This was sent to us by a client who uses a lot of contractors.
1.Lack of continuity
If a better opportunity comes up then contractors will be off. This means that we lose the business and systems knowledge that they have so expensively acquired at our company.
2. Lack of Paperwork
Normally they’ll be gone before they have to document the work that they have done.
3. Gone Missing when Action Starts
It’s a surefire thing that the IT contractors will be gone by the time that the sh*t hits the fan. Someone else will have to debug the problems that they created and clear up the mess they made.
4. Do Exactly as Told
“That’s what the Specification said” is a constant refrain from contractors. They have no reality check. They just do ‘what the spec said’ even if it is patently wrong. Permanent staff are more likely to question something with the analyst.
5. Deadlines Mean Nothing
Deadlines mean nothing to them. They finish when they finish and no amount of pressure seems to make them feel that they should pull their finger out a bit.
6. Clock Watching
Every 5 o’clock I watch the contractors stream out of the door. It is soul destroying for the permanent employees, who earn much less, watching them go out the door whilst they stay on later to keep the project on track.
7. Poor Timeliness
This clock watching only applies at leaving time. It is seldom that contractors get in at 9 o’clock. It is usually between 5 and 20 minutes later, in other words whatever they can get away with.
The same applies to lunchtime when the hour for lunch is regularly stretched to an extra quarter or even half hour.
8. No Taking Work Home
I regularly take work home. However, this is practically unheard of amongst the IT contracting fraternity.
9. No Company Loyalty
I once asked a contractor who had been with us for three years what his attitude would be if he heard that our company was to be closed. Would he just think “I’d better get myself a new contract”?
He replied that this is exactly what he would think.
It wouldn’t concern him that the company who had paid his high wages for the past 3 years was going under.
I think that that says the lot.
10. They Waste Their Abilities
Contractors pick up a lot of knowledge along the way. This could be passed on to permanent members of staff. They could act as mentors to them and help them grow as IT professionals.
Instead they mostly seem to want to do the minimum of work and give the minimum of help for the maximum amount of money.
It seems a great waste of all that knowledge and ability.
And I say that in sorrow rather than in anger.
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