Re: Contractors _ARE_ good people

Subject: Re: Contractors _ARE_ good people
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 08:45:00 EST

At 08:09 AM 8/20/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Someone said the following in a recent message:

>"...True. I think that right there you've got an excellent argument for
>hiring good people and treating them well, as opposed to farming work
>out to contractors."

>I may be taking this out of context, but I _DON'T_ like the fact that
>"you" (whoever you are) refer to contractors as bad people. There _IS_
>a need for contractors out there, as we provide companies a valuable
>service. We're able to step right in, get the job done in a reasonable
>amount of time, and get it done right the first time.

>Just because I may be a contractor doesn't mean that I'm a bad person.
>In fact, contractors can easily get _more_ work done, and, ultimately,
>are less expensive. We usually aren't a part of a company for more than
>a few months at a time (depending, of course, on the length of the
>contract); we simply don't have a chance to get tangled up in all of the
>typical office politics that go around. We don't waste time
>chit-chatting by the water cooler.

>That's just my
>Bill Hartzer Bill Hartzer

Believe me, Bill, I understand your reaction, but I don't think the original
poster was blasting contractors. I run a contracting firm, so I'm
sympathetic to your emotions.

I think, though, the comment was intended to blast companies that
thoughtlessly assume that internal people are idiots and incompetents. I'm
also sympathetic to that point of view. As a contractor, I know I'm fast and
efficient, but I'm not FAMILY and never will be. Sometimes knowing the
corporate culture is important, too, and outside people run roughshod over
such things because we often don't even know they're there. I have to agree
somewhat with the original message, with this interpretation: There is a
place for the saturated internal person, and a place for the ultra-quick
external one. Often they need to work together. The external contractor is
often more versatile thanks to having worked in more environments, and is
often tougher and more task-oriented, valuable commodities under tight
deadlines. Internal people, on the other hand, can often get through doors
faster, know how to cut red tape, and can intercept layouts, structures, or
language that she knows won't get through the reviewers.

My original point was that internal people are inherently more expensive and
consequently many companies don't have the budget for them. The best of all
worlds, of course, is highly-trained, experienced and knowledgable internal
people who can blaze through projects and cost the company a minimal sum.
But sadly, those characteristics don't occur together, so companies have to
choose between them. Many choose speed and lower cost over internal
experience and knowledge, which are more expensive. I don't applaud it. I
just live with it.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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