In an age with so much uncertainty, the world “contract” can send the alarm bells ringing, but is this hiring format really something to be afraid of, or is misinformation the real problem?
Long-term contracts are becoming more and more popular, specifically with enterprise companies!
Nine times out of ten contract roles only appear scary to most professionals simply because they’ve never had one before and they’ve never been educated on what it actually means.
If you read our Direct Hire vs. Contract breakdown, you’ll understand that at a high level “contract” is when you are not directly employed by the company you are working for. You are either an independent contractor (1099) or employed by a third party (W2).
See? Nothing to be afraid of!
Now what tends to make people reluctant is the uncertainty or “risk” of a contract.
It’s a valid concern, but it doesn’t mean all contracts are a total wash.
Try looking at it this way:
When it comes to contract positions, you need to break down with the hiring manager or recruiter what the nature of the position is and ask the right questions:
What is the length of the contract? Short term? Long term?
Is it to fill a short-term need or project?
Is there an opportunity for the contract to convert during or after?
Is this going to be W2 or 1099? Am I eligible for benefits?
There are so many reasons that companies hire “on contract”, and most of the time it has to do with headcount restrictions and red tape and not because the role is temporary.
We regularly see employers starting people on contract simply because they don’t have the budget for a permanent headcount. Maybe they’re waiting for the next quarter before they can pull the trigger on a new hire. So, in the meantime, you start working there as an hourly contractor until they get approval.
For those who are concerned that contract work can be risky or unstable remember the whole “Right to Work” thing.
As an agency that has been in the staffing industry for many years, we’ve seen the tremendous impact that contract opportunities have on candidates. There are countless reasons why contracts are valuable, but just to name a few:
Did you know that you can usually get paid more?
Yep. Because employers avoid a significant amount of payroll and administrative costs, they can sometimes afford a higher pay rate that still falls within their hiring budget, and guess who that benefits? You!
Contracts are a foot in the door.
This is significant and frankly a missed opportunity for most people. I don’t think you realize how often contract roles are the keys to the employment kingdom. They have a lot in common with internships in college: it gives the employer (and you, for that matter) an idea of what it’s like to work together and a chance to show your value to the company.
Fun Fact: Most large enterprise companies hire specific roles starting as CONTRACT ONLY. Trust me when I say…it’s a sure-fire way to finagle yourself into a position that you may otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
You’ll get hired quicker.
Employers often hire contractors to fill a skills gap that they can’t fill with their current team.
Urgent need = Speedy interview process
If you’re frustrated with having dragged-out, three-month-long interview processes, hiring a contractor historically moves faster. On the flip side, hiring another Account Executive (when they already have a team of 10), they can afford to take their time.
So, contracts. Are they bad? Absolutely not.
They can be quite lucrative and a smart way to re-enter the job market quickly if you’ve been laid off or you’re trying to transition industries or job titles.
You might have more questions than I’ve answered today. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you’re curious about contract opportunities.
And if you’re an employer looking to hire a contractor yourself, we’ve got you covered.