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Q: What do candidates think about contracting? Don’t they generally shy away from contract assignments and prefer the stability of direct-hire placements?

A: They would, if the stability of direct-hire placements actually existed anymore.

You have to remember that the days of working 40 years with a single company and then retiring with a gold watch are gone. Not only that, the younger members of the workforce (those under 30) no longer desire to work for one company for the duration of their careers. They consider such a situation to be somewhat stifling, generally unexciting, and possibly detrimental to their overall growth and development. But the one thing they do need—just like hiring managers and everybody else—is flexibility, and working on a contract basis affords them that flexibility.

Below are just some of the ways that candidates can enjoy more flexibility by accepting a contract assignment.

1. Potential for higher earnings—Contractors are paid for every hour that they work, as opposed to a standard salary. In addition, they also get paid for overtime.

2. Opportunity to travel—With each new contract assignment comes the chance to work at another company in another location, possibly in a different city, providing new experiences for the candidate. In many cases, the contractor can also be paid expense money if they meet IRS guidelines.

3. Build a portfolio of skills—Every contract assignment can add new skills to a candidate’s resume.

4. Contract-to-direct—While working a contract position, a contractor can evaluate the company and determine if it would be a fit for them in regards to full-time employment.

5. Work-life balance—Contractors have more flexibility to prioritize and balance their personal life versus their work schedule.

6. Access to benefits—Full-time contractors should be afforded the same quality benefits as traditional, direct-hire candidates.

By offering candidates a number of different employment options (direct hire, contracting, contract-to-direct, etc.), you’re providing them with more flexibility in their job search and in their career. And as people become more and more overwhelmed with the responsibilities and duties associated with everyday life, they’re going to gravitate toward those who provide them with the flexibility they need to position themselves for maximum growth.

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