In this blog I’ll give you some reasons why companies use them, some pitfalls to watch out for and some tips on how to manage IT Contractors…


Why should I use an IT Contractor?


***When your team needs more resource but not enough to justify a full-time hire

***They are a specialist that can solve a specific problem / provide a specific solution for you

***Provide Expertise in a knowledge domain / hard-to-find skill set

***Great when you have a project budget & you can use skilled experts to resource this

***Flexible Resourcing - time of engagement from hours, weeks, months or years if needed

***Short notice periods i.e. 1-2 weeks is standard for 3-6 month contracts

***You only pay for work performed 

***They can bring new ideas / different ways of working

***Up-skill other team members

***Look at overall methodologies / processes to improve 

***Can provide coaching on new ways of working i.e. Agile / Scrum or TDD/BDD/DDD etc

***Can focus on a specific piece of work the team has been struggling with / are fed up with

***Can be paid for in Capex budget rather than Opex

***Fill a key gap that may become vacant due to maternity cover, long-term sick or someone on secondment / long-term leave etc that is critical to your business 

***Try before you buy - not quite sure? Take someone on contract and see how they perform

***Having a very high-end resource can be very valuable to an organisation delivering value, improvements, efficiencies and innovations - you may want to move them onto the next project and / or take them on permanently (if they are open to this) 


What are the Negatives or things that I should watch out for with IT Contractors?


***Cost is a premium - but you pay for what you get (keep an eye on your budget)

***IP can walk out the door - you need to manage your contractors closely

***They can become 'part of the furniture' & never leave - again you need to be aware of how your head count is made up ie FTE & Contractors

***Make sure you work out the market contract rate & pay accordingly 

***A professional IT Contractor will always want to finish an assignment so pay a market rate to ensure this isn’t a reason for them leaving 


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What are some of the key tips I should know to managing IT Contractors?

***Ensure your IT contractor doesn’t become ‘indispensable’ or ‘irreplaceable’ by not sharing information or not documenting key information —> Have senior team members collaborate / work together with the IT Contractor

***Set expectations up front before engaging the IT Contractor or on the start of the assignment-> When expectations are clearly communicated issues are less likely to arise 

***Draw specialist knowledge from the IT Contractor —> Have the IT Contractor pass on skills / technical knowledge and even 'Upskill’ other team members in a particular domain or language

***Have the contractor sign an NDA - Non-disclosure Agreement to protect your IP (Intellectual Property)

***Give feedback to the IT Contractor or IT Recruiter on how they’re getting on

***If an IT Contractor does stay long-term ensure you write in specific project briefs in the contract to avoid risk of it being deemed an employee relationship by the IRD


IT Contractors are an excellent way to get flexible resource into your business if used & managed well.

If you have any questions or want to know more on how an IT Contractor could help your team or business please feel free to contact Paul on 021 532 008  or email:


I'm Founder & Principal Consultant of Sunstone, an IT Recruitment company specialising in providing IT Contractors within software, web, mobile development & infrastructure skill sets in Christchurch, New Zealand. To find out more on how we can help you with IT Contractors please click here: