Built to inform

Sign up for the daily newsletters

No, Thank you

Can freelance engineers benefit your construction business in 2019?

As updates emerge of global talent gaps, freelancers can power growth in the people-intensive construction sector

Freelance engineers can disrupt the global construction industry.
Pixabay
Freelance engineers can disrupt the global construction industry.

Over the last couple of years, independent news and updates regarding talent shortages and a skills gap have been shared by various HR and talent management experts from the global business community, and the construction industry, in the Middle East and elsewhere, is no different – but freelance engineers may soon change these dynamics in the people-centric building sector.

One of the most labour-intensive forms of economic activity, the construction industry is a major contributor to job creation and productivity. Given the fact that construction projects have a life span, the time that professionals spend with construction companies is, much like in the oil and gas industry, fixed for several years.

OPINION: Can higher salaries fix the Middle East's engineering skills gap?

However, with countries like the UAE rolling out long-term visas for specific groups of professionals, including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and talented experts from technical fields, independent construction professionals such as engineers and architects may now explore more independent opportunities in our otherwise-traditional industry.

Employers may too prefer to skip the typically extensive recruiting process, and instead seek freelance engineers and architects. After all, in doing so, construction companies would be able to work with highly specialised labour from a wider geographic pool, as well as save costs and simultaneously drive productivity gains.

CONFIRMED: Engineering experts among first recipients of UAE's 10-year visas

Depending on your preferences as a decision-maker, you may find that there are numerous advantages linked to hiring freelance construction professionals. The following article condenses the five most common benefits of working with freelance engineers. 

1. PAYING FOR TIME AND INPUT

For developers, consultants, and contractors it is much better an option to work with freelancers because they charge based on the number of hours they will work on a project.

READ: Spotlight on Mideast Gen Z as global youth reject construction careers 

According to Handiss, a UAE-based online marketplace to hire freelance construction professionals, independent contractors are a budget-friendly for companies considering that firms will only have to pay for the specific duration they require a particular skill-set for.

2. KNOWLEDGE BASE

Given the fact that a freelance professional is not bound to traditional employer guidelines, they have the liberty to work on their own terms and with as many clients as possible. There are several platforms where companies can easily get in touch with engineers, architects, and designers that can abide by project deadlines and deliver the work they have committed to. 

CW SKILLS GAP SURVEY: 72% say colleagues struggle to fulfill tasks

More importantly, their typically extensive portfolio of employers and projects means their prior experience on an American or European project might benefit your mega-development in the Middle East.

3. EASY AVAILABILITY

Freelancers are not your typical, time-bound employees, and so their availability is not fixed to a particular time. Construction companies can therefore rely on services from, say, a freelance architect that is an expert in their field. This flexibility can also help employers that have to deliver urgent tasks, which freelancers may be in a better position to provide.

4. FEWER COMMITMENTS

Since freelancers are more similar to contract labourers than full-time employees, employers are in a better position to reduce resources related to healthcare and insurance when they work with freelance engineers and architects.

CW SKILLS GAP SURVEY: Middle East construction staff want more

While these benefits are essential and even mandatory for full-time employees – and must be provided as stated by the law – freelancers can help employers cut expenditures if their people requirements will last for a shorter period – say, three or six months – rather than a full-time role's duration.

5. SPEED OF DELIVERY

Expert freelancers are aware of their abilities and will only take up jobs that they know they can finish on time. The key benefit related to hiring freelancers instead of employing a permanent employee for a limited-period project relies on turnaround time. 

Independent contractors are particularly beneficial for construction companies that have to work around seasonal schedules – for example, deliver a project immediately after the local midday work break rule has ended. 

Most popular

Awards

New category open for consultancies at CW Awards 2019 in Dubai
Sub-Consultancy of the Year to be crowned for the first time at the gala ceremony

Conferences

Leaders UAE 2019: Pinsent Masons confirmed as Gold Sponsor
Law firm is among the major construction industry players confirmed as sponsors for Leaders UAE's
Leaders in Construction UAE Summit returns in Sept 2019
Dubai conference to see top officials discuss the people, trends, and challenges that will power

Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 747
Aug 03, 2019