Should Trusts Expect Contractors to Transfer Knowledge to the BAU Team?

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I’ve heard stories from contractors where they’ve have been asked to knowledge share past the go-live stage as part of the ‘handover phase’ of the project despite it not being an expected part of their role beforehand. There have also been occasions where contractors have been asked to extend their contract after go-live stage, despite already having agreed jobs lined up elsewhere. This has left Trust’s having to pay out more money to extend contracts and/or hire new contractors to train staff.

Without prior agreement, and if contractors are expected to train up permanent members of staff by transferring knowledge it’s always 50/50 whether they choose to accept… Either way, nothing is ever guaranteed unless communicated before their contract is signed, sealed, delivered.

This goes to show that, if treated as an after-thought, employers could not only lose the opportunity to retain the contractor but could end up paying out more than originally planned in to the budget.


Implications for a Contractor:

1. Loss Of Future Work


Highly specialised in their area of expertise, contractors could potentially put themselves out of future work by choosing to accept the ask of knowledge transfer.


2. A Life-Time Investment Of Expertise


Contractors have spent years-worth of investment and training gaining the skills, knowledge, and experience required to be at an accomplished level – is it fair to set expectations that this to be handed over in a matter of months?


3. A Different Job Role


Teaching, training and knowledge delivery is a job in, and of, itself. Without knowledge transfer being outlined in their original role overview, contractors can view training to sit outside of the work they been brought in to deliver.


An Employer’s Perspective:

1. Paying For Added Value


Hiring Managers are willing to pay out more money for contractors when compared to a permanent member of staff therefore they would expect knowledge transfer to be part of their value add rather than an extra costing.


2. Loss Of Permanent Skill-Sets


Hiring managers need to be careful that if members of the BAU team are being up-skilled, they could potentially lose these permanent staff to the contract recruitment market.


3. Lost Knowledge


If there isn’t any transfer of knowledge by the contractor then expert knowledge is lost outside of the organisation whenever they move on to another job. Therefore, if there is an on-going requirement for specialist knowledge, hiring managers would have to consider additional training costs on top of contractor fees.


Expectation Conflict Resolution

How to guarantee knowledge transfer? The answer is transparency!


By tying knowledge transfer into the deliverables of a contract, the expectations are clear from the offset. Being transparent about the role, responsibilities, and delivery expectations of the contractor you’re wanting to hire means the process of contract hiring becomes a lot smoother and easier.