Forbes reported late last year on a growing trend that was sweeping the nation; tech employers are hiring contractors over full-time employees. In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 5.9 million workers in the U.S. were contract employees; that number has only increased. Another study showed the U.S. government is increasingly reliant on contract IT workers.
Why are contract technology positions increasing? Are there benefits for employers and workers driving these trends?
IT Contracting—Pros and Cons for Workers
A decade ago a temporary or contract technology worker was the anomaly. Contracting was frowned upon in corporate settings as a bad solution. IT contractors were viewed with skepticism and there were certainly fewer tech temps on the market.
It wasn’t just the company that viewed these workers in a different light; employees didn’t want contract work, instead, they wanted the benefits of full-time employment.
Today, things have changed. Employees sometimes prefer contract IT work. The pay is often better and technologists have the chance to work on a variety of systems and applications. Many times it’s much easier and faster to go into a contract IT position. Applying to full-time roles can drag on for months when contract positions can go from application to hire much more quickly.
Too, contract roles often pay at a much higher rate than a full-time position. Contracting roles can also last a very long time, and sometimes for years.
But not all is rosy for contractors. Contract technology workers are not usually offered the perks and benefits that full-time workers experience. Sometimes contract workers are not treated as a valuable member of the team, instead, as an outsider that may come and go at will. This can sometimes impact the experience they have at a client location. Contract technology workers also must pay their own taxes instead of having the employer withhold a certain amount from every paycheck.
But for employers, contracting has some serious benefits and few downfalls.
IT Contracting—Why It Works for Employers
For employers, there are very few “cons” to leveraging contract IT workers. Companies can save up to $100,000 annually per IT worker by sticking with contractors over full-time employees. That’s because employers are not required to pay benefits to the contract worker.
Employers can also hire specific skill sets they don’t currently have on the team for shorter term or project-specific work. Employers can also “try it before they buy it,” testing out the skills of the employee before hiring them full-time or looking for a better fit.
Many employers say it’s simply less risky and more cost-effective to contract with an IT worker.
Are You Considering IT Workers?
IT contracting is not expected to end anytime soon. If anything the use of technology contractors is expected to increase in the coming years. That’s where Blackstone can help. We have a strong pool of technology candidates available to help your organization succeed. We can help you design a new technology position and then find you the right candidate that fits your goals. Call on us.