New to IT Contracting?

Written by Market Street Talent | June 18, 2021

Are you new to the world of contract employment? Contracting has its place in any industry, but is especially common in IT due to the nature of tech projects and the variety of skills a single company can require in its lifespan. As the field continues to grow and expand, you might find the opportunity to take a contract role. Unsure if contracting is right for you? Keep reading to learn the basics about different types of employment, pros and cons, and how to evaluate what’s best for you.


A straight contract role is exactly what it sounds like. In this role, you work for a company for a set amount of time on a specific project until the assignment ends. However, often times contractors are asked if they would like to extend or convert perm, even if this option was not initially discussed during time of interview. Of course, the important thing to know is with contracting – converting or extending is never 100% guaranteed. Even if a contract does end permanently, it is still a great opportunity for people who like working on different projects over time, meeting new people, and working for a variety of companies in different locations. Contracting is also a great way to find out if the culture at a particular company is a good fit for you. If it is, you can use your time as a contractor to make a positive impression if you’d like to potentially seek out a permanent position with them in the future.

Another perk of contracting is that it builds out your resume and showcases that you’ve successfully completed projects and grown your skills. Completing various contracts allows for more exposure to various technologies and tools used across the industry, which in turn increases your marketability. If contracting is something you’re seriously considering, it is important to reflect on what you’re used to receiving for your total compensation, especially if you’re accustomed to working as a standard, direct hire employee. What kind of benefits do you need? Are you willing to relocate for a role that’s temporary? An additional perk of taking a contract role is that these roles are typically paid more than direct employees. If contracting sounds like a good fit for you, this is a great time to connect with an experienced Technical Recruiter who can advise you and answer your questions about this type of role.

Contract to Hire

This is a middle ground between contracting and becoming a permanent employee. Some companies prefer to start a new employee as a contractor and then bring them on full-time if they’re happy with the employee’s deliverables. In this case, there is a budget in place for a permanent position and the company will hire someone to fill the spot. The contract to hire process can occasionally make an employee nervous if they’re relocating or are used to a direct hire role, but it is a good opportunity to consider. Contract to hire gives you the chance to make sure you enjoy the work environment and know that the role is a match for your skill level.  As long as you’re a good fit, and the job is a good fit for you, there is little reason to be nervous. Again, you can reach out to a recruiter and they will be able to tell you more about the company and what the process of converting a contractor to a permanent employee is like.

Direct Hire

Lastly, direct hire is the traditional method of finding a new job. Whether you apply for direct hire roles on your own or work through an agency, at the end of the process you’ll be working directly for the company according to the terms of your employment contract. Oftentimes, a good recruitment agency can get you in front of hiring managers more quickly than applying online by yourself. Good agencies really know and understand their clients, so they will make sure that you are truly a good fit. Most of us are pretty comfortable with how a direct hire position works, but it’s still necessary to look closely at the salary and benefits package, as well as the company culture, to make sure the opportunity meets your needs and lifestyle.

What is right for you?

Finding a new career opportunity can exciting, yet stressful. It also requires a lot of time and consideration. Being happy at work has been shown to be a big factor in overall life satisfaction. After all, most full-time workers spend more time at their job than they do anywhere else. Get familiar with the different types of roles that are out there, be fluent in your total compensation needs, and when in doubt, connect with an experienced recruiter to help you find the perfect opportunity!

Interested in learning more? Head to our LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter and connect with one of our recruiters!