Contractor vs. Full-Time Employee (Pros and Cons)

By May 1, 2018December 17th, 2018Tech Careers

Adaptive Solutions Group connects the right people to the right companies, time after time. If you’re in the market for a new job, you may be asking yourself whether a full-time employee or contract work is right for you. And, like all decisions, there are pros and cons to each.

Learn about them below and contact us if you have any questions!

Contractor Pros and Cons

An agency contractor is someone who agrees to fulfill a pre-defined project for the agency’s client in exchange for compensation. Generally, the individual is a W-2 hourly employee of the agency but is working onsite for the client. Paychecks and benefits will come from the agency. All employer taxes are also paid by the agency.

Companies seek out contractors for a variety reasons such as project-based work, a trial period for full-time needs (Contract to hire) and filling voids created by vacation absences, maternity/medical long-term leaves, and attrition. These positions typically start with a determined scope of work and a start/end date. Although in a lot of cases additional budget can be approved to extend the end date.

An example of a contractor might be a developer who is brought on by a company for a short period of time to help complete a new website. Upon completion, editing, and acceptance of the site, the project may bring an end to the business relationship or it may extend to other related services.

Pros of Contract Work

  • Contractors have freedom of choice. They have the ability to pick and choose the exact project and technology they will be working with. While full-time employees can be moved to a variety of projects once hired, consultants are typically project-specific.
  • Contractors generally collect on a larger paycheck. Due to the jobs being temporary and therefore less secure, consultants are typically paid above market rates. Shorter durations can also push pay rates even higher.
  • Contractors still receive benefits. Most agencies will provide basic benefits during the contract period and some agencies will even offer a comprehensive benefit package similar to a salary position. Here at ASG we fall on the latter side in benefit offerings. We believe that you should be as comfortable as possible during the contract period.
  • Contractors have the pride of accomplishment. Finishing a successful project feels great. It also adds to a consultant’s value for pursuing future engagements.
  • Contractors can gain experience on many different projects across many different industries and special interests, of which many of these companies use their very own technologies, allowing contractors to add unique and diversified skills to their resume.
  • Contractors can try before they buy. Contract-to-hire position are a great way to give a company a trial run before committing to a full-time position.

Cons of Contract Work

  • Contractors have less job security. While the gap between the security of a full-time jobs and contracts has narrowed significantly, there is still a difference. By their nature, contract employees can be let go more easily than full-time employees.
  • Contractors must budget to have time off between jobs. While the goal is to move between contracts with minimal gaps, contractors must budget for time off between jobs.
  • Contractors will spend more of their personal time on the job hunt. However, this can be lessened by working with us! We’ll connect you to the right people. Contact Adaptive Solutions Group now!

Full-Time Employee Pros and Cons

A full-time employee, otherwise known as permanent employee, is a W-2 employee of a company (agency’s client). While an agency may assist in the search, this individual is an employee of the client day one. Paychecks and benefits will come directly from the company. Compensation is