Contract Vs. Full-Time: A Comparison for IT Employers

It’s without a doubt a great time to be an IT professional. There are over 11.5 million tech jobs in the US today and tech jobs account for an estimated 8 percent – more than $1.3 trillion – of total activity in the U.S economy. Also, compensation for IT professionals continues to increase year after year, increasing by almost 5% in 2017.
For IT Professionals in today’s market, the availability of contracting in the industry is a major perk. Experts predict the US workforce will be 40% contract workers by 2020. While contracting exists in every industry, it’s more predominant in the IT industry giving IT professionals great flexibility in deciding whether they want to work full-time or freelance.
As an IT employer however, deciding when to hire full-time or hire a contractor could be a very important decision for the success of your business. To determine what employment option best suits the role you are willing to fill, you need to be aware of a few things, they include:
1. Hiring a contract employee usually requires a different pay structure than bringing someone in full-time. Because contractors pay their taxes, benefits and marketing costs, they typically cost more than in-house employees.
2. The short-term nature of a freelance contract does not create loyalty. If your competition offers your contractor higher wages, your contractor could very easily switch ships. With full-time employment however, you could include a clause in the employment contract restricting the employee from working with a direct competitor for at least 3-9 months after leaving your organization (depending on the sensitivity of your business).
3. Contractors often come with a wealth of experience because they continue to work short-term for various employers. Those who have worked with your competitors can even reuse strategies tried and tested (within ethical boundaries). Contractors also continue to train and improve themselves to be more marketable.
4. Full-time employment usually gives a sense of family and community and contract employment rarely does. With a full-time employee, there is usually a gestation period, where the employee is allowed to make mistakes and usually, dedicated employees become assets to their companies.
When You Should Hire A Contractor Vs. Full-Time Staff
If you find yourself hiring people for the same task on a regular basis, you’ll probably benefit from employing someone full-time to fill that role.
Legally, in the US, contractors can only work 1,040 hours for any one employer each year. If you find a contractor indispensable to your operations, consider offering them full-time or contract-to-hire employment.
If your business is in a rapidly changing environment, a contractor could be an ideal choice. You bring in people with specific skillsets to accomplish specific goals, like building a website or

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