits. Employees in 2015 have heavy support legally under state and federal laws. If an employer missteps, they potentially open themselves up to claims for violation of those legal rights.

Employee rights can include the right to receive at least the minimum wage, overtime compensation, protection from discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, and gender, the right to join unions, the right to sick and maternity leaves, as well as the right to sue for wrongful termination.

While contractors do have rights themselves, they are usually considerably less complex in nature. A quick W9 form review and all formalities are taken care of – now down to the task at hand.

Now I’m certain there are folks out there that would argue the benefits of having employees too, and that’s ok :). We welcome your feedback.

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