The Dirty Word in Recruiting… “Contract”

Tech Contracts Have Changed. Have You?

It’s happened to everyone. You get a call from a Recruiter and the position they are pitching is GREAT! It has everything you’re looking for – exciting company, great job responsibilities, location is awesome, then…you find out it’s a contract opportunity.

Once you hear that dirty word, “contract,” you’re done. “No way,” you say, “why would I take a contract role when I have something full time now?”

Concerns are fair, but many talented tech professionals look past too many fantastic job opportunities just because it’s a contract position. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

4 Reasons to Consider Contract Employment

1. “Contract” does not always mean “short term.”

A common misconception is that those two words are synonymous. They are not. In my experience, plenty of clients use contractors on a long term basis, some for years at a time. There are some contractors out there that are so sought-after that they rarely get a break between contracts.

If long term is what you are looking for, it’s out there. If a shorter term contract fits your lifestyle, then you can explore both options.

2. There are “Contract to Hire” options.

Make sure to note the difference between “Contract to Hire” and “Contract with POTENTIAL to hire” when you are exploring contract options. Many candidates stay away from contract to hire situations because there is no guarantee of being brought on full time. Contract to hire situations vary depending on each organization’s needs.

While some employers bring on a contract to hire employee with the headcount and budget already approved (expecting this role to go full time), others just use the “potential” to hire as a selling point to the contract. Be sure to find out what each case is by always confirming with the Hiring Manager on your first phone screen.

3. Contracting can be lucrative and flexible.

Working in a contract role with an hourly rate can prove to be much more advantageous financially. Use your full time role and stability as leverage for negotiating an hourly rate you’ll be happy with. You also get paid for every hour you work. So if you’re used to working 50+ hours a week you’ll see your pay go up substantially.

Contracts can also be flexible. You have no PTO days to adhere too, and you can take some time for vacation/family in between contracts.

The work can also be flexible. Contracting can allow you to work in different companies, different environments, and with different people. The experience you can gain with different contracts can be incredibly valuable.

4. Many contracts include benefits.

I often hear, “What about my benefits?” Some staffing firms, Talution Group included, help to cover health care benefits for their Consultants as well as 401k and other benefits traditionally included in full time employment.

Just because you’re leaving a full time job doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go find health care on your own.

Recruiters know that it isn’t always wise to leave a full time role for a contract, but more and more often I’m seeing that isn’t the case. Contracts can offer a lot of valuable experiences, they aren’t always short term, and they can be financially beneficial.

So, the next time you get a call about a contract role, at least give it a chance. Don’t let your next great career move pass you by because of that “dirty word.”


Ryan S_OP_TGRyan Swartzendruber, Technical Recruiter for Objective Paradigm’s Talution Group, recruits on both contract and direct hire positions in addition to his Account Manager responsibilities. Ryan’s focus is in the financial and software industries where he consistently meets clients needs by identifying and placing talent to help businesses scale. Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn here.  

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