Considering Contracting but Unsure? Here is what You Need to Know

As an IT, Creative and Digital Staffing Agency, many of the job opportunities that we, at Horizontal Integration (HI), have available are contracts. If you are not familiar with contracting or consulting, the term “contract” can seem slightly daunting or even a bit intimidating. It may even illicit feelings of job insecurity and risk, however when backed with the support of a great agency, there are many positive aspects to contracting or consulting (these terms will be used interchangeably as we continue).

First and foremost, it’s crucial to work with a knowledgeable, supportive and diligent recruiter from a well-connected and well-respected staffing agency. At Horizontal Integration, our recruiters are experts in their industry domains and know how to match your skills and interests with the needs of our clients, thus finding the best suited position for you. They will support you from day one. Once you become a consultant with HI, you will have on-going support from our team throughout the duration of your contract and beyond.

So, why become a contractor versus a full-time employee? Of course, there are pros and cons to each type of employment, but today let’s discuss the pros of being a consultant. Here are 6 great reasons to consider contracting:

  1. Consultants get paid for every hour worked. As a salaried employee, you may find yourself putting in 45-50 + hours per week, yet only getting paid for 40. As a contractor you are compensated for every hour of your time and some consultants are even eligible for time and a half, for all hours worked over 40.
  2. Consultants are compensated competitively and typically receive higher rates than their salaried employee counterparts. As a consultant, you are paid at a premium for your skills and knowledge and as you take on consecutive projects, you have the ability negotiate rate increases more often than you would as a full-time employee. Consultants tend to see quicker financial growth and generally have greater earning potential.
  3. Consultants have the opportunity to work on a number of projects, with new and differing technologies, in a variety of industries and diverse work environments. Because of this, growth and learning opportunities are virtually endless, making consultants more marketable and knowledgeable as they progress through their careers.
  4. With each contract completed, consultants gain new skills and abilities, making career growth and the path to seniority more rapid than what one might see as a full-time employee.
  5. For recent grads, those just starting out in their careers, or individuals switching career paths, contracts offer a great way to gain necessary valuable experience and add recognizable companies to their resumes.
  6. As consultants continue to take on projects, they get to work with new people, teams, and leaders, thus a consultant’s network is constantly expanding.

A frequent mis-conception of contracting is that consultants are not eligible for benefits. This is true for 1099 and independent consultants, however there is the option to work as a W2 contractor. As a W2 consultant with Horizontal Integration, you are eligible for comprehensive medical benefits and a 401K option. We offer our consultants retention bonuses and referral bonuses, as well as post placement support and assistance in finding subsequent projects. In addition, we provide networking and career development opportunities, host exciting events for our consultants, and do our very best to ensure our consultants are well-prepared for their roles, have the tools that they need to succeed, are happy, engaged, and ultimately fulfilled.

It’s important to keep in mind that contracts are not always finite. A 3 to 6-month contract might sound unnerving yet often-times, contracts are extended to become rewarding long-term engagements and/or consultants are given the opportunity to convert to full-time salaried employees, should they choose to go that route.

They say that “variety is the spice of life” and you can certainly achieve that by consulting, while at the same time, feel a sense of security knowing that you have the HI team behind you every step of the way. If you have questions about contracting or would like further detail about consulting with HI, connect with one of our recruiters. They are here to help. They will take the time to answer your questions, get to know you, and help find the best type of role for you.