3 Wins of Contract-to-Perm Roles (Whether You're Applying or Hiring)
08/22/16 by HQ
There seems to be a lack of candidates and hiring managers these days interested in contract-to-perm positions, but why? A contract-to-perm position, also called contract-to-hire, is where employers would like to bring on a full-time employee but don’t want to commit to a permanent hire right up front. In most cases, a contract-to-perm employee will work on a specific project for a few months in hopes that their role will be converted into full-time.
As an employee, before you turn down a potential job opportunity just because it isn't "full time," consider how working a contract-to-perm job benefits you. There are three immediate ways that you can use this role to your advantage: resume, money, and the job itself.
Enterprise companies are constantly looking for contractors to work on their various projects. Names like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple don’t look too bad on a resume, now do they? Not only that, but because the contract phase of the job only lasts three to four months, if you aren’t onboarded, having the option to leave can open up the opportunity to work for a number of big-name companies. You can beef up your resume with some impressive work experience without the negative "job hopping" connotation.
Another reason why recruiters and hiring managers might stress contract-to-perm is because you can actively look for another job while making money (and most likely making more money than your last job or even your next.) If for some reason you don’t like the job, you don’t have to accept the offer to be converted to a full-time employee at the end of the contract. It’s okay to keep your options open. Contract-to-perm jobs also generally have a higher hourly rate than salary positions when broken down. It’s the best of both worlds!
Contract-to-perm positions have some of the fastest onboarding processes we see from any of our clients. These companies are looking to get the job done as fast as possible. The interview process tends to be easier as well – “Can you do the job? Yes? Great!” - because there is less emphasis on culture fit when they're going to see how you mesh in person. In most cases, you also have the ability to be more flexible with your hours. As long as the work is getting done, and you’re committing the appropriate amount of hours each week, your employer will be happy. Remember, the bottom line of these positions is to complete a project.
This ‘trial’ period is mutually beneficial for the employee and the employer. That's right, there are benefits for the employer, too. Wondering why a hiring manager would want to hire on a contract instead of permanently? With contract-to-perm positions, employers win in terms of the hiring process, the job itself, and the future.
Like we said before, the onboarding for contract-to perm-positions is typically pretty quick and painless. When looking for contractors, you’re looking to fill an urgent need and thus don’t have to sift through as many resumes and worry about the right ‘culture’ fit. When hiring for contract-to-perm roles, many managers work with recruiting agencies that provide benefits like healthcare and PTO, while also streamlining the hiring process for the company.
Being that contract-to-perm positions are more like ‘trial’ periods, if you find the candidate isn’t a good fit, you are not committed to taking them on full-time. The arrangement lets you weigh their skills versus how they are as an employee without having to commit right away. As recruiters, that fact alone trumps any argument about not hiring contract-to-perm. It’s like test driving a car before you buy it. Sure, it may look nice, but how well does it actually perform?
There are two scenarios that can happen with a contract-to-perm employee that can affect your future, both for the better. Say the hire is great and gets the project done but for whatever reason, doesn’t take/get offered to be put on full-time. That candidate will always be someone you can add to your network. If ever there was a time in the future when you need a project done, you know that you can call that person to get it done. On the other hand, if you flip the employee into full-time, you already know what you’re getting. The employee has already proven themselves as an asset and is a great cultural fit.
If you haven’t thought about hiring contract-to-perm or accepting that sort of position, give it a shot. It can open up a whole new avenue of potential opportunities.