Contract Workers
Employee, Employer, Job Market

Contract Work —The Pros of Shorter-term

Is contracting on your radar as an employer or job seeker? This type of working arrangement has seen a big rise in the last decade.

Is contracting on your radar as an employer or job seeker? This type of working arrangement has seen a big rise in the last decade, with the uncertain times of the pandemic giving it another big push.

According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are currently 1.1 million independent contractors nationwide—8.3% of all employed. But what exactly is contract work? And why is it catching on?

What is contract work?

Contracting is when a company takes on an independent contractor to provide specific services or for the duration of a project.

Unlike casual work, where an employer hires an individual as a temporary worker on an irregular business or the gig economy, which is typically short-term, on-demand tasks or jobs, contract work includes a wider range of fixed-term arrangements.

Contract work can be long-term contracts of up to 12 months, fixed-term contracts and temporary assignments. It’s typically more formal and involves negotiations, meaning recruiters are often involved.

Some of the main industries that love a contractor are construction, manufacturing, government, IT services and other professional services.

Related: Preparing for NSW government interview questions

The pros for employers

Traditionally, permanent full-time employees have been seen as the sensible option.

The perception is that they’re more committed to their role and the company, they grow deep knowledge, and you can develop a talent pipeline. But, while there are advantages, there are also downsides. Plus, they’re not always right for every situation.

  • Have you been through a period where the workload was too big to manage?
  • Have you hired the wrong person in a rush because you’ve been short-staffed?
  • Have you found yourself short on a skill set for a certain project?
  • Has a resignation or extended period of sickness left you in the lurch?

Enter the contract worker. They can provide just what you need in these common types of business scenarios by:

  • Bringing the right new skills and knowledge to your team at the right time
  • Hitting the ground running as they’re adaptable and highly skilled
  • Delivering diverse experience and fresh perspective
  • Helping you tackle complex projects to deadline
  • Giving your team the skills needed to achieve your goals

In some cases, contract workers are even overqualified. For example, you might have someone who has been working in permanent roles for over 30 years but has decided to contract as they head to retirement. Just consider all the skills and knowledge they could bring.

As well as being flexible and skilled, contract staff also deliver cost savings as you’re not responsible for providing benefits such as super, paid leave and long-term job security. There’s also a shorter hiring process, reduced admin and lower training costs.


The pros for candidates

As with employers, job seekers have also typically seen full-time employment as the ideal. After all, it’s steady, long-term work, you get better benefits, build work relationships, and there’s usually career progression.

But, permanent work isn’t for everyone or every time in life. And contract jobs offer some pluses that can make it a great option, including:

  • Greater freedom and flexibility in your work (and personal) life
  • You get to choose the types of projects and contracts you work on
  • Increased diversity in the challenges and people you work with
  • Higher rates of pay due to a shorter term commitment, less benefits and your specialised skill set
  • You get to focus on the job at hand and avoid any office politics
  • A chance to expand your skill set and experience further

If you’re the sort of person who gets bored in a job after 12 months or enjoys going into organisations and helping them get through a major project before moving on, contracting could be for you.

While job security may be a concern, we often see contractors hopping from one contract to the next as they’re in such high demand. Okay, you have to do your own tax and admin—or you could just outsource it!

Contract Choice

Could contracting work for you?

While permanent jobs are still the bread and butter of the job market and recruitment industry, contract work fills gaps, is cost-effective and allows companies to finish projects and hit their goals.

For candidates looking for a fast-paced and interesting way to work, it’s also worth looking into. Your skills and experience are in demand.

As we all look for greater flexibility, contract creates the space for it. It also helps build more vibrant workplaces and careers—a big win, we say.

Looking to fill shorter-term employment contracts?

We can often have someone on-site in 48 hours. Considering a contract job as a possible career choice right now? We’ve got some great employers looking for your skills. Let’s start a conversation.


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