Does this sound familiar? You’re sitting down to conduct your nightly job search. You’re skimming through the various postings to see if anything exceptional catches your eye. You think you’ve finally found it — the one. You’re about to hit apply when you finally see it — the position is contract-to-hire. Annoyed, you write the position off, you’re not interested in a contract-to-hire arrangement. We’re going to stop you right there.
The truth is, a few unfortunate myths surround contract-to-hire positions that cause job seekers to miss out on some pretty stellar opportunities. With more and more employers choosing to fill their positions with contract employees every year, you can’t risk tuning out contract-to-hire positions when they come along. Let us throw on our sleuthing cap as we debunk these myths.
“Contract-to-hire positions won’t give me the job security I need nor a clear career path.”
Probably one of the most prevalent, and most misplaced, beliefs is that contract positions don’t provide job security or an appealing career path. First off, around 64% of employers plan to transition their current contractors into permanent employees. Also, most IT contract positions begin with a one-year agreement, and anything less than nine months is actually pretty rare. Either way, contract timelines should be discussed with full-disclosure before you sign on.
Knowing the above, ask yourself this question: Have you ever found yourself in a job that just didn’t live up to expectations? You probably felt stuck. Quitting a permanent position six months down the line can raise some serious red flags and cause you to wait it out even if you’re not satisfied. Contract-to-hire positions allow you to gain an inside look at a company, the projects you’ll tackle, and the skills you’ll hone before you commit as a permanent employee. Ready to go your own way after the contract ends? You can leave without hard feelings or black marks on your resume — just a new set of skills and experiences.
“Permanent employees receive preferential treatment and will be assigned more desirable projects and tasks.”
This myth can easily be dispelled by understanding that there is a whole group of IT pros who strictly prefer contract work over permanent gigs — and for good reason. Think about it this way. Often times, a company will choose to hire a contract employee because they possess critical skill sets that their current employee base just doesn’t have. Whether they’re rolling out a high-stakes initiative or simply need to bolster their teams, their department really relies on and values their consultants.
When our clients come to us with talent needs, they aren’t looking to just put warm bodies in seats. They want their contract employee to be a true member of the team, jive with their company culture, and identify with their company’s mission and purpose. They want them to feel supported and empowered.
Our Engagement Management Program provides an extra layer of support to all of our consultants, furthering their opportunities for growth and success. We provide high-touch support before and during placements, work closely with our clients to discuss extensions, and even offer a re-engagement program that enables us to connect consultants with their next ideal position after their initial contract ends.
“Contract-to-hire positions pay less and don’t offer the benefits my family and I need.”
While contract employees are often paid an hourly wage vs salary, on average they’re actually making more than their permanent counterparts. What about limited benefits? Though this used to be a shortcoming of contract-to-hire positions, it’s not the case when you work with the right staffing partner for your job search.
For example, at IDR we offer all of our fully-vested contract employees with benefits ranging from medical and a 401K to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. These don’t just check mandatory boxes, either. In fact, IDR covers 50–74% of our consultant’s monthly healthcare premiums — which is more than some permanent employees receive elsewhere.
The world of work is changing. While somewhere along the line contract positions might have gained a bad rap, this just isn’t the reality of today’s modern job market. More and more employers are turning to contract-to-hire arrangements. Along with this shift, job seekers are taking advantage of the flexibility that these positions offer. Next time you’re scrolling through the job board, don’t write off contract-to-hire opportunities — they could be just what you’re looking for.
We’re all one big team here. Check out how we provide high-touch support to our consultants every step of the way.