Scaling with flexible talent

Scaling with flexible talent

Scaling with flexible talent

Scaling with flexible talent

The definitive guide to meeting your 2024 goals without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to meeting your 2024 goals without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to meeting your 2024 goals without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to meeting your 2024 goals without overextending your team or your budget

2023 was a difficult year, especially for the tech industry. For public tech 

companies, 2024 looks more promising, but startups face a daunting challenge: 

the hurdle to secure funding has significantly increased, according to NASDAQ.

Across industries, a shortage of critical skills is threatening companies’ ability to innovate and scale. According to a recent Gartner study, 46% of companies see their skills gaps widening.

Whether you’re grappling with a skills gap, aggressive goals, or the need to maintain a small team, now is the time to develop a strategy for steady, predictable growth so you can come out ahead.

2023 was a difficult year, especially for the tech industry. For public tech 

companies, 2024 looks more promising, but startups face a daunting challenge: 

the hurdle to secure funding has significantly increased, according to NASDAQ.

Across industries, a shortage of critical skills is threatening companies’ ability to innovate and scale. According to a recent Gartner study, 46% of companies see their skills gaps widening.

Whether you’re grappling with a skills gap, aggressive goals, or the need to maintain a small team, now is the time to develop a strategy for steady, predictable growth so you can come out ahead.

2023 was a difficult year, especially for the tech industry. For public tech 

companies, 2024 looks more promising, but startups face a daunting challenge: 

the hurdle to secure funding has significantly increased, according to NASDAQ.

Across industries, a shortage of critical skills is threatening companies’ ability to innovate and scale. According to a recent Gartner study, 46% of companies see their skills gaps widening.

Whether you’re grappling with a skills gap, aggressive goals, or the need to maintain a small team, now is the time to develop a strategy for steady, predictable growth so you can come out ahead.

2023 was a difficult year, especially for the tech industry. For public tech 

companies, 2024 looks more promising, but startups face a daunting challenge: 

the hurdle to secure funding has significantly increased, according to NASDAQ.

Across industries, a shortage of critical skills is threatening companies’ ability to innovate and scale. According to a recent Gartner study, 46% of companies see their skills gaps widening.

Whether you’re grappling with a skills gap, aggressive goals, or the need to maintain a small team, now is the time to develop a strategy for steady, predictable growth so you can come out ahead.

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In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with

the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with

the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with

the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with

the flexible talent market

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Flexible talent for the win

Flexible talent for the win

Flexible talent for the win

If you're looking to strike a balance between growth and efficiency, you're not alone: 90% of leaders today are wrestling with aligning project demands and staffing capabilities. These competing pressures are even more pronounced in the tech industry, which is still grappling with the fallout of nearly 262,000 tech employee layoffs in 2023. 

Regardless of the economic climate, keeping the team small isn’t always the answer. More than half of US workers are experiencing burnout, and overwork is a known cause. If you’re looking to grow, take on a new project, or extend the impact of your team, you’re likely asking yourself the age-old question: Do I bring in new expertise or avoid overextending my talent spend?

The answer is both. Enter flexible talent.

Often referred to as contractors or freelancers, flexible talent is closing the gap for teams that need support in key areas. In 2023, projects with flexible hires on Contra grew by 4X, filling gaps left by industry shifts and on teams that were most impacted by those shifts.

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%

%

of leaders today struggle

aligning projects & staffing

of leaders today struggle aligning projects & staffing

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0

K+

K+

tech employee layoffs

in 2023

tech employee layoffs

in 2023

0
0

X

X

increase in projects

on Contra in 2023

increase in projects

on Contra in 2023

💡 Pro tip: The trending skills on Contra provide a snapshot of the independent market. Use this data to inform your project resourcing strategy.

💡 Pro tip: The trending skills on Contra provide a snapshot of the independent market. Use this data to inform your project resourcing strategy.

MOST POPULAR SKILLS-BASED HIRES

MOST POPULAR SKILLS-BASED HIRES

1. Graphic Design

1. Graphic Design

2. Digital Marketing

2. Digital Marketing

3. Content Creation

3. Content Creation

4. Copywriting

4. Copywriting

5. Web, UX & UI Design

5. Web, UX & UI Design

6. Social Media Management

6. Social Media Management

7. Landing Page Development

7. Landing Page Development

8. Video Editing

8. Video Editing

9. Video Editing

9. Video Editing

10. SEO Strategy & Management

10. SEO Strategy & Management

Critical skills on demand

Critical skills on demand

Critical skills on demand

As you evaluate the role flexible talent can play in supporting your goals, ensuring you’re bringing in the right skills is key. Skills-based hiring has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. A recent study found that 92.5% of companies hiring based on skills have seen a reduction in their mis-hire rate.

Combining a flexible talent strategy with a skills-based hiring approach means companies can access deep functional expertise without committing to a full-time role when one isn’t needed.

For example, maybe you’re launching a new website, but you won’t need a team of designers, copywriters, and developers after the site goes live. Or maybe you’re executing a major marketing campaign and need a diverse team of marketing experts, but only for the next three months. Or, maybe your customer base has grown rapidly, and you need help managing customer success requirements on an ongoing basis, but not full time.

The opportunities for fractional experts to plug in and help are endless.

But what’s the right way to find, onboard, and manage them?

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with the skills you need to grow.

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steps to scaling with a flexible team

steps to agile
project resourcing

1. Identify the best roles for flexible talent

1. Decode immediate vs.
future hiring needs

1. Identify the best roles for flexible talent

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

What projects are on the horizon this quarter? What about in the next year?

What projects are on the horizon this quarter? What about in the next year?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

PROJECT TIMELINES

PROJECT TIMELINES

Up to 6 months

Up to 6 months

flexible talent offers agility

flexible talent offers agility

More than 6 months

More than 6 months

either flexible or full-time hires

could make sense

either flexible or full-time hires

could make sense

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (over six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for projects that are integral to your annual or strategic plans, where continuity and deep company integration are beneficial.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (over six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for projects that are integral to your annual or strategic plans, where continuity and deep company integration are beneficial.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (over six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for projects that are integral to your annual or strategic plans, where continuity and deep company integration are beneficial.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

Bring on the right talent when you need it

Find top flexible experts and manage them with ease

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

Once you’ve identified your immediate and future project needs, the next step is sourcing the right talent. This process is about connecting with professionals who can fulfill your project requirements with the agility and expertise necessary.

Once you’ve identified your immediate and future project needs, the next step is sourcing the right talent. This process is about connecting with professionals who can fulfill your project requirements with the agility and expertise necessary.

Contra simplifies this sourcing process. With over 340 skill sets represented across a global talent pool of 650,000 flexible specialists (and growing), you can find the perfect match for your projects. Whether you need a developer proficient in Webflow or a writer adept in AI, Contra makes discovering and connecting with experts as straightforward as it should be.

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K+

K+

independents

independents

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0

skill sets

skill sets

⏱️ On average, contractors on Contra have a time-to-impact of just 9.6 days, a stark contrast to the 41 days it typically takes to fill a full-time position. This rapid deployment is crucial for projects requiring immediate attention and those with longer-term objectives.

⏱️ On average, contractors on Contra have a time-to-impact of just 9.6 days, a stark contrast to the 41 days it typically takes to fill a full-time position. This rapid deployment is crucial for projects requiring immediate attention and those with longer-term objectives.

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

Let's face it, nobody loves paperwork. But efficiently moving from hiring to onboarding is essential in maintaining project momentum. Contra for Companies, Contra’s all-in-one platform for flexible talent, takes the hassle out of the onboarding process, ensuring compliance while keeping you focused on project delivery.

From handling tax forms to drafting project contracts, Contra’s platform covers the essentials, leaving you to onboard flexible team members quickly and confidently. This approach ensures that all HR, legal, and financial requirements are seamlessly managed, allowing you to engage with your new team members without worry or delay.

SUCCESS STORIES

SUCCESS STORIES

Customer support, powered by independent product experts.

Customer support, powered by independent product experts.

Customer support, powered by independent product experts.

“With Contra, scaling up with top-notch freelance expertise was seamless, allowing us to act like a 1,000-person team with only 40 full-time employees.”

