Agile. Adaptable. Innovative. These are more than trending business buzzwords–– they’re a new lens for viewing recruitment and hiring practices, starting with project-based jobs.

When to consider project-based work & jobs

Your budget is approved, plans are in place, and your team is ready to kick-off a major project. There’s just one problem–– you don’t have the internal resources to handle the new work. Maybe your organization is short-staffed. Perhaps the team is already feeling pressure from multiple high-priority projects, or your team may lack a full-time employee with the right technical skills for the job.

“Project work and contract hires are a solution perfectly tailored to situations like these,” says Monte Weirman, Managing Partner. “A project-based hiring approach strategically considers upcoming business priorities and existing in-house talent, identifying talent or expertise gaps that can be filled quickly by engaging an interim industry practitioner placement that complements permanent, full-time positions.” Organizations access the experienced industry or functional expert they need for a limited timeframe, bypassing a lengthy and expensive hiring process and reducing the learning curve.

Interim hires for a project: what does it mean?

An interim or project-based worker is brought on to deliver results for a specific project and will work towards pre-determined outcomes. Some project-based jobs may focus on a certain skill, like expertise in accounting or programming, while others may require a background in project management and corresponding certification, like PMI-ACP.

Project-based work differs from full-time hires in that the employee focuses on a specific business objective. They’re usually not hired based on their long-term potential. Instead, a company has a pressing need it must accomplish, and the interim professional joins to make that happen.

Depending on an organization’s needs, a project-based contractor may offer greater flexibility than a full-time hire. Often they are location-agnostic, which means if they live in a different city, they may temporarily relocate to be on-site with teams. If relocation isn’t necessary, they’re adept at working remotely. Their onboarding process is also much faster. They only need to get up to speed on a single project versus a months-long process new hires undergo when joining a new company.

How does a project-based contract work?

A project-based contract lasts for a set length of time, typically for several months or longer. The contract includes specific milestones and deliverables. Once the project is complete, the engagement ends.

The contract will also state how many hours per week they’ll be working on your project. Some contractors may be full-time (35-40 hours/week) for your company. Others may set aside fixed hours on certain days of the week. Should the scope of work change during the project, the contract will be amended to account for these changes.

Who can be a project employee?

A project-based hire differs from a full-time employee, although you may still hear this person referred to as a “project employee”, a “contract employee”, or even an “interim employee.” Technically speaking, a project hire is not an actual employee of your organization. Instead, they’re independent contract hires, often paid directly through an interim hiring agency or recruitment firm. By partnering with an interim agency, you’ll gain immediate access to a large network of vetted, expert talent. You’ll simplify payroll too since the agency will pay the contractor directly.

Interim Executives & Professionals

Adapt and accelerate with interim talent

4 Roles for Project-Based Jobs

Below are four roles ideal for project-based hiring.

Project Manager: As the name implies, project managers supervise an inherently fixed, timebound task — managing a project from start to finish — making this role well-suited for an interim hire. Professional project managers are familiar with a range of management methodologies, including agile methodology, and often hold a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI). They’re skilled at applying these methodologies across industries, from software development to product launches.

Technical Leader: Do you need access to a highly specific set of technical skills for a fixed period? Expert technical talent often comes with a high price tag and a lengthy hiring process. Rather than adding a permanent member to your team, a project-based position may be a better option. You’ll get the technical expertise your business needs for the exact amount of time needed.

Project Team Member: Too many tasks and not enough employees for quick execution? When there aren’t enough “hands on deck,” your employees are at risk for reduced productivity and burn out. Temporary project members are smart, capable and experienced professionals who can take some of the pressure off your full-time employees. They’ll join the team for the duration of the project, ensuring on-time deliverables while allowing your full-time employees to stay focused.

Program Manager: Projects don’t happen in a vacuum. At most companies, multiple projects are occurring simultaneously, often with interdependencies. If something falls behind on one project, another project may be impacted. A program manager ensures all these interrelated projects stay on track, following a roadmap for success. For example, your business might hire an interim program manager to shepherd a major initiative forward, like a product launch, managing everything from the marketing collateral and website build to the on-time delivery of the product itself.

Make your first project based hire

Is it time for your first interim project hire? This is where a recruiting agency can help. You bring the project and hiring specifications to the agency — timeline, scope, and skill requirements/expertise — and the agency will place one of their pre-vetted professionals with your company. Yes, it really can be that fast and easy.

Ready to see how project work can help your company? Get in touch with us today.