How to Evaluate Flexibility in Skill Sets for Contract Tech Talent

7 min

Over the last five years, we've witnessed a significant shift in the workforce landscape, with a surge in the contract workforce becoming increasingly prominent. This rise is particularly noticeable in sectors experiencing skill shortages, such as technology, where the demand for specialised skills far outstrips the supply.

The flexibility offered by contract jobs has become an essential solution for businesses looking to fill these gaps quickly and efficiently. However, as the nature of work evolves and projects become more dynamic, simply having the right technical is required enough. The ability to adapt to new challenges, learn rapidly, navigate the constantly changing technological space, and be more flexible has become just as crucial.

In this guide, we'll show you how to assess flexibility in tech workers, identifying critical skills like adaptability and willingness to learn. We'll provide strategies for evaluating these traits to find candidates suited for fast-paced environments.

Why is Flexibility Essential?

Tech constantly evolves, and professionals working within it must keep pace with the changes. This is particularly true for Contract tech talent who bring experience and skills to the table while continuously updating their knowledge to remain competitive. More and more organisations (41%) are addressing their skills gap by using contractors, and this is only increasing with tech talent shortages and job specs changing due to external developments.

As a business, when you hire tech contractors, you're looking for individuals who can adapt to different tasks and environments. Tasks may change, expectations may shift, and deadlines may fluctuate. Flexibility is critical in enabling tech contractors to embrace the latest technologies, making them better equipped to tackle various tasks for your organisation.

The benefits of hiring flexible, skilled professionals in this capacity are vast. Here are some of the key reasons that you should be ensuring that the Contract tech talent you're hiring should have flexibility in their skill sets:

  • Adapting to Different Projects: Tech contractors frequently switch between projects, each with its unique requirements. Flexibility allows them to quickly adjust to new environments and contribute effectively to various tasks.
  • Meeting Changing Client Needs: The tech industry's needs can evolve rapidly. Flexible tech contractors can modify their approach and skills to meet these changing needs, ensuring client satisfaction and project success.
  • Navigating Uncertainty: Contract work often involves uncertainties such as project timelines and unexpected challenges. Flexibility enables tech contractors to remain resilient, pivot when necessary, and find creative solutions to overcome obstacles.
  • Working in Agile Environments: Many tech projects follow agile methodologies, emphasising flexibility and collaboration. Tech contractors must embrace agility, adapt workflows, and contribute effectively to iterative development cycles.
  • Maintaining Competitive Advantage: Industries that utilise tech are typically competitive. Tech contractors who demonstrate flexibility stand out as valuable assets. Their ability to pivot, learn new skills, and embrace change gives them a competitive edge in securing new opportunities and building long-term relationships.

Flexibility is crucial for tech contractors to thrive in fast-changing environments, meet diverse needs, and stay relevant. It also minimises onboarding times, ensuring contractors can hit the ground running and deliver results efficiently.

Effective Evaluation Methods

In any industry that relies on contract jobs for specialised skills, the pace of change can be relentless. Projects, technologies, and objectives evolve, making flexibility desirable and necessary. Ensuring your contract workers can adapt as quickly as the landscape allows them to keep up with changes and lead innovation and problem-solving.

Flexibility is a universal currency in healthcare, finance, education, or tech. Candidates who have demonstrated the ability to navigate changes, learn new systems on the fly, and pivot their approach when projects take a new direction are invaluable. Regardless of the industry or project specifics, their capacity to remain effective sets them apart.

The conversation about flexibility goes beyond just identifying it as a critical trait. It's about understanding its impact on productivity, innovation, and project success in any field that leverages technology. Let's delve deeper into this topic, examining how adaptability influences outcomes across different industries and why securing Contract tech talent who can deliver results anywhere is critical.

1. Assessing Relevant Skills 

When evaluating flexibility in Contract tech talent, it is essential to consider more than just adaptability. Skills like versatility and a willingness to learn provide a better understanding of a candidate's ability to succeed in changing work environments. 

This approach ensures that selected candidates are well-prepared to meet the tech industry's diverse demands and contribute effectively to organisational goals.


Contract tech talent often faces fast-paced environments where project scopes and requirements can shift unexpectedly. Adaptability enables them to adjust quickly to these changes, ensuring that project progress remains steady despite challenges. For example, if a project's direction changes midway, adaptable contractors can effectively pivot their strategies to meet new goals.