“With Contra, scaling up with top-notch freelance expertise was seamless, allowing us to act like a 1,000-person team with only 40 full-time employees.”

“With Contra, scaling up with top-notch freelance expertise was seamless, allowing us to act like a 1,000-person team with only 40 full-time employees.”

Aroa Gil Bo

Aroa Gil Bo

Head of Customer Success, Framer

Head of Customer Success, Framer

Facing a surge in customer inquiries, Framer—a popular no-code platform—leveraged Contra for Companies to quickly build a team of specialists proficient in their products. This approach halved their customer response time, highlighting the efficiency of having a ready-to-deploy roster of skilled independents.

Facing a surge in customer inquiries, Framer—a popular no-code platform—leveraged Contra for Companies to quickly build a team of specialists proficient in their products. This approach halved their customer response time, highlighting the efficiency of having a ready-to-deploy roster of skilled independents.

Facing a surge in customer inquiries, Framer—a popular no-code platform—leveraged Contra for Companies to quickly build a team of specialists proficient in their products. This approach halved their customer response time, highlighting the efficiency of having a ready-to-deploy roster of skilled independents.

Framer's ability to swiftly respond to fluctuating customer demands showcases how a pre-vetted talent pool can transform operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, underscoring the advantage of assembling a diverse, skilled team of independents.

Framer's ability to swiftly respond to fluctuating customer demands showcases how a pre-vetted talent pool can transform operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, underscoring the advantage of assembling a diverse, skilled team of independents.

Framer's ability to swiftly respond to fluctuating customer demands showcases how a pre-vetted talent pool can transform operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, underscoring the advantage of assembling a diverse, skilled team of independents.

January total spend

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January total spend

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January total spend

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4. Manage your flexible workforce at scale 

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

Experience how expert flexible talent management can elevate your projects

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

💡 Pro tip: Build your directory of pre-vetted specialists with Contra for Companies. Source, manage, and pay flexible talent, while staying compliant—all in one place.

💡 Pro tip: Build your directory of pre-vetted specialists with Contra for Companies. Source, manage, and pay flexible talent, while staying compliant—all in one place.

SUCCESS STORIES

SUCCESS STORIES

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

Robert Laplante

Robert Laplante

Founder and CEO, Workshop Built

Founder and CEO, Workshop Built

Workshop Built, a strategic creative agency, faced the challenge of maintaining their standard of excellence amid fluctuating project demands. By partnering with Contra, they sought a solution that would complement their in-house team with specialized, project-specific skills for their growing client-base.

Workshop Built, a strategic creative agency, faced the challenge of maintaining their standard of excellence amid fluctuating project demands. By partnering with Contra, they sought a solution that would complement their in-house team with specialized, project-specific skills for their growing client-base.

Workshop Built, a strategic creative agency, faced the challenge of maintaining their standard of excellence amid fluctuating project demands. By partnering with Contra, they sought a solution that would complement their in-house team with specialized, project-specific skills for their growing client-base.

The speed and efficiency of Contra allowed Workshop Built to quickly draft project descriptions and connect with experts without delays. This agility was crucial in keeping their growing operations responsive to the evolving needs of their growing agency.

The speed and efficiency of Contra allowed Workshop Built to quickly draft project descriptions and connect with experts without delays. This agility was crucial in keeping their growing operations responsive to the evolving needs of their growing agency.

The speed and efficiency of Contra allowed Workshop Built to quickly draft project descriptions and connect with experts without delays. This agility was crucial in keeping their growing operations responsive to the evolving needs of their growing agency.

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

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Manage Projects

Why Contra for Companies?

Why Contra for Companies?

Why Contra for Companies?

Unprecedented access

Unprecedented access

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Total visibility

Total visibility

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Streamlined compliance

Streamlined compliance

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Agile resourcing

Agile resourcing

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

The world’s most innovative teams

flex with Contra

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

Aroa Gil Bo

Head of Customer Success, Framer

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

Alice Pang

Principal, Purpose Built Ventures

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

Max Lind

Senior Marketing Manager, Webflow

Try Contra today

Try Contra today

Get started for free. Add your team as your needs grow.

Get started for free. Add your team as your needs grow.

On a big team? Request a demo