Companies, governments, and other organizations can rely on internal employees or hire contract personnel. Most people understand how internal employees relate to and interact with their hiring organizations, but what does it mean to be a contract employee?
Internal Versus Contract Employees
Unlike an internal employee, a contract employee can be an individual freelancer or belong to a team sourced from a staffing services agency that is hired for a specific project or period at a set fee. An example of the latter situation involves RieLes Group, a major government contract staffing company servicing federal installations across the Eastern U.S.
“A contract employee is typically a person who works for a contract company like us under a contract agreement,” says Shalanda Whatley, business support manager at RieLes. “An example would be when RieLes wins a contract from a government agency, and staffs it with that person or set of people, all working under that specific contract.”
RieLes Group currently focuses primarily on federal government contracts. “We specialize in staffing, which makes it possible for us to staff the contract according to how the government wrote the statement of work.”
Better Pay, Quicker Placement
The benefits of becoming a RieLes contract employee can include better pay and quicker job placement. “Our pay is typically competitive,” says Shalanda.
“Apparently, the pay in parts of the federal government and the military is not that competitive, so we can typically offer better rates. Your compensation is usually more competitive if you go with a contractor. What’s more, the government has a very long hiring process. It can take years for an individual to land the position they want. With us, if a contract is open, they can start work in 30 to 60 days. It’s definitely streamlined. So, working for a contract staffing agency will get your foot in the door of a government agency and enable you to make relationships within the agency, if that’s your goal.”
It benefits government entities to rely on contract staffing agencies, especially if agencies require workers quickly. It can also make it much easier to terminate an employee if necessary.
Focused on Medical, HR, and Administrative Support
RieLes specializes in providing medical support services, HR services, and administrative support services. Where does RieLes recruit the skilled workers to fill these jobs? “In a perfect world, we would find candidates within a 50-mile radius of the work site,” says Shalanda, “But that’s not always the case. We find people via job postings, advertisements for our jobs, word of mouth, people already in our database, and a variety of other sources.”
RieLes prides itself on hiring many veterans to fill these jobs. “Many of our veterans want to bring their expertise back to the government,” Shalanda says. “They appreciate the added income they receive after retirement.” A key reason veterans make a good fit for RieLes assignments is their experience with government systems and procedures. “We’re not looking for people who are trying to figure it out; we need people who already have the expertise necessary to do the job on day one,” says Shalanda, who also notes the shortest contract RieLes has staffed was one year, while most are typically five years in length.
RieLes Group has established a strong reputation for experience and competence among government agencies for several reasons. “Our internal staff is the key to our success,” Shalanda says. “Any good opportunity starts with good people. When I’m recruiting, I like to say our goal is to find a win-win for everybody – our client, our company, and especially for the employee, because if it doesn’t work for them, it won’t work for anybody.”