Adaptability is also essential because Contract tech talent frequently moves between projects and organisations. Their ability to adapt to new environments, processes, and team dynamics ensures a seamless transition and allows them to make meaningful contributions from the outset.


Versatility is another critical skill for Contract tech talent, who are often tasked with handling diverse responsibilities. Whether coding, testing, or collaborating with different teams, versatility enables contractors to excel in various aspects of a project. This skill ensures they can adapt to other tasks and contribute effectively to project success.

Versatility enhances contractors' marketability, allowing them to take on a broader range of projects and attract more opportunities in the competitive tech industry. Contractors with diverse skill sets are valuable assets to organisations seeking flexible and adaptable team members.

Willingness to Learn

Continuous learning is essential for Contract tech talent to stay updated on industry trends and emerging technologies. A willingness to learn demonstrates contractors' commitment to professional growth and development, making them more adaptable to changing project requirements.

Contract workers actively seeking learning opportunities through online courses, workshops, or self-directed study are better equipped to tackle new challenges and contribute innovative solutions to projects. Their proactive approach to learning ensures that they remain relevant and adaptable in the evolving tech space.

Adaptability, versatility, and a willingness to learn are indispensable skills for Contract tech talent. By identifying and evaluating these skills in the early hiring and application processes, your business can begin evaluating flexibility in contract tech talent. 

In the sections below, we will discuss how to continue this evaluation during the pre-interview and interview process to ensure that you identify candidates who can thrive in rapidly changing work environments. 

2. Scenario-Based Assessments 

Scenario-based assessments offer a robust method for identifying flexibility in contract tech talent candidates. These assessments allow employers to evaluate candidates' ability to navigate real-world situations, showcasing their adaptability and versatility in dynamic work environments.

Scenario-based assessments begin with selecting a specific skill to assess, such as problem-solving or communication. Employers then craft scenarios to prompt candidates to recount relevant experiences demonstrating the targeted skill. For example, a scenario might involve a candidate needing to quickly adapt to a change in project requirements or technology stack.

During the assessment, employers actively listen to candidates' responses, paying close attention to details and thought processes. Probing deeper with follow-up questions provides additional insight into candidates' actions, decision-making, and outcomes in the given situation.

There are several benefits of scenario-based assessments for identifying flexible skill sets in Contract tech talent:

  • Uncovers Adaptability: Scenarios simulate real-world challenges, allowing employers to assess candidates' ability to adjust their approach, priorities, or skills in response to unexpected changes.
  • Focuses on Problem-Solving: By presenting candidates with challenging scenarios, employers can evaluate their ability to think critically and find solutions to complex problems.
  • Reveals Learning Agility: Scenarios provide insight into candidates' willingness and ability to learn from past experiences, demonstrating their adaptability and readiness to tackle new challenges.
  • Evaluate Resilience: How candidates handle pressure and navigate obstacles in scenarios reveals their resilience and ability to thrive in dynamic work environments.

In summary, scenario-based assessments are valuable for evaluating flexibility in contract tech talent candidates. By simulating real-world challenges, employers can gain valuable insights into candidates' adaptability, problem-solving skills, learning agility, and resilience, ultimately selecting candidates well-equipped to excel in fast-paced tech environments.

Formulating and Assessing 

Let’s consider an example scenario and what hiring managers should observe:

Imagine a candidate is presented with a scenario where a project's requirements suddenly change, requiring them to switch to a new technology stack with a tight deadline. The hiring manager asks the candidate to explain how they would adapt to this situation.

What to Look for in Responses:

  • Adaptability: Assess how the candidate reacts to the sudden change and whether they demonstrate a flexible mindset in adjusting their approach and priorities.
  • Problem-solving Skills: Evaluate the candidate's ability to quickly assess the situation and devise a plan to overcome challenges associated with the new technology stack and tight deadline.
  • Collaboration: Look for evidence of the candidate seeking input or collaborating with team members to navigate the change effectively.
  • Outcome: Consider whether the candidate's proposed approach leads to successful project completion or positive results, indicating their resilience and effectiveness despite the unexpected change.

By observing candidates' responses to scenario-based assessments and paying attention to these critical indicators, hiring managers can effectively identify candidates with the flexible skill sets necessary to thrive in contract tech roles.

