ROI: Outsourcing Your Talent by Using Independent Contractors

If you’re working on developing a product to completion and want to ensure its success, you might want to consider using outside contractors. While your hand-picked team might be up to the job, there’s also a matter of scale and specialization in respective fields. When working on innovative product development, getting one independent contractor (IC) or a team of them could be your best bet to meeting those deadlines, keeping within your budget, and guaranteeing a quality product.

The first benefit of working with IC’s is scale.

IC’s allow you to scale for growth. If you want a project done faster, you can add one or two more engineers. Adjust your team to fit your budget and needs, speed up or slow down the process without any internal politics or issues. You can take on a large project and simply add IC’s to your team until the project is complete, then go back to operating on a smaller level with your in-house team.

This option takes away the issue of having to terminate employee contracts after the project’s completion if your company doesn’t have any more immediate work for them. Additionally, working with IC’s can help protect company trade secrets that might be leaked, for example, by an ex-employee that was laid-off during slow months. If you work with an IC, they’re interested in continued partnership over time. Outsourcing to an IC actually makes it less likely for a compromise in security due to confidentiality agreements and NDAs. There’s no risk that your employee, when you can no longer afford them, will go to another company and bring your trade secrets with them. Outsourcing is so low-risk in part because there is no true termination; you complete work with the IC or the outsourced team without severing ties and return to the same knowledgeable team when you’re ready for your next project to begin.

No one wants to turn away prospective clients. Why should you have to?

If your client’s project needs a specialist that isn’t on your team, you can simply hire an IC to work with you as either a consultant or contracted staff for the duration of the project. Even if you’re an expert in your field, bringing in IC’s diversifies the type of creative input you’ll get while developing the product, thus giving you a competitive edge that leads to superior and market-dominating products. The more trusted the IC, the more you can refer to them again in the future for any projects that come up. They’ll bring the experience they’ve gained working with many different clients and your team can even gain insight into approaching problem-solving in a new way.

What works even more to your advantage is working with not just an individual, but a team of trusted individuals. If you’ve found yourself in a situation that requires more than on IC to be involved, it can be a challenge to synchronize the various steps in the design process. If you’re in a field that demands strict adherence to a design control process, such as the medical field and ISO 13485, then it’s even more imperative that the team you work with has been vetted and can prove that they will help you develop a product that meets those standards.

Full-service product development partners - such as NectarPD - can streamline the process and meet all your needs from start to finish. Because there are layers of regulations, outsourcing partners enables more control over the process. Good teams are used to working together and have a history of meeting the needs of their clients. They can meet all the standards and regulations necessary, especially in regulation-heavy medical fields.

Of course, there’s also just the basic cost of employment versus contracting.

Employment costs when in-house may seem predictable, but are they the best use of your money? Keeping employees on the payroll requires you to pay up to 30% of an employee’s pay in benefits on top of their salary. These costs cover things such as social security, medicare, and unemployment compensation insurance.

Unlike salaried employees, ICs are paid on completion of specific landmarks in a project or upon the completion of the project. With traditional salaried staff, you have to pay for overtime and manage their efficiency per hour if they seem to not be pulling their weight. These aren’t concerns with IC’s, who manage their own time. Their career and reputation relies on them delivering a satisfactory product to you by a set deadline. Plus, you aren’t spending money on tools, workspace, or training that an employee would need provided but that an IC takes care of independently.

Overall, the benefits of working with a skilled and professional independent contractor or outsourced team far outweigh many of the financial costs of hiring on new employees for big projects. It might just be the most optimal way to keep your company operating at its best. 

Bryn Cartwright-Campbell

About the Author: Bryn Cartwright-Campbell

Bryn Cartwright-Campbell is a writer/researcher with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Cal State University, Long Beach (CSULB). As such, she is a connoisseur of people and collector of experiences. Native to Los Angeles, she spent her younger years traveling abroad teaching, writing, learning, and making music. Her list of hobbies and interests extends into the morrow, but the current iteration of her life revolves around her teaching inmates and probationers G.E.D. in Sacramento, California, freelance writing, collaborating on music projects, and running around with her three huskies. Her motto is, "Life is never boring if you pay attention."