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There has been a lot of talk about skills shortages in certain industries. This is especially true in the engineering consulting specialties, and it’s causing many companies to take a more serious look at utilizing contractors, according to Bulldog Recrutiers Vice-President Chuck Szajkovics, who places candidates in those positions.

“The niches we work are key industries for the economy to stabilize and expand, and yet the number of people entering the workforce in those specific industries is lower than it has been in years,” said Szajkovics. “The engineering disciplines in these specialties are not the ones students are signing up for in colleges, and there is a gap between the number of students that colleges can graduate and the industry demand, especially as baby boomers continue to retire.”

Companies that wouldn’t consider utilizing contractors before are doing so now in light of these challenges, Szajkovics said.  Contracting allows companies to get experienced workers quickly so they can complete the projects that they can invoice clients for.

“In a very short amount of time, contracting generates candidates with the greatest wealth of knowledge for the least upfront or long-term cost,” Szajkovics said.

In many case, that knowledge is coming from retirees. In a trend known as retiree re-staffing, companies are bringing retired Baby Boomers back on a contract basis to accomplish specific tasks.

“Some people find retirement too mundane and look to work on a project basis back in the industry they know so well,” Szajkovics said.

If you are working a niche where skills shortages are prevalent, you may want to consider how contract staffing can help your clients.  As a $1 million contracting producer, Szajkovics is often asked by recruiters how they can get started in contracting. His advice is simple.

“Just jump in, let clients know you can do contracting,” Szajkovics said. “It builds a strong relationship with the client when you can do direct and contract.”

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