Attracting the best talent within a competitive job market is key for any business looking to grow and succeed. However, within the oil & gas, engineering and construction industries, many employers are looking toward contractors and temporary workers to fill vacancies.

After an uncertain few years of navigating the pandemic, the conversation around hiring contractors vs permanent employees has become increasingly common.

Both types of work have their place, and both may be relevant for your business in certain roles and at certain times. To understand which is the best fit for a specific position or function, you will need to weigh the pros and cons of contractors vs permanent employees.

This article will explore the benefits of hiring contractors vs the benefits of hiring permanent staff in today’s employment market.

Benefits of Hiring Contractors

First, let’s look at the reasons why you should hire contractors for your business.

Keep in mind that many of the differences between contract and permanent employees centre around how your new hire is expected to work, the type of work they are expected to produce and the benefits they receive from you as an employer.

Greater Levels of Talent to Choose From

We are currently witnessing strong demand across the Oil & Gas, Engineering and Construction industries. As reported in the latest Patch Personnel Subsurface Oil & Gas Employment Insights Report, predictions point to the oil & gas sector soon moving into a candidate-led model where there will be more companies trying to hire people than candidates to fill roles.

Similarly, according to Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Workforce and Skills Supply report, specific occupation shortages are anticipated in all four key occupational groups. It’s also showing that shortages are most likely among Engineers and general construction Labourers.

With candidates for permanent roles in high demand, there may be more opportunities to secure specialised talent from the pool of experienced contractors. Contractors are usually highly skilled workers who enjoy pursuing a wide variety of projects to expand their work experience.

By engaging with technical recruitment specialists such as the team here at Patch Personnel, your business can gain access to a wide network of skilled and vetted professionals – which will likely give you far greater levels of talent to choose from. Recruitment agencies also can support you throughout the hiring process when it comes to bringing contractors on board.

Reduced Hiring Costs and Overheads

Hiring a contractor can significantly reduce hiring costs and overheads, as it doesn’t require the time and dollar investment needed to recruit permanent staff.

Consider the usual recruitment process for a permanent employee; advertising the role, sourcing the best candidates, conducting interviews and ongoing investment to retain your staff are all costs involved in the hiring journey.

In addition, you’ll need to consider the overheads, such as benefits, personal and professional development, annual leave, performance and salary reviews, paperwork, equipment and more – all investments that are often required for permanent staff.

Using a recruitment agency can dramatically shorten the time investment in the hiring process.

Trial the Role, Structure or Candidate

In some instances, you may be unsure whether there is a need for a specific role, how the role fits into the wider business, or whether a candidate is the right fit for your team.

One benefit to hiring a contractor is that it allows you to test the water before deciding to pursue a permanent contract. You may even choose to offer the contractor a permanent role if they impress you with the value they bring to the business.


Contractors enable businesses to be agile in their recruitment. They can provide a resource for a short-term labour gap (such as covering parental leave), grant access to a unique skill set unavailable internally, and be onboarded and removed quickly.

In recent times, flexibility has been crucial for businesses to stay afloat, thus increasing the demand for contractors.


Contractors tend to require less management as it’s assumed that they already possess the specialised expertise needed for a task. In most instances, they should not require any on-the-job training.

It’s expected that seasoned contractors will only require a quick role briefing and a project deadline to deliver the job to a high standard.

As contractors tend not to stay with a business for very long, they focus on the job at hand rather than weave themselves into the fabric of your business.

Benefits of Hiring Permanent Employees

Now that we’ve looked at the reasons why you should hire contractors for your business, let’s examine the benefits of hiring permanent employees.

Traditionally, jobseekers have favoured permanent employment due to its stability and sense of belonging. However, businesses should understand that recruiting a permanent employee requires a commitment to your worker’s ongoing financial and professional support.

Remember, there is no universal right or wrong answer to the question of whether to hire a contractor vs permanent employee – the answer lies in understanding your business and its needs.

Greater Stability and Loyalty

By hiring a team of permanent employees you’re able to build a cohesive, strong, and loyal team that works towards common goals. You can ensure that they are invested and engaged, which will in turn provide the success of your business.

Hiring permanent employees also allows your business to forge real connections and create a strong company culture where workers feel like they belong – something that is increasingly valued in today’s job market.

Organisational Knowledge of the Business and Processes

Over time, permanent employees build up a significant level of knowledge about your business, how it operates, its stakeholders and the wider industry.

This continued learning becomes invaluable over time and helps the business run efficiently, effectively, and smoothly. Contractors often aren’t within organisations long enough to grasp this deep level of understanding about how it works.

Investing in your permanent staff also allows you to get ahead of the competition by developing long-term specialists in your industry,

Overall Control

When everything is kept in-house with permanent employees, you will inevitably retain greater control over the business. This can include anything from considerations like being able to manage workloads across the team, to complex concerns like keeping confidential information secure.

Permanent employees may be more able to help with responsibilities outside of their traditional roles and have greater flexibility to shift duties and tasks internally.


So – in the battle of contractors vs permanent employees, which option should your business choose? Both types of workers have pros and cons, and the right answer can only be discovered once you understand your business goals and needs.

Is flexibility or stability more important? And do you need help with a short-term project or are you looking to build a long-term team? Once you can answer these questions, you should be able to make a clear decision.

If your business is looking to recruit workers, get in touch with the team at Patch Personnel. Our Brisbane oil & gas, engineering and construction recruitment specialists have a wealth of knowledge on how you can recruit the best candidates from across Australia– whether you decide a contractor, or a permanent employee is right for your business.