contract recruitment

We’ve all read our fair share of COVID-19 recruitment blogs over the past few months. I had a laugh when I saw some of the articles from late 2019 and even early 2020 predicting some of the trends that we were likely to see throughout this year.

Who would have ever predicted just how disrupted 2020 would become!

Interestingly enough, I have been speaking with a lot of my clients and candidates lately who have either been stood down, been made redundant or have been the person making those decisions for other people. Losing your job, especially if it is a long-term, permanent position, in the middle of this disrupted period of our lives is far from ideal.

There are enough stresses from the health concerns that the virus brings itself, throw in there panic buying, travel restrictions, homeschooling and working from home. The last thing anyone needs is to be let go from their job.

But perhaps this is the time to step back and have a think about your options when it comes to the job market.

A lot of people that I speak with can have a fairly negative view around contract or temporary work.

Often it can be seen by employers as not showing any loyalty or job stability and for candidates, it can be intimidating knowing that even if you accept a contract role, you will be back on the job market once the agreed time comes to an end.

I get it. I’ve seen the good and bad from contracts and I understand the concerns.

But maybe 2020 and the short-term future beyond this year is the perfect time to consider contracting?

Although this might not sound like a great idea in such an uncertain time, I think it has its merits:

Clients can see it as less of a risk

If a hiring manager is under the pump and their team is being stretched beyond their capacity, they may decide that it’s time to bring in an extra set of hands! So off the hiring manager goes to put a business case to their boss to hire someone new. That business case will be a lot more palatable if they can offer a solution that only ties a company to an overhead for a fixed period of time rather than the thought of a full-time employee (FTE). Hence, more jobs could be around that are contract in nature!

Uncertain economy

As I’ve already mentioned, who knows what is going to happen for the remainder of this year and beyond. What companies do know is that this job/task/project (whatever that may be) needs to be done. Again, similarly to the above point, hiring managers may look at bringing on a temp or contractor to get an immediate job done without having to build a case for an FTE.

Candidates can dip their toe in

Contracts also give candidates the opportunity to “dip their toe in the water” of a new job and/or industry. You may have been in your previous role for quite a while before COVID-19 threw all of that loyalty out the window. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of making a move to a new industry or new type of role for a while but have found it too difficult? Now that you have the opportunity to try something new and “scratch that itch”, contracting is the perfect platform. Take on a fixed-term that lets you try something new and if you don’t like it, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the contract end date!

Get paid for all of your extra efforts

A lot of people I have spoken with recently have also been a little annoyed about spending years in an organisation going “above and beyond” only to be told that their role is no longer available. A lot of the time the decision behind redundancies is out of the company’s control so they’re not always to blame. But the beauty of working in a contract (admittedly, not all of the time) is that you get paid for all of the hours that you work.

Knock out a 12-hour day to meet a deadline, get paid for 12-hours! Spend 60 or 70-hours a week for month end? Get paid for 60 or 70-hours. Obviously, this can work the other way too, for an employer, if you don’t have enough work for the contractor to fill up an entire week you can arrange for them to work shorter days.

2020 will go down as one of the craziest year’s of our lives, regardless of how old you are! There are so many unprecedented situations and circumstances that we would have never considered. Maybe this is the year to take a risk that is in your control and try the world of contracting?

Even if you aren’t ready to make that call, why not make the much easier call to one of Optimum’s experienced consultants. We can walk you through how it works and what the benefits and risks are for your individual situation.

So many things have gone wrong this year, let’s change that, consider a contract role and finish 2020 off on a high!

Isaac Dufficy
Executive Consultant, Group Solutions

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