Contingent Workers – How Your Pharma Company Can Benefit

Contingent workers can lend a helpful hand to your pharmaceutical company, stepping in to offer expertise when you need it and not overstaying their welcome. You likely already have a permanent rotation of employees, so why should you add contingent workers to your team too?

Besides the obvious advantages of being able to tackle specialized areas that your overloaded in-house employees don’t have time to focus on, contingent workers can actually save you time and help you better control your budget. It’s all about hiring the right experts at the right time.

Let’s take a closer look at how contingent workers can aid in the digital marketing of your pharma brand.

Examples of Contingent Workers

Contingent workers are non-permanent team members that have been hired from outside the company.

The main types of contingent workers are:

  • Freelancers and talented individuals, e.g. a graphic designer hired to create images for your next campaign,
  • Independent consultants, e.g. an SEO consultant who can give you advice and guidance on your web presence,
  • Agencies and third-party companies, e.g. digital marketing agencies who can help you strategize, organize and boost your entire marketing department.

These individuals and companies handle tasks that your in-house team cannot, usually because they lack the skills or time to get the job done.

5 Benefits of Contingent Workers for Pharma

When a pharma company lacks the skills or time, they can either hire another employee, train their employees, or hire contingent workers. Naturally, you might imagine that training your employees or hiring new ones would be the best solution – it is more permanent, after all. Enhancing your in-house team might seem cost-effective too… at first.

But there are some huge benefits to utilizing non-permanent individuals over training or hiring in-house employees.

Cost savings

Don’t make the mistake of comparing the salary of an employee with the cost of a contingent worker. While the contingent worker may have a marginally higher rate per hour, the in-house employee comes with a lot of additional costs that tip the balance.

With a contingent worker, you are not paying for:

  • Office/homeworking expenses,
  • Business insurance to cover employees,
  • Employee benefits,
  • Sick days and holidays,
  • Pension contributions.

No one understands that ‘time equals money’ like a freelancer. You get what you pay for and nothing more, because they don’t want to waste time!

A contingent worker or agency has calculated all those costs listed above into their rate or quote too. At the end of the day, it is more cost efficient to hire a contingent worker for a specialized task than to go through the process of training or hiring an in-house employee.


Using contingent workers allows your marketing department to become flexible.

For example, you might want to send one email a week, publish two articles per week, and host one webinar a month. 

You can either:

  • Train one employee to do all three… but do none of them well,
  • Hire three employees and get the job done perfectly… but spend a lot on three salaries for little work,
  • Hire three contingent workers who can do the work when you need it… and disappear when you don’t.

Contingent workers allow you to create the marketing team you need, when you need it, without strings attached. Chop and change your team as needed to be flexible.

Access to specialized skills

There are some skills that are just not possible to train your current employees to have, whether that’s because the courses are too time/money draining, or they just aren’t available. Some skills only come after years of experience in the industry.

Pharmaceuticals often require an extensive knowledge of regulations and industry-specific terms – a contingent worker already knows this, while an employee would require training.

Hiring contingent workers gives you instant access to these specialized skills. In the pharma industry, that may include the ability to organize omnichannel strategies, optimizing e-commerce platforms, and analytics on your campaigns, all through the lens of pharma.

Increased productivity

Using a temporary workforce boosts productivity by allowing your pharma company to scale up or down as needed. When you are in the midst of running a campaign for your next OTC drug, you can hire more workers to meet demand. When the campaign ends, you can reduce your team to just the individuals that are needed.

That means that once a worker is no longer needed, you aren’t left paying a salary for that job role. Furthermore, most contingent workers are comfortable working this way – unlike firing an employee, your contingent worker expected the role to end.

Reduce administrative burden

Hiring contingent workers reduces administrative burdens. We’ve already covered the financial burdens that employees bring, but there are also numerous administrative burdens. From filing taxes to organizing insurance policies and even hosting the annual holiday party, you likely have hired an administrator or two to manage your employees. It’s a full-time job!

Of course, there is still some administration involved when hiring individual freelancers (you can avoid this by hiring an agency), but it is drastically reduced.


Ultimately, contingent workers should be an integral part of your digital marketing department. Supporting your permanent employees and providing access to specialized skills, they could even be the key to pushing your pharma brand ahead of others in the industry. To find out what a contingent agency can do for you, take a look at our work at phamax Digital. Our on-demand service is flexible and operates on a simple pay-per-hour model. Learn more.

About the author

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Lamia Baha

Lamia is our business development manager but also a Doctor of pharmacy with ten years of experience in digital marketing. She advised more than 20 pharma companies and collaborated in 15 therapeutic areas. It seems that Lamia's experience has taught her more about different therapeutics than her Doctorate degree!

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