Dissecting the Pros and Cons of Contract Employment


Contract Work is an outstanding way to build a career from the ground up or build upon an already established career, in that it provides employees with many opportunities they otherwise simply wouldn’t be able to find on their own.

Contract employment, however, can be downright scary for the first-timer, especially for younger professionals who have goals set on settling into place at an established company long-term.

First, it is important to realize the pros and cons of contract employment, the three main types of employment contracts and how they differ from one other before deciding if contract work is right for you.

Types of Employment Contracts

There are three main types of employment contracts, each with specific differences.

Contract Positions

Temporary contracts are a great way to boost your resume, as on-the-job experience is often one of the main things employers look for when hiring full-time staff. The problem employees often run into is not having enough experience despite having a great educational background.

Contract positions don’t involve the same commitment as a full-time opportunity, and are often defined at the project level or on a specific time frame.

Companies will hire contract positions based on seasonal needs or staffing needs (such as when a critical employee takes paternity leave) or during special projects. For example, a company may need a contractor during a website redesign, or look for someone to help during a transitional period when integrating new technologies.

A contract position is beneficial because:

• Large-scale companies look for contractors – and having the names of these companies on your resume – even for a short time period can give you a big boost.

• Contract positions give you the opportunity to work on new and exciting projects – providing the opportunity to make an immediate impact within the organization.

• Once a successful contract expires, your recruiter will work with you to find your next opportunity quickly – giving you the opportunity to work in a wide variety of industries and find your true interests and strengths.

• Employers often look for contractors who can jump right into a position, with minimal training or supervision.

• As a contractor, you won’t have to be as involved with office politics as full-time employees.

• Contractors may earn more – at least in the short term vs. full-time employees.

Contract positions may not be a fit, if:

• You think you will be offered a full-time position following your contract period. It is possible to impress an employer enough during a short contract period for them to find a spot for you, but remember, this is a contract, and there is no commitment beyond that.

Right to Hire Positions

The second of the three types of employment contracts is right-to-hire. These types of employment contracts serve as a “trial period” for both the employee and employer, often times resulting in full-time employment and a spot on company payroll after a successful contract period.

These positions are an excellent opportunity for employees, because like contract positions, they offer a foot-in-the-door at larger companies who may or may not advertise direct hire positions. Best of all, if you do your job the right way and have the right attitude, nine times out of 10, taking on a Right to Hire assignment will get you a permanent job.

A right-to-hire position is beneficial because:

• There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you very may be offered a full-time job if you are successful.

• You want to “test the waters” within a particular industry, but are on the fence about the company, industry or culture. Your next job has to be a mutual decision between you and your employer. This method lets you try your next job before you buy into it.

Gaining full-time employment from a right-to-hire position still has to be mutual. It’s called “right-to-hire” instead of “obligation-to-hire” for a reason. The same goes for any job, whether it starts with a contract or not.

Direct Hire Positions

Sometimes, companies don’t have the internal time or resources to commit to sourcing and obtaining high-quality employees, outsourcing direct hires to a third-party agency.

Direct Hire positions are exactly like any other job you would find listed on a company website or job board – as there are no strings attached.

With a Direct Hire position, an employee goes straight to payroll, and is eligible for corporate benefits in accordance to their internal policies, and many employees prefer Direct Hire positions for these reasons.

While Direct Hire is often preferred, it is important to not be scared by contract work. There are pros and cons of contract employment, but in our opinion, the benefits heavily outweigh the potential risks. Contract jobs provide true opportunities, allowing consultants to find their niche and make a difference at companies they otherwise wouldn’t be able to make a difference at.

For those just starting out in technology fields, it’s hard to land that first-time gig at a Fortune 500 company, but a succession of successful contract engagements at companies of that size is a “foot in the door” and can give a resume the boost it needs over time to succeed at a permanent placement.

Envision is a full-service staffing partner offering employees Contract, Right-to-Hire and Direct placement opportunities.

Go ahead and test the waters. See our available job opportunities now.