Tips from a Recruiter: The Benefits of Contract Work

By: Brigid Lipps, PHR, SHRM-CP,
Senior Recruiter Corps Team

The Benefits of Contract Work:

There were an estimated 57 million Americans working as freelancers in 2019, per an article from Upwork. Since the COVID pandemic, millions have been displaced and a great deal of skilled job seekers are on the market. Many companies are still playing it safe and either do not have approval for permanent roles or are worried about the economy collapsing again. This has brought contract work to the forefront which offers some great advantages.

Here are Tips from a Recruiter about the benefits of taking a contract job.

  • What is Contract Work? Contractors generally work for a staffing company on a W-2 basis under the guidance of a specific client for a scheduled timeframe. The staffing agency handles your payroll and taxes, unlike a 1099 situation where you are responsible. The client can end the assignment at any time and the employee can as well.
  • Earn Higher Pay – Most contract positions pay a higher hourly rate in lieu of benefits. If you don’t need a full stack of benefits or are willing to take the limited plans staffing agencies offer, you can really bank some cash!
  • Gain New Skills – Contractors can quickly build their skills by working across various industries and on multiple assignments. A long-term employee may not get that. Expanding your knowledge and becoming more versatile as an employee is always a good thing.
  • Get Your Foot in the Door – A great contractor can really impress people, so looking at it as an opportunity to establish yourself as a valuable resource might just open some doors for long-term employment. Do the job and do it well.
  • Build Your Network – Making a good impression during your contract assignment can also mean aligning with people that can expand your network. Even if this job is short-term, you can establish strong relationships and increase your opportunity to get referred to other openings in the future.
  • Test It Out – Contract work gives both the employee and the company a chance to “try it before you buy it”. If it’s a great fit on both sides, awesome! If not, neither of you is committed for the long haul.

Everyone has different goals and needs for their career. You should decide what makes sense for you and it might start by looking at the advantages of contract work.

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