How to Hire a Sales Contractor


Unlock business potential with contractors - fill skills gaps, scale up, and get expert help. Find the right contractor with our three tips.

Today, businesses of varying sizes and across various industries are opening their eyes to the ideas around hiring contractors to help overcome their immediate hiring challenges. From filling skills gaps within your sales teams to covering for absences and scaling your organisation, contractors can be a great addition to your team. In this article, we will delve into these benefits while giving you three great tips for how to hire a contractor and help your business realise its potential.

Before we delve into the benefits of hiring a contractor and how to find contract talent, let’s answer the important question - what is a contractor?

What is a contractor?

Contractors are interim hires that businesses bring into their companies to assist with their immediate talent shortages and hiring challenges. Supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to multinational organisations, contractors work in a broad range of industries and often specialise in a specific niche. So, for example, you could find a data analyst contractor working in the tech sector or a sales contractor who lends their expertise to a global software development company.

Typically, organisations will hire a contractor when they need temporary support on a project. For example, a contractor could help fill a skills gap within a sales team, cover for a staff member on maternity, act as an interim solution while a business search for a permanent hire or help a department get a project off the ground.

Contract professionals will work for themselves as independent contractors and offer their services to a client or work for a client on behalf of a contract recruiting agency. Unlike permanent employees, they are not obliged to work exclusively for one business and can work on multiple projects for multiple clients simultaneously on fixed-term contracts.

Additionally, contractors get paid for the duration they support a business and do not receive a fixed salary. For example, if you hired a contractor, you could pay them an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly fee for their time at your business or on a project. Essentially, a contractor is a self-employed individual who manages their own schedule, choosing when, where, and who they work for.

Now we’ve established what a contractor is, let’s explore some of the benefits of hiring a contractor.

5 Benefits of hiring a contractor

There are numerous pros and advantages of hiring a contractor instead of making a permanent hire, from helping your sales team overcome a skills gap within the department to being a cost-effective and seamless hiring solution. To help you better understand why you should hire a contractor, we’ve listed five of the top benefits below.

1. Contactors come with specialist skills

Contractors will specialise in a particular niche within an industry. So, a contractor is a fantastic solution if your business lacks specific skills to carry out a project or there are apparent skills gaps within your teams. For example, your talent may not be equipped with the social selling skills your business needs, or the person who usually drives your multimedia sales could be on a sabbatical. In this scenario, a contractor specialising in social selling could be brought in to help your business amplify its products and services sales across various social channels.

Although specialist sales training could be implemented to support your permanent hires, a contractor may be a more viable solution, especially if you need someone with specific skills to come in and immediately impact your business. In addition, the depth of knowledge and extensive ability the contractor will come with could be passed on to the other members of your team - ultimately enhancing the skill set of the wider business.

2. A contractor will have a wealth of experience

When you decide to hire a contractor, you can guarantee they will come with a wealth of experience. Most contractors will have worked as permanent hires for numerous businesses in various industries, perhaps for your competitors, before building the reputation and body of work to confidently shift into contracting as an expert within their field. Their extensive experience allows them to come into a business and drive immediate change while offering a fresh perspective and unbiased views to inspire your permanent employees and broader team.

You may require a contractor to support or cover for one of your sales managers. A contractor with sales management experience will have seen it and done it all before and won’t shy away from any situation or project you acquire their support. Their experience will spread to the broader team and elevate your sales staff while ensuring the sales targets of your business are met, if not exceeded.

3. Hiring a contractor is a flexible solution

Hiring a contractor is a flexible solution to help you overcome your hiring challenges. For example, you may only require or have budgeted for a contractor's specialist skills or experience for a set period - let’s say, six months. Unlike hiring a permanent employee, which is a more long-term commitment, a contractor can come in and support your business for the specific time you need them. Additionally, if you decide to extend the length of the temporary hires' contract mid-project, contract recruitment gives you the flexibility to do just that.

Suppose you had a key sales team member away on maternity for the best part of a year, but you had every intention of welcoming them back when they were ready to return. Instead of permanently replacing them, you could use the flexibility of sales outsourcing and hire a contractor to cover your absent employee. You could even use this time to trial-run your contract hire and, at the end of the fixed-term contract, decide to utilise their expertise on a future assignment or make them a permanent hire.

4. A contract hire could save you money

Whether covering for absences, closing skills gaps or scaling organisations, one of the main benefits of why contract recruiting is so popular and widely used by businesses is how cost-effective a solution contractors can be. As mentioned, when you hire a contractor, you only pay for the required time, allowing you to allocate your hiring budget better.

Not only that, as contractors are not permanent employees and are ultimately independent freelancers, you don’t have to factor in costs such as:

  • Employee benefits, including annual leave and sick pay
  • Employee insurance, including healthcare and other forms of compensation
  • Payroll and income tax
  • Commission bonuses and pay rises
  • Work equipment, tools and office space

Outsourcing your salespeople with contract recruitment removes the fear of making a long-standing commitment or overspending on a permanent hire who doesn’t live up to expectations. In addition, as contractors are typically highly-skilled and experienced professionals, they are more likely to hit the ground running and make an instant impression on your business. They will therefore have less financial risk than permanent hires.

5. Contract recruitment is a quick and seamless process

Hiring a contractor is often a quick and seamless due to the abundance of contractors available for businesses to choose from in various roles and industries. The talent will be out there, regardless of the skills or experience you require and will be readily available to join your business and help overcome your recruitment needs at a moment's notice.

Due to their industry experience, contractors require little to no onboarding, having worked on numerous projects similar to the one you require their services for. Additionally, they won’t need further training before and when joining your business due to their expertise in their specialist skill set. From day one, they will be capable of coming into your business and getting straight to work on the projects you’ve hired them to support.

How to hire a contractor: 3 ways to find a contractor

Now that you know the top benefits of hiring a contractor and have more reasoning to justify hiring a contract, let’s look at some of the best ways to find a contractor. From utilising your network, posting contract jobs online and outsourcing to a contract recruitment agency, we’ve listed our top three ways to find a contractor.

1. Utilise your network

The power of networking cannot be underestimated. For example, if your business has access to sales professionals that you’ve previously hired on permanent contracts in the past, have a relationship with talent from other companies or know people with transferable skills who could make great sales reps, you could engage with these people through the necessary channels to see if they would be interested in a contract position.

Social media is an excellent tool for networking and finding contractors, with LinkedIn being a prime example. For example, your internal HR, talent acquisition or sales team could scope the market on LinkedIn to see if any contractors would suit your business. Additionally, you could join relevant groups and attend networking events as a means to connect and find contractors or, at the very least, get further recommendations on where you can find a contractor.

2. Post your contract positions on job boards

After you’ve determined the type of contractor you want to hire, from the skills, experience and duration you need, you should look to write a detailed contractor job description that outlines this and engages with candidates. When writing a job description to attract contractors, you should consider what will appeal to the talent. Liaise with other team members or other contractors you may have previously worked with or have connections with to see how to gauge the best talent.

Once you’ve written your contractor job description, you can start to add your contractor positions on traditional job boards. Websites like Indeed, Totaljobs, Glassdoor and LinkedIn jobs, to name a few, are great job boards where contractors will be actively looking for their next project.

3. Reach out to contractor recruitment agencies

Another excellent way to find contractors is by contacting recruitment agencies specialising in contract recruitment. Contract recruiters can be found online and via social media platforms like LinkedIn and are fantastic partners to support your talent search. A contractor agency will have access to a broad talent pool and can help connect you with contractors with the skills best suited to your immediate requirements.

If you don’t have an internal recruitment team or feel your HR or talent acquisition team needs further support, sales contracting services are a great solution. Recruitment firms specialising in contract services can help you find the people you need and support you from the screening stage to the day your contractor joins your business.

In addition, a recruitment agency can be a valuable and trusted partner you can rely on whenever you need to outsource your sales team or are looking to hire a contractor.

Hire a contractor with Pareto’s sales outsourcing solution

If your business is ready to hire a contractor or is still considering how to hire a contractor to boost your sales team, we can help. Download our 10 Steps to Building a Successful Sales Team Guide, explore our sales contracting services or get in touch to see how we can help your business realise its potential.

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