“No thanks, I’m not interested in contracts. I am only targeting permanent roles.”
The stigma around contracting seems to perpetually exist in the job market. “They are unstable”, “they won’t lead to a permanent role”, “contractors are treated differently than full-time (FTE) employees”, “benefits are not as good”, etc.. Honestly, these are true scenarios in some cases, but certainly not for all. Think of it this way, we could say the same about permanent roles; the company is unstable (layoffs or “reduction in force”), the company’s promotion process is convoluted and nearly impossible to receive performance raises, some workers are treated more favorably than others, etc.. Yes, there are ways to eliminate contracting stigmas, but one must be open-minded. Let’s dive in.
Stability? Yes, it’s a rational thought that contracts can end at any time and with short notice. But guess what? So can your permanent job… *queue* the continuous 2023-2024 mass industry layoffs are a prime example of this. The stability of a permanent position is a false reality. The reality is, the word “permanent” is a placeholder for “contract” on your FTE offer letter, it’s misinformed, to provide a sense of stability.
Benefits? A permanent position generally offers better benefits vs. a contract position so it’s important to note that contract hourly $ rates are typically slightly higher than FTE hourly rates to compensate for this. Here at WCL Group, we offer Medical, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance, and 401k w/ 4% match. In addition, WCL understands how valuable our consultants are in their industry market and to the companies they choose to work for. In most cases, we help our contractors successfully negotiate more pay and benefits during the FTE conversion process due to the experience and knowledge of the company’s processes they can leverage. If there’s no FTE offer, we will match you to similar positions or teams that are hiring.
Inclusion? Every company handles its Diversity & Inclusion differently. The best thing a prospective contractor can do is research the company they are considering and then ask questions throughout the interview process. Ask your recruiter. Ask each interviewer you speak with. This will help create an image of the company culture and make sure it aligns with your own beliefs and values.
Are you looking to gain more skills or perhaps make a career or industry change? Consulting is an amazing way to make those transitions, and oftentimes a lot more attainable than landing a permanent position. It’s a ‘try before you buy’ opportunity for YOU!
Next time a recruiter reaches out to share a contract opportunity, we challenge you to be open-minded because you never know if it will lead to your dream company, or provide an opportunity to gain more skills or financial abundance. Most importantly, ask questions BEFORE you say no and eliminate yourself.
Examples of questions to ask your recruiter, but most importantly, to ask the interviewers at the company!
- How does the company treat contractors? What feedback have you received from current or former consultants?
- What is the company’s history of extending or converting contractors?
- What benefits are offered to contractors?
- What is the company’s history of layoffs?
- What is the reporting structure? How many contractors are on the team?
- If my contract were to end early, are there other roles or teams I can be considered for?
- Why is the contract currently slated for #months duration?
- Where is the team currently at in the project lifecycle?
Don’t be so quick to rule out a job just because it’s a “contract.” It may be your opportunity to “try out” the company or industry before fully committing to it. If the recent industry workforce reductions have taught us anything- it’s to be open-minded, you never know where an opportunity might take you.
-M.H. on behalf of WCL Group