Contracting can prove incredibly lucrative when lined up next to permanent recruitment. As a contractor, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose who you work for, where you work and sometimes how and when you work. You might have more opportunities to network and make contacts in every contract you take on, you don’t get embroiled with organisational politics and you might even escape setting unrealistic objectives with your personal development plan.
So why would you give all of this up to take on a permanent role?
Well, the uncertainty of Brexit has caused people to question their financial outlook and opportunities when it comes to their career, housing, family, health and so much more. Brexit hasn’t impacted permanent recruitment in the UK though. In fact, the number of permanent vacancies grew by 0.3% year-on-year, while contractor vacancies fell 9% across the UK.
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and Staffing Industry Analysts’ launched the Professional recruitment trends report which revealed the highest rise in permanent vacancies was seen amongst financial services professionals, where roles jumped 16% year-on-year. Marketeers were hit hardest with a decrease of 21% in temporary marketing contracts. Comparatively there was an 8% decrease in IT-based roles and a 5% decrease in engineering-based roles.
So, if you have an interim consultancy or contractor background, is it time to consider a permanent gig?
Here are eight reasons why it might just be:
1. Job security
Having the security of knowing when and how much you are going to get paid every month can save you worry and sleepless nights; you’re less likely to be constantly thinking ‘what next?
2. Plan, plan, plan
With security, comes the ability to think ahead and make plans for next month, next year and even further into the future. Whether it’s booking tickets for a friend’s wedding abroad, saving for that kitchen extension or starting a little savings nest for your son or daughter, it’s all more achievable and likely to stay on track with the certainty of a permanent contract
3. Promotion opportunities
Contracting can be great for exposure to new industries, different companies, new knowledge, etc. but often you can’t progress into more senior roles and you’ll be overlooked for promotion opportunities over a permanent employee who has all the information on organisational practices, related and past projects, upcoming product launches, etc. As a contractor, you won’t take priority when it comes to attending conferences, courses and workshops; as a permanent member of staff, you’ll have equal rights to benefit from these
4. Paid holidays and other perks
Every day you aren’t working as a contractor will cost you, so bank holidays and the Christmas period can be stingers. Permanent employment provides benefits like paid holidays, pension schemes, private health care, car allowances, professional development funds. Some organisations are starting to see the importance of health and wellbeing for their employees, offering subsidised/free gym membership, yoga, mindfulness and incentive days
When people know you are in it for the long-haul, they’re more likely to invest time in getting to know you. Being a permanent staff member means you will spend more time with colleagues with more exposure to forge relationships with other departments and to feel part of a team. And that’s a nice feeling
6. No need to start over, and over, and over…
Being the new girl or guy can be exciting, a new challenge and learning about a new industry might be just what you need, but it can be tiring starting over, having to get to know new people, work out the office politics. You learn about one industry, but don’t necessarily have the opportunity to retain and utilise all of that information if you switch to a new industry. A permanent contract allows you to learn and apply that new knowledge, so there is more likely it will embed in your mind.
A permanent contract can open up flexible working options; for instance compressed or part time hours, the opportunity to split your time between two offices, or even one office and home. Often, short term contracts require you to have a presence in the office to make sure you can familiarise yourself with project information, ask questions and get answers from colleagues, to help you meet your KPIs in a short space of time.
Depending on whether you want to remain as a contractor in the future or not; a lot of short term contracts on your CV can raise doubts amongst employers as to your commitment to the job. Although it is more common for people to contract, to freelance and even have several career transitions, it demonstrates a level of commitment by staying in a role for a longer period of time.