Temp/Contract taking over employment landscape?

So I’ve been out and about applying for jobs periodically for the past few months. I’ve noticed a lot of jobs that are traditionally perm positions converted over to contract only positions. Often they’re full time for 5months to a year with no opportunity to go perm at the end of the term.

I’ve also seen some director level positions that are offered up as temp for 1 year and then perm. How do companies expect to find the right individual with terms like that? It seems focused to take advatnage of those unemployed. But what do those do that are looking to transition who already have a job. Or those that are willing to relocate. But to relocate for a temp to perm position?

I can see that offering a position like that makes it easy for them to eliminate the position/person with no compensatory responsibilities afterward. But is it ethically the correct thing to do?

I’ve heard that some companies prefer this route because they’ve had some really bad candidates that were hard to get rid of. But isn’t that part of selecting the right candidate to begin with? Most states are at-will employ, so it shouldn’t be THAT hard to get rid of someone you disapprove of right?

a lot of time it has to do with budgets. On a budget, and extra salary can be a more difficult ask than using an “outside resource”… or contractor. With this economic climate, the work is picking up, but the salary budgets have not just yet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the people that get hired on as contract to convert to full time employment if it works out…

When it is project based work as a lot of design work is it is easier for a company to see the income vs expenses of a contractor than it would be necessarily for a full time employee. It’s an easy way for companies to keep a reign on costs in these times when they can hire someone for x amount and bill their client for y and keep the profit.

My wife has been on contract as an advertising producer and all her hours are assigned to the job she’s working on and it gets billed (plus a hefty mark up I am sure) to the client directly… so essentially the company assumes no cost. It’s very clean.

Bringing people on for a heavier workload is one thing, but there are several big companies out that prefer permanent contractors to reduce their overhead and get out of paying for benefits (I believe). Ive seen it in tech and government work in the last ten years - some situations aren’t so bad, but others are flat out insulting…

because of some lost corp lawsuits, they sometimes make an extra effort to make contractors never feel like they are never part of a team… I was a contractor at my first ID job and couldn’t join company parties with my friends, play company sports, be compensated for assisting with patents, even get reviews, etc. With more experience now, I would never sign on as a contractor with company like that, unless I also worked on outside projects or really wanted a particular experience.

The other contracting experiences were fine, in companies where 80% or so of workers were outside contractors

I guess it’s just bothering me because it’s a position I’ve interviewed for and interested in. I have a full-time job currently that is not at risk. So the thought of leaving that to go temp-perm is concerning. I’m just really tempted by the opportunity and it may be clouding my good judgement.

There are positives as well. As a contractor you can likely write off a lot of your expenses that you would otherwise not be able to. This nets you more after taxes. Plus as a contractor you can normally do side freelance projects that a full time position with a non-compete might not allow.

Food for thought.


I’ve seen contract designers who slow projects just a day or two a week… giving time for independent work and a stable income. It’s an almost perfect situation for entrepreneur

I have a full-time job currently that is not at risk. So the thought of leaving that to go temp-perm is concerning. I’m just really tempted by the opportunity and it may be clouding my good judgement.

That is the question - why would someone sign on as a temp if they could get a perm job elsewhere .

If you want a particular experience, it’s not a bad way to get it - It used to bother me not being permanent, but I earned experience that helped me very much in the long run. Guess you need to reflect on where the new experiences could take you and if you like a little uncertainty

just like R said, there can be tax advantages. Besides itemizing, sometimes you can set up the payments as 1099s and have more flexibility with how you pay taxes (especially if you incorporate)

The position was a director level position so I’m not sure I would have had the opportunity to do freelance work on the side. What was puzzling to me was that they explained the position would have been perm but they’re going through a merger which turned it into a temp position. Basically, they didn’t know if the postion would remain in the company after the merger was complete.

I got a call yesterday let me know I was no longer in the running. :cry:

They appeared to be a good company and the people I interviewed with were very plesant to deal with.

A director level temp position?

“Yeah, its a Director job… but we’re not sure if we’re going to have the position in the company much longer. You want in?”

Sounds like its a good thing you’re out of the running.

Yes, it would report directly to a VP within the company. I questioned this based on various grounds such as implementation, IP exposure and access. It was a newly created position and I found it odd that they got approval for such a high level position but then it being switched to temp.

NURB you’re right, I slept on it and imagine it was a good thing for me.