Have you noticed that contract work is becoming more and more popular these days?
With the current job market where candidates hold a lot more power, employers across different industries are starting to see the benefits of hiring contract workers over full-time employees. And it’s not just employers who are loving it—the talent is too. So, it’s no surprise that this trend is only growing.
In fact, experts predict that in the future, most of the American workforce will be made up of contract workers. Just look at the numbers, with annual growth rates of 4.2% in 2016 and 0.6% in 2017, it’s estimated that by 2028, 90 million Americans will be working in temporary roles.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at contract work, why it’s becoming so popular among businesses, and why it might just be the career path you’ve been looking for.
What is Contract Work?
Contract work is an excellent option for many people, from young professionals looking to bolster their resumes to seasoned experts interested in augmenting their income. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking to make your next career move, a contract position could be the change you need.
Historically associated with the agriculture industry (such as a farmhand), the business sector now leverages contract work for areas like corporate services and the IT and tech sectors. As the name suggests, contract work is temporary employment that follows a shorter cycle or is used to complete specific projects. Businesses employ contract workers to fulfill a specific need, sometimes during certain periods of the year, like surges in demand or peak times.
Let’s get into some of the fundamentals of contract work, such as:
- How do workers benefit from contract roles?
- Why are more businesses using contractors?
- What are the top four steps to finding contract work?
Why Get Into Contract Work?
You’ve probably heard a lot about the current shortage of workers in the U.S. Well, that’s great news for job seekers who are open to contract work. There are tons of opportunities popping up. And the best part? These temp gigs offer a ton of flexibility and usually come with higher pay rates.
So, whether you’re looking to beef up your resume or take on some part-time consulting work in between full-time projects, contract roles can really help you reach your financial and professional goals.
Some additional benefits to temporary work include:
- Expanding your professional network
- Gaining experience in a new field
- “Sampling” roles that interest you
- Honing and building your skill set
- Leveraging your expertise into a professional reputation
- Opening doors to full-time opportunities
- Filling in gaps on your resume
Why Are More Businesses Using Contractors?
Companies opt for contract work for various reasons, particularly in the current job market, where candidates hold more influence. One of the main advantages is the flexibility it offers to businesses. Though having a stable team of full-time employees is ideal, it may not always be feasible or cost-efficient.
Other reasons businesses use contract workers include:
- Minimizing the risk of employee turnover
- Using contract talent gives businesses the option to bring in expertise for project needs
- Contract workers can be hired as needed, as opposed to full-time workers, which gives businesses the freedom they need while managing their employee-related expenses
Four Steps to Finding Contract Work
The key to finding contract work is having the right mindset and understanding how to present yourself. Here are four tips to help you score a great contract role:
1. Use Your Professional Network to Your Advantage
Your network can be a great asset in landing contract work. From previous employers and coworkers to peers in your industry, the network you’ve built is the best place to find contract opportunities. Identify people who are in a position to recommend you for contract jobs and let them know about your career goals and that you’re interested in temporary gigs.
2. It’s All About Timing
When it comes to finding contract work, timing is everything. You want to be ready and available when a company suddenly needs someone for a specific job. It’s common for businesses to post contract roles quickly, especially when they realize they’re short-staffed and need a quick solution. Keep an eye out for openings and move fast when you see one you’re interested in. The faster you apply, the better your chances of getting the gig.
3. Personalization Is Key
Now that you know when and where to start your contract job hunt, the real work begins. According to LiveCareer, 61% of hiring managers believe the number-one tactic for boosting a candidate’s chances of getting a job offer is personalizing their resume to the job in question. So, to increase your chances, ensure that your resume and cover letters are polished, professional and tailored to the job. Emphasize your experience in the field, unique skills, what you’re looking for and why you’d be a good fit for a specific company.
4. Be Humble and Confident
While the first three tips can help you get an interview, your interactions with hiring managers and how you address the interview process will impact whether you get the job. Be confident but not arrogant. Temporary workers are essential, so come to the table in the spirit of gratitude for the opportunity and a willingness to dig in. While employers’ needs for contract workers ebb and flow, employers still look for people who can show up and mesh well with their full-time staff.
ITAC Solutions Can Help
Contract work can be a win-win for both employers and workers. More employers across an increasing number of industries are embracing the flexibility and potential savings of hiring contract labor over full-time labor. And job seekers are loving the flexibility and options to grow their careers.
ITAC Solutions can help you find the perfect contract opportunity. Whether you’re interested in contract work, contract to hire or full-time employment, we can help. Take a look at our current openings, and if any catch your eye, we encourage you to apply.