Most candidates are looking for job security, and generally speaking, job security is found in a permanent position in a company.

With the high likelihood of regularly changing jobs and the lack of seeing the long term impact of your efforts in a company, a contract job might not seem like the best way to achieve job security, nor would it seem to help one’s career progression.

But is this really true? Many believe that contract positions are a great opportunity that is often overlooked by job candidates. In this week’s blog post we explore further into this growing trend of contract work.

According to Michael Gilfillan, an IT HR expert, “the employment process is shifting; today companies are no longer guaranteeing permanent positions for the working life of an employee. Company loyalty means less in these extremely competitive days of global economies.”

The difference between a Contractor and a Permanent Employee

A contractor is someone who works for a business on a project or finite basis. In contrast, an employee works full or part-time for a business and is subject to national and state labour laws, including those that cover pay, benefits, termination procedures and taxes.

Companies that contract people to work for them have a different pay scale for them than the direct employees that they hire. Contractors cost companies much less than permanent employees because they don’t need to pay benefits, unemployment insurance, or holiday and vacation pay.

The pros and cons

For candidates actively looking for employment; who are in between jobs; those who have returned from travelling overseas for a long period of time (or want to continue doing so – for example 9 months on, 3 months off); or have other flexible situations; contract positions are most beneficial. Contractors never feel constrained by any particular role or organisation for a long period of time.

Those who plan to later go into permanent employment can also benefit. Even short term contracts look much better on a resume than a gap in employment especially if it’s work within a candidate’s industry niche.

On the other hand, a permanent job offers an individual the luxuries of job security and stability. Companies providing permanent jobs understand the need of promoting higher levels of job satisfaction to improve workforce performance. Furthermore, permanent employees have a more secure mindset. These employees are more likely to have higher money-saving tendencies than contract workers do.

While it depends on his or her personal situations or choice, a candidate should be more open to contract work as the idea of job security in a permanent position has changed. With the slowdown in the private sector and in times of economic recession, many companies have been forced to lay off permanent employees and make redundancies. There are many opportunities for both employers and candidates to grow and meet business challenges through contract work as demonstrated in this blog.

Click here to view a table of some of the pros and cons.

Have you taken a contract job before or hired a contractor? What were your experiences with contract work?

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