Career Tips 17/04/2019 by "Gus Jansen"

Pros and Cons for Contract vs Permanent Employment in Digital

pros and cons for contrctors

The traditional terms of work have changed dramatically over the past decade. When the GFC hit, many companies were forced to downsize, then as the market picked up, many tentatively engaged new resources in a contract capacity, giving them more flexibility to operate lean, picking up and putting down people resources as required.

A decade on and contracting has become an increasingly more popular option for skilled workers. Particularly as technology has advanced and those in digital are in higher demand. Self-employed persons currently make up 18 per cent of the Australian workforce, and this number is growing.

Contract Employment

Contracting has enabled them to keep their wages high and pick and choose what they wish to work on, picking up and putting down projects based on what is out there, interesting and benefiting to their experience.

Contract work comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, candidates may charge hourly, or daily, and the lengths of contracts may range from a few days to a few years. The benefit for the business is that they only pay for work done; no holiday pay, or sick pay, just work completed.

The benefits for contractors are many:

  • Contract roles typically pay more than permanent roles
  • Contracting candidates tend to move around more, gaining experience on different projects, in different industries and with different teams
  • Contractors can often be more flexible with their time, as they only charge for time worked, so it’s easier to negotiate days off or different hours.

The flip side, however, requires us to take a different look at some of the perks – contractors have flexibility because they only get paid for the work they do. This, of course, means that there is not as much security. If a contractor is sick, has a family emergency, or anything comes up that stops them being able to work for a period, this is going to have a significant impact on earnings.

Just as a contractor can drop clients as they please, the client, too, can drop contractors as they wish.

Permanent employment

Permanent employment, on the other hand, is stable. The organisation pays a salary which includes great things like paid annual leave, as well as sick and carers’ leave. There are also often opportunities for bonuses, promotions and access to professional development.

The downside for the employee may be if there is a lack of exciting work and the downside for the employer is the responsibility of managing an employee that may become disengaged.

Of course, the above is a pretty black and white look at the employment landscape, and anyone working in the digital field today will know that the options for engagement go way beyond a typical permanent arrangement and typically contract arrangement. More and more permanent roles today offer workplace flexibility, so what was once only enjoyed by contractors exclusively, can now be enjoyed by permanent employees – things like remote working, hot desking and flexible hours.

Whether or not contracting is right for you is really up to you. If you’re good with your savings, welcome periods of forced leave while you look for new opportunities, and enjoy the flexibility to move around and try different things, then contracting is likely to be an amazing option that gives you the flexibility to explore and grow in your career. If you have a lot of financial responsibilities, uncertainty brings you stress, and you want to grow within a set structure, then chances are permanent employment suits you best.

Just remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to deciding how you like to work. Whatever your style, there is a company to suit you, and we can help you find them – whether it’s in a permanent or contract capacity.

Give Launch Recruitment a call today.