3. Behavioural Interviewing 

Behavioural interviewing is crucial for assessing flexibility in contract tech talent candidates. This structured approach delves into past experiences to gauge soft skills like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. By utilising STAR-based questions (Situation, Task, Action, Result), employers can gain valuable insights into how candidates navigate real-world scenarios, showcasing their adaptability and versatility.

The process begins with selecting the specific skill to assess, such as communication or problem-solving. Employers then craft STAR-based questions to prompt candidates to recount relevant experiences demonstrating the targeted skill. For example, you might ask, "Tell me about a time you had to explain a complex technical concept to someone with no technical background. How did you approach it?"

Active listening is critical during the interview. It allows employers to grasp the candidate's response attentively, paying close attention to details and thought processes. Additionally, probing deeper with follow-up questions provides a deeper understanding of the candidate's actions, decision-making, and outcomes in the given situation.

There are several benefits of behavioural interviewing, including:

  • Uncovers adaptability: Behavioural questions delve into past situations, showcasing candidates' ability to adjust their approach, priorities, or skills in response to challenges.
  • Focuses on problem-solving: By asking about experiences with changing priorities or unexpected hurdles, you assess candidates' ability to think on their feet and solve problems in changing environments.
  • Reveals learning agility: Behavioural questions uncover how candidates learned from past experiences, providing insight into their ability to adapt and improve in new situations.
  • Evaluates resilience: Exploring how candidates handled pressure and stress showcases their resilience and ability to manage change effectively.

These advantages highlight how behavioural interviewing is a valuable tool for evaluating tech talent. This approach strongly predicts how they'll manage future changes and challenges within the contractual tech environment by offering a glimpse into a candidate's past flexibility-related behaviours.

Formulating and Assessing 

Let’s look at an example question to see what you should be asking and how to assess responses:

Can you describe a situation where you faced a sudden change in project requirements or technology stack? How did you adapt to the problem?

This question assesses a candidate's ability to adapt to unexpected changes common in contract tech roles. By describing a specific scenario, it evaluates how candidates handle shifting priorities, deadlines, or technologies.

What to Look for in Responses:

  • Adaptability: Pay attention to how candidates quickly adjust their approach or priorities to meet new requirements or technology.
  • Problem-solving Skills: Assess the candidate's ability to identify solutions or workarounds when faced with unexpected challenges.
  • Collaboration: Evaluate if the candidate sought input or collaborated with team members to navigate the change effectively.
  • Outcome: Look for evidence of successful project completion or positive results despite the change, indicating the candidate's resilience and effectiveness in evolving environments.

Your organisation can enhance flexibility evaluation by crafting behavioural interview questions that reveal candidates' adaptability, versatility, and willingness to learn from past experiences. Additionally, considering practical challenges or tasks that simulate real-world scenarios can provide valuable insights into candidates' ability to adapt and learn quickly. 

Ultimately, by incorporating behavioural interviewing into the hiring process, employers can identify candidates with the adaptive skills necessary to excel in different tech environments.

Wrapping Up: Evaluating Flexibility in Contract tech talent

Evaluating flexibility in skill sets for contract tech talent is imperative to ensure their success in changing work environments. Flexibility enables them to adapt to evolving project requirements, meet changing client needs, navigate uncertainties, and excel in agile methodologies.

By assessing critical skills such as adaptability, versatility, and willingness to learn through scenario-based assessments and behavioural interviews, businesses can identify candidates equipped to thrive in contract tech roles. 

Embracing flexibility in hiring practices enhances project outcomes and fosters long-term success for contractors and organisations. Therefore, integrating these evaluation methods into the hiring process is crucial for securing skilled and adaptable tech professionals who can contribute effectively to your organisation's objectives.

Excerpts in Contract Recruitment Solutions

At McGregor Boyall, we are experts in contract recruitment, providing tailored solutions for your business needs. Our consultants specialise in connecting you with top talent to drive your projects forward. With a proven track record of success, we have assisted numerous FTSE 100 organisations with their hiring needs. From urgent hires to anticipated staffing requirements, we offer full support at every step of the recruitment process. No matter how complex your needs are, we are here to help. 

Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive contractor recruitment services and how we can assist your organisation.