Companies use contractors for all sorts of reasons and knowing what these are can give you a huge advantage over your competitors. By positioning yourself correctly, you can boost your chances of working for the clients you like, doing the jobs you prefer.
Our experience at ContractingWISE has shown us that there are some obvious and not-so-obvious advantages that contractors have compared to full time employees, as well as some disadvantages that you may also need to consider.
Contracting pros and cons: Interim and short-term roles
Hiring a permanent employee takes time and effort and doesn’t always come off. After advertising, sifting applications, interviewing, shortlisting and assessing candidates, companies then need to offer the job and usually wait at least three months for their chosen candidate to work their notice period.
A contractor is easier to hire and fire – they are usually available quickly and there is a defined period to their contract. Contractors may act as stand-ins for permanent roles, keeping the seat warm until a permanent employee is hired. Keep in mind though that this sort of position can pose an IR35 risk. It’s also worth remembering that some companies may want to hire contractors on a permanent basis if they shine during the contract – so be prepared for an offer. And during negotiations, you might want to remind them how much money they are saving in recruitment consultancy fees.
Contracting pros and cons: Project work
Some projects, particularly those that involve some sort of change to the organisation, are ideally suited to contractors. Instead of diverting permanent staff from their day-to-day roles, companies like using contractors who may have specialist expertise. Developing your project work skills is likely to pay dividends.
Contracting pros and cons: Specialist skills
Sometimes companies would dearly love to hire full time rather than on contract – but there just isn’t anyone available. At ContractingWISE, we have found that fields such as IT and finance often have a severe shortage of qualified, experienced people. For the lucky few it makes sense to stay contracting – they get more money as contractors and choose their work. But beware of market changes and try to think whether the situation will be the same in a year’s time. Firms also like specialists as they take less time to train, so the job may be done more quickly by a contractor than a new hire.
Contracting pros and cons: Flexible location and adaptability
Permanent employees are bound to one location but contractors may be able to relocate for the length of a contract which means companies have a bigger pool of talent to choose from. Contractors also need to adapt to new environments quickly, and can also cast fresh eyes on a problem.
If you’re unsure about the demand for contractors in your work sphere, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at ContractingWISE – we’re always happy to help.