Is It Time We Gave Contractors a Chance?

As a recruitment consultant in the tech space, I have seen that many hiring managers are wary of offering permanent employment contracts to individuals who have previously worked as contractors. The concern is that contractors may not be committed to the long-term goals of the company and may not have the same level of loyalty as candidates coming from a permanent background. However, I believe that if the motivations of the candidate are properly explored and they seem genuine, there is no reason not to consider them for a permanent position.

First and foremost, individuals who have previously worked as contractors can bring valuable skills and experience to a company. They often have a wealth of knowledge in their field, or a specific field and can hit the ground running with minimal training. This is particularly important in the tech industry, where rapid technological advancements require a high level of expertise and adaptability. Hiring an experienced contractor can also provide the opportunity for the company to bring in fresh ideas and perspectives, which can lead to innovation and growth.

Furthermore, individuals who have worked as contractors are often highly adaptable and flexible. They are used to working in different environments, solving different problems and can quickly adapt to new situations. These individuals are likely to have been in many different environments and can provide wider perspectives on what has worked and what hasn’t in different organisations.

Of course, there may be concerns around the candidate's ability to transition from a contractor to a permanent employee. Firstly, and probably the most common concern I will face will be remuneration. Contractors earn well, and employers are concerned that longer term is taking a drop in earnings sustainable. When I speak with someone who is looking to move in to a permanent placement from being a contractor if they show a realistic understanding of the salary they would be at for a permanent position it tells me they have done their homework and probably the math’s to ensure it is sustainable.

Secondly, there are always concerns whether the candidate will be able to stay in the same role for the long term if they are used to constantly changing environments. My experience in this is that next to stability the one thing these individuals are looking for is ownership. People with the right motivations will say this to me a lot. They struggle with not having longer term ownership over something and maybe having limited access to the future of a product for example and only coming in to find a solution to an individual problem.

In conclusion, hiring managers should not dismiss individuals who have previously worked as contractors as potential permanent employees. By exploring their motivations, being confident they are genuine and evaluating their fit within the company, hiring a former contractor can bring significant benefits to a company. With the valuable skills and experience that contractors offer, it may be time to give them a chance in permanent employment contracts. 

Posted by: Craig Fenn