Contracting is a common employment arrangement in the IT industry, and it often brings significant benefits. At the same time, it can also be fraught with complications and risks. Here we'll explore some of what you need to know before becoming an IT contractor.
What is an IT contractor exactly?
An IT contractor is often called a freelancer. This is because contractors are hired for a specific job rather than an ongoing relationship with a company. In this sense, contractors can be viewed as modern-day specialists whose knowledge and skills are brought in for a specific project.
Contractors differ from traditional employees in that they deliver services at their own expense (e.g., equipment, tools) and often don't have the same rights and protections as other employees at the company they're working under contract with.
In this case, IT contractors are paid by the hour or by a project fee, usually a fixed price per job. If a contractor gets a project and completes it, they will typically be paid in full. However, there may be fees associated with hiring and managing contractors.
What is an IT contractor's typical role?
A contractor's typical role is to do the specialized project-related work that needs to be done. The projects are routine in nature (e.g., installing new software, configuring network equipment). However, the work may also include data entry or quality control for long-term applications or processes.
Some well-known job roles are:
Perks of the set-up
Contractors understand that they aren't full-time employees and that the company doesn't want to invest in things like benefits or long-term planning. They can get a steady stream of work and are often in demand, so it may be easier to get work than if you were a full-time employee.
Other ways contractors see their work as a benefit include earning more money, having fewer distractions from day-to-day problems, or keeping control of their schedules (e.g., making their hours and deciding when they work).
But to get clients, IT contractors need to have highly-specialized skills and experience, which is where the risks come in. Therefore, we highly recommend seeking help from technical recruiters to work on your application and resume. They can help you build your reputation and win more contracts.
The quality of the technology recruitment process is critical not only for you but also for your employer as they don't want to be wasting their time and money on the wrong people.
What are the risks of being an IT contractor?
IT contractors have little rights at work: In some states, they may have to be paid weekly instead of hourly or in a lump sum instead of the project. Contractors also have less protection against unfair dismissal, so if the company is unhappy with their work or quality, they can be let go at any time.
To protect yourself as a contractor, look for a technology recruitment agency. They can help you in many ways, including:
*Job search assistance
*Contract negotiation help
By working with a technology recruitment agency, you can also be sure that your employer is trusted by another well-known company, which helps you to avoid being used as a scapegoat if there are some problems in the future.
Being an IT contractor can be a lucrative employment option, but it also comes with risks. You might have fewer benefits, less job security and a higher risk of not getting paid.
If you're considering becoming an IT contractor, consider the pros and cons of this arrangement before deciding for yourself.