Why More Tech Workers and Companies Are Choosing Contracting in 2021
10/14/21 by John Howard
As we approach the end of 2021, certain trends are beginning to become clear in the tech industry, with an undeniable one being that more and more tech workers and companies are looking for contract positions. A decade ago, it seemed that the folks who sought contract roles and those who were looking for permanent roles were in completely different candidate pools, and there was not much overlap between the two in the Venn diagram of jobseekers. Recently, the intersection of those two sets has grown dramatically. Some of the best companies are taking a contract-first approach to hiring, and job seekers are responding in a big way.
This is shown in the data, where here at Motion’s Southern California office, we just had the company’s most productive contracting quarter in its 32-year history. Simply put, we have helped more technologists land more contract/contract-to-hire roles than ever before. Now that we know the “what,” it is important to also analyze the “why” and see the reasons for such an increase in contract hiring.
1. Companies and Candidates can "Sit Before you Commit"
Companies and job seekers are truly embracing the “try before you buy,” or as I like to call it more appropriately, “sit before you commit,” approach, which allows both parties to work together on a trial basis before committing to something more permanent. This aligns perfectly with today’s remote-first workplace.
Because of this, companies are able to drastically condense their interview process. Many companies are able to make a decision off of one interview, which greatly improves the candidate experience. This doesn’t mean that companies aren’t getting all of their interviews in during the process…they’re simply allocating resources more effectively and efficiently. The benefit is twofold: it improves the candidate experience while not taking away nearly as much production time from their teams on a daily and weekly basis. This leads to the second reason…
2. Contract Roles Speed Up the Hiring Process
As we continue to see the number of job openings rise nationwide, companies have to get more and more aggressive with their hiring strategy, creating more opportunities for hiring quickly and aggressively. In doing so they’re allowing their contractor partners to assume some of the stakes, including benefits, managing COVID-related issues, etc.
3. Hiring Competition is No Longer Regional...It's National
It’s no secret that 2020 and early 2021 were clouded in doubt, which in turn impacted companies’ roadmaps, revenue goals, and of course, hiring plans. A lot of initiatives were put on hold as we collectively figured out how to function, much less thrive, in a remote-first work ecosystem.
What has ended up happening is that remote work has leveled the playing field. Companies are competing for the best candidates across the US, and the company that can offer the best opportunity the quickest is going to capture the talent. The companies and managers that recognize this are turning offers around within 4-5 days of the first (and often only) interview. They’re leveraging contract hiring to do this.
4. Contract Employees Getting Paid for Every Hour Worked
Another benefit of contract roles for the candidate is that they’re truly being paid for every hour worked. One of the biggest complaints over the first year of the COVID experience was that people were burnt out working 9, 10, 12-hours a day. They couldn’t get away from their home workspace and thus did a lot more work. Contractors are paid for every hour worked, and in certain cases that comes with overtime pay. Companies, being cost-conscious, are limiting hours to 8/day OR paying a premium for their contractors’ time, which creates a better work-life balance for contractors.
Here in Southern California, we’re actively working to fill a number of open contract/contract-to-hire openings in all different tech fields across Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego areas, but beyond SoCal, contract roles are becoming more frequent around the tech world. If you’re interested in finding a contract or permanent role inside the tech industry, Motion Recruitment has specialized in mid-to-senior level IT professionals for over 30 years. Contact our offices to see how Motion can help you find your next job or hire, and make sure to download our 2022 Tech Salary Guide.