Contract Staffing vs. Direct Placement: The Pros and Cons of Each

When you have engineering & construction staffing needs, you may be considering whether contract staffing or direct placement is right for you. Each has its benefits as well as its downsides, so the decision comes down to your specific company and project’s needs. You may find that contract staffing serves you better in some instances, while direct placement is better for others. Let’s take a look at both.

Construction Staffing through Contract Staffing

Contract staffing is a construction staffing solution that works best for project specific hiring needs . Your staffing agency partner will recruit and hire employees who are suited to your specific needs. These “contract employees” will work under a short-term contract, which can be time-, budget-, or project-based. 

Pros and Cons of Contract Staffing

Contract staffing can be great when you need an employee who is ready to go with little training on your part. With construction projects, you often need a specialist like a project manager, superintendent, crane operator, etc. but you don’t need them on a permanent basis. A contractor can come in to fill this temporary, project-specific need. With contract staffing, you avoid wasting time recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding an employee that you need immediately. Your contractor will come to work ready to jump in on day one.

When you hire a contractor, you don’t have to worry about back-office tasks like payroll and benefits; these are handled by the staffing agency. However, one downside to this approach is that you typically pay a higher hourly rate for employees in this position. Many construction firms find that the time and money saved from only hiring for the timeframe you need and outsourcing payroll are well worth it. 

With contract staffing, your employee is short-term and therefore doesn’t require the level of onboarding that you would do with your permanent staff. However, this means the contractor also doesn’t know your culture, company-specific routines, etc. and may not be as invested as a permanent employee is. 

Often, workers who reach retirement age in their industry are not quite ready to stop working. By choosing to work as a contractor, they can be placed on projects in their area of expertise on a temporary basis. This type of temporary worker means you have experienced, well-qualified contractors working for you when you need them most. 

Construction Staffing through Direct Placement

When you choose direct placement for construction staffing, your staffing agency will recruit employees that you will hire on a permanent basis. These employees join your team just like an employee you hire on your own.

Pros and Cons of Direct Placement

Because a direct placement results in a permanent employee, you will be responsible for all tax and payroll paperwork. You will also need to handle onboarding and any necessary training. However, you generally will pay less per hour for a direct placement than a contractor. 

Direct placement is a good choice if you need year-round support in a given area. A civil engineer, for example, can inspect road construction during the summer and work on designs for new projects during the winter. However, you don’t need as many employees in the off-season, so a permanent direct placement can pose a challenge.

When you staff your construction vacancies with  recruiting and staffing agency, you have the benefit of a wider pool of talent than if you simply posted the open position on your own. Agencies often have access to passive applicants – those who did not actively apply to your opening but are available to work. 

As you grow your team, you may want or need to pull from a more diverse pool of applicants. Direct placement recruiting services can help you find qualified construction industry candidates from across the country. They can have all areas of expertise.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you are unsure which option is best for your construction staffing needs, or if you think you may need long-term help but aren’t ready to commit, contract-to-hire staffing might be your solution. Contract-to-hire placements are what they sound like. They are a temporary position via contract that can be converted to full-time, permanent employment down the line. 

Advastar Can Meet Your Needs

No matter which staffing option works best for your construction needs, Advastar has you covered. We can recruit and vet candidates for contracts, contract-to-hire, and direct placement. We have connections across the U.S. to match you with the perfect employee for your job. Contact us today for your free staffing consultation.