Companies in the field of technology are constantly faced with new complex problems. When it comes to specific challenges and situations, often businesses will determine it best to bring in a consultant or specialist for advice or a solution to a problem. However, this creates a question: are consultants treated differently from full-time employees? Unfortunately, there is no short answer. This is because consultants operate in a wide variety of capacities when it comes to their interactions with businesses. Consultants operate with different pay structures, schedules, and missions from full-time employees. The degree to which they are treated differently depends on factors such as level of skill, geography, and the frequency of in-person contact the consultants have with the company’s full-time employees.
Why The Treatment Of Consultants Matters For Businesses: A Lesson From Microsoft
Consultants are often hired for specific projects, such as software testing or cyber-security assessment. There are clear benefits to integrating consultants fully with your team. More cohesive teams communicate more effectively and move through their projects more efficiently than those that are disjointed. However, beware of blurring the lines between consultant and full-time employee too much, or else you could run into the same type of problem Microsoft experienced with independent contractors in 2009.
Contractors for Microsoft were expected to be on-location, so they received card keys, office equipment, and supplies from the company. Long story short, they were treated exactly like full-time employees for all practical purposes. This got Microsoft into trouble with IRS. Not only that, eight of the contractors then demanded benefits from when they were being treated like full-time employees.
How To Integrate Consultants Into Your Tech Team Without Overstepping Boundaries
Teachable moments like Microsoft’s mistake mean that yes, consultants are indeed treated differently from full-time employees. Cautious employers make a point of keeping their hours, paperwork and degree of involvement clearly defined. The obvious result of this is distance and a sense of difference.
However, think about how you integrate your existing team of full-time employees. Maybe you spring for a Friday evening happy hour, or a pizza lunch once a week. By inviting your consultants to these bonding experiences, you can strike the balance between building a cohesive team and keeping all your paperwork and tax concerns aligned.
Learn More About Hiring Tech Consultants and Full-Time Employees
As a premier staffing and recruitment agency for the tech sector, Parallel HR has created numerous solutions that satisfy both employers and employees. If you need any advice about how to build a cohesive, efficient team of full-time employees and consultants while respecting the expectations and boundaries of each, we would be happy to offer what we have learned from our experience. Browse our website to read past testimonials, view examples of job listings, and find solutions to your staffing challenges. Get in touch with us by calling (801) 386-8008. You can also contact us online to begin your journey towards a recruitment solution.