This week we had a job applicant mention that they are open to working part-time with us while they wind down other options before they would be available for full-time work. Our people that handle hiring asked me if we have a policy about hiring part-time contractors. Here are my thoughts on that:
- In most cases, I am against hiring part-time contractors as a matter of practice. The overhead in offloading projects to them and the loss of domain knowledge due to them not being fully committed is distracting. I have written before about the hidden challenges of outsourcing development.
- One big exception is when the person brings to the table special skills that we are not in a position to hire a full-time person for permanently (e.g. graphic design falls into this category for us).
- I love part-time contractors in a temporary role when the goal is more to evaluate the person for potential full-time hiring by working together.
So I encouraged our people to pursue the temporary part-time position with this candidate, if they pass all the other rounds of our hiring process first, which is a low probability event. They must pass competence tests, culture checks, and written evaluations.
What are your thoughts on hiring part-time contractors?