We’re not even halfway in to 2017, but already this year is on track to be one of the most competitive candidate markets in Denver’s recent history. This shrinking talent pool is creating an unusual situation for Denver accounting firms. The city’s economy is stronger than it’s been in decades and showing no signs of slowing down, driving increased demand for new work. The bad news? With unemployment at a record low, some companies are struggling to fill open roles, especially positions that require specialized accounting talent.

Fortunately, you don’t need to let positions go unfilled or settle for the wrong candidate. As Denver’s labor market has tightened in recent months, companies I work with are opting to utilize consultants, temporary workers, or contract-to-hire structures to find the right talent. Why? Tangible benefits include:

Significant cost savings

When you hire a contractor, you save on many of the costs associated with full time employees, including healthcare, retirement savings contributions, paid sick/vacation time and other benefits. When you hire a contractor through Lucas Group, you’re working with our employees so we provide health insurance for them.

Immediate availability

You won’t have to wait out a non-compete clause or even a two-week notice period with a contractor. They are available to start immediately. Plus, if you work through Lucas Group, you know that our contractors have already been vetted, reducing the amount of time you need to spend on screening and background checks on your end. Finally, you won’t need to go through multiple interview rounds or back-and-forth of contract negotiations like you would with full time employees.

When you don’t need contract help anymore, you simply end the engagement. No need for notice periods, performance plans, or severance. In the accounting industry, staffing needs vary greatly by season. Utilizing contract talent gives you the flexibility you need to scale your workforce up and down quickly and easily.

Try before you buy

Job interviews are not always the best way to gauge a candidate’s potential. Even with the most thorough vetting and extensive interview process, it can be difficult to know with certainty how they will perform on the job before they start. With contract-to-hire placements, you can bring an employee on board as a contractor for a fixed period of time with the understanding that they may be hired full time if they perform well. It’s a great way to test out a candidate before committing to full time hire. You can evaluate first-hand how they perform in the role, how they work with the rest of the team, and how they fit with your company culture.

Opting for contract talent isn’t a “fallback” or second choice. Increasingly, companies are choosing contract talent as their first choice for expanding their workforce. I recently placed a contractor with a firm here in Denver in a contract-to-hire arrangement. The client liked him so much that within a week they converted him to a full time employee!


If you’re looking to hire but can’t find the right candidate, don’t let that role go unfilled. To learn more about the contractor-to-hire process, contact me at JWoodbury@lucasgroup.com.