Some super-talented candidates would certainly prefer to try-before-they-buy. For them, doing a contract-to-hire works.
But most want the stability of a full-time job with benefits, stock, etc. before they are willing to move from their full-time job. This is especially true in San Francisco, where SafeGraph is based.
SafeGraph’s goal is to hire a small number of super talented people. We do a lot of due diligence on the people before we give an offer so that we can ensure that everyone on the team is an A-Player.