Do you remember the time that you decided to do your own home renovations? No, well good decision. If the answer is yes, then you might also recall that they took longer than you anticipated. Between delays on getting the right shower head in, to finding a dangling wire you didn’t anticipate (surprise!), a two week project can suddenly turn into a three month affair.
The same can be said when assessing how long you’ll need your accounting contractor for. The answer – often longer than you think. Here’s why.
Contractors usually come on board for one of two reasons – the team is overloaded, or there’s a specific project that needs a specialized skill set to complete – a skill set that the team is missing. In both cases, it makes sense to hire a contractor. You free your existing team from the stress of carrying an additional workload, or from trying to complete a project while lacking the necessary expertise.
The problem arises when we underestimate the amount of time it’s going to take to complete the project, or how overloaded the team actually is/was (think ongoing basis). We also underestimate how much value an extra set of hands can drive for us. We add that extra person and suddenly the team’s productivity increases substantially. And while no one is singing joyously, there is that lovely hum that comes with a high performing team.
The 1.5 Multiplier
If you’re trying to calculate how long you’ll need your contractor, try using the 1.5 multiplier. For example, if you think about a special project that needs to be completed, multiply the amount of time you think it will take by 1.5. A 3 month time frame becomes a more reasonable 4.5 months. After all, the path to project completion isn’t always a smooth one.
Red Flags When Hiring a Contract Resource
Since the right resource can move your company forward and the wrong resource can set your timelines back, you’ll want to hire carefully. Here are 5 red flags to watch out for when hiring accounting contractors:
• Consistently short contracts (2-3 months) – candidates who have excelled in their role typically have their contracts extended
• Consistently short permanent roles
• Large resume gaps
• No relevant industry experience – you need the candidate to ramp up quickly and industry experience will help them do so
• No prior experience with companies of a similar size and complexity – a candidate who has worked in a company of similar size will likely have a greater grasp of work demands, hierarchy and possibly culture specific to such organizations
We often think that we have a good sense of how long a particular piece of work will take to accomplish. Chances are, however, that you’ll need your hire for longer than you anticipated. Projects rarely run smoothly and if your hire is good at what they do, you’ll likely want to extend their contract. Regardless, a good accounting contractor can be a valuable addition to any team and a high-powered resource that can deliver exceptional outcomes for your organization.
Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
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