Contracting Success: The Power of Passion & Efficiency in Talent Strategy

Contracting is currently the talk of the town, and contracting-specialist recruiters are in high demand.

After 20 years in the industry, we have seen first-hand the benefits of integrating contracting into a successful talent strategy. Contracting provides the opportunity to not only secure specialist skills, particularly in times of transformation, but allows the flexibility to scale up or down as business and market conditions change. 

Just like the contractors themselves, having a specialist recruiter with the skills to provide quality candidates at pace means a quicker turnaround with minimal team and business disruption. So what makes contracting recruiters different from all the rest? 

We speak with Katie Newman, our Senior Consultant (Contracting) for Accounting and Finance, to find out why her high-energy and efficiency contributes to success in the contracting space. 

Meet Katie

Tell us about your Six Degrees journey

“I had a contact in the industry who told me all about life as a recruiter, then I met a few people at Six Degrees and away we went! It’s been a wild ride. I began as a Talent Engagement Specialist in the Not For Profit/Education/Health team, then was promoted to a Consultant where I recruited in Marketing, Comms, and Fundraising.

When Covid hit, the industry was highly impacted which led me to the Accounting and Finance space and a focus on contracting. More employers today view contracting as a strategic pillar of their hiring strategy, and being part of this strategy to support a team in a difficult time is very rewarding.” 

What do you love about contracting? 

“The compressed timelines really suit my style of working. Clients usually have a specific need that requires filling in a very short period, meaning I need to move fast, think on my feet and make quick decisions. Contracting requires a high level of emotional and social intelligence, as you are working with people and their livelihoods, and I take this very seriously in my line of work. I enjoy getting a call from a client “in a pickle” and being the person who can solve their problem for them. Being able to help and support people is excellent in terms of job satisfaction.”

“Yes, I walk very fast”, Katie says. “And fast walkers apparently make for great contract recruiters. A permanent process can take anywhere between two to eight weeks and can’t compare to a contract process where you can get an immediate win for a client. A contract process is usually completed within days and most often within one week from role briefing to candidate start date. I have clients who call me at any time of day with an urgent need, then it’s drop everything and go-go-go to get it done!”

“Most are unaware of how quickly we can fix a staffing problem with a contract or temp resource, who more times than not gets extended or is offered a permanent role. I ensure a smooth, fast and seamless process, where we do the heavy lifting during a businesses’ most critical time of need.”

Katie is undeniably high-energy, spending her free time traveling, skiing, playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, and – more recently – chasing around her very active toddler! “Don’t get me wrong – I also love to relax on the couch with my family and a nice glass of wine, but there’s definitely something about contracting that suits people who enjoy fast-paced adventure and risk-taking”, she says. 

What are the biggest challenges? 

“Staying organised, time-management pressures and the contracting juggle! Contracting moves so quickly, it’s important to have the right systems and processes in place, as well as the ability to be micro and macro on any given day. Contracting specialists need to be as efficient as possible as there’s a lot of juggling and prioritising of my workload, which is why shifting from permanent to contract work needs a mindset shift to adjust to a different pace.

It’s important to have really honest and transparent conversations with your clients and candidates, and it can be a challenge to provide feedback on a brief that may be too complex or to communicate about the lack of candidates with a specific skill that a client is looking for. It all comes down to really good communication skills and the ability to build those strong relationships with your clients, as they need to trust that your advice is sound. I hope that I more often than not- under promise and over deliver, as I know my own time-management and know the market well.”


Are there any career highlights you'd like to share? 

“This entire year has been a career highlight! I was Contracting Consultant of the Year, first in 2021 and again in 203, and have recently been promoted to Executive Consultant. I have been a Six Degrees for over five years, and there has never been a dull moment. The future of contracting at Six Degrees is going to be another exciting journey that I’m going to embark on.”

Get in touch 

Looking for contracting talent in Accounting & Finance? Get in touch with Katie Newman.
For general information about our contracting services, click here