In my office there are certainly opportunities for contractor employment. When a specific function or review needs to occurr and the process of bringing in staff for a targeted activity does not mesh with timeframes, we have seen contractors come in and cover the ground needed. In this capacity I have not felt that they were “ugly step children”. The challenges they can have is learning the nuance of the office culture. This is interesting when the culture is idiosyncratic i.e. stop at the jelly bean dish to discuss when the water cooler will arrive. I have seen contractors simply walk over boulders that we have accepted. We ( non contractors) simply adjusted our gait to acquire what we need even if it appeared inefficient because of our acceptance of the informal office culture rules. I have productive positive relationships with contractors in my present position. I have learned from them and their delivery of information is timely.
I can not comment on my organizations point of view about contractors. We are focused on our mission and if we need contractors to meet our objective we will welcome their contributions to further the mission of our agency.
When I worked overseas, I hired contractors to tide us over but I also worked with contractors who required additional informal context and training to contribute on a level that was significant. Over time I was more cautious, because working collegially with contract staff operating from assumptions ( I did not share), who I did not have supervisory authority, required additional energy to get them up to speed and tremendous patience.
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