Why Hire a Contractor?
You Only Need Temporary Access to a Specific Skill Set
If you just need someone to design a business logo, it doesn’t make sense to permanently hire a graphic designer who is going to be left twiddling their thumbs once they’ve completed that task. One-off jobs are the kind you should definitely consider outsourcing to a contractor.
You’re Not Sure the Good Times Will Last
Yes, the phone has been ringing off the hook for the last month. Still, you’re not yet certain you need to permanently ramp up the capacity of your business. This is another situation where it makes sense to engage contractors, at least for a period of time.
You’re Not Yet Ready to Assume All the Responsibilities of Being an Employer
As mentioned, you can’t just pretend employees are contractors to get out of setting up super accounts, withholding PAYG tax, providing leave and buying a workers’ compensation insurance policy. That said, especially if you’re a sole trader, you may wish to organise your business so you can farm out different tasks to contractors rather than, for example, taking on a permanent assistant or office manager.
It’s predicted that in the not-too-distant future most people will be contractors rather than employees labouring exclusively for one employer. But for the time being, business owners still need to be aware of the legal and practical implications of engaging a contractor as opposed to hiring an employee.