Although organisations have increasing needs for contractors, professionals are often hesitant to move to a contract position. Some common concerns include being regarded as a 'jumpy' candidate, the lack of job stability and unclear career development.
However, as the contract market continues to mature, some of these perceptions no longer hold any truth and there are some key benefits to working as a contractor.
According to our latest Hong Kong Contracting Survey, 41% of respondents considered higher pay as a key benefit of working as a contractor, the highest among all factors. “The market is changing. Contract positions are no longer only entry-level roles and we have worked on VP or director-level positions, especially in the IT and HR sectors,” explains Carly Adams, associate director of contracting in Hong Kong. “Moreover, as companies can often save on headcount and benefits when hiring contractors, they are able to offer higher salaries to attract professionals.”
Exposure to new skills
Apart from higher pay, 24% said exposure to new skills is a key benefit of being a contractor. “Many contract positions are project-based, allowing professionals to be exposed to new systems and processes, acquire new skill sets and build expertise in specialist areas,” says Adams. “Some high-level projects also require the person to work with different business units and it's a good way to build connections and expand your network.”
Shorter interview process
Shorter interview process is another key benefit identified by 18% of respondents. Some positions (especially those for emergency cover) require candidates to start immediately and there will typically be no more than one round of interview in this case. Carly Adams explains; “The difficulty in hiring contractors means that organisations will try to make the hiring process shorter, since the longer the process is, the easier it is to lose out on their preferred candidates.”
Experience in different industries without the need to commit
Contracting allows professionals to try before committing to anything long-term, making it ideal for those who want to switch industries but aren't sure which way they want to go yet. Moreover, candidates often find it easier to start with a contract position as companies are more open to considering jobseekers from different backgrounds.
The market is changing. Contract positions are no longer only entry-level roles. We have even worked on VP and director-level positions, especially in the IT and HR sectors.
Better work-life balance
For professionals who want a better work-life balance, contracting might be the answer. “I know candidates who are only interested in contract positions and they often take a few months break between each contract to go travelling or to take up short courses,” says Adams. “Contracting offers the freedom that might not be possible to have in permanent roles.”
To find out more benefits about contracting contact Carly Adams, Associate Director, Hong Kong on +852 2103 5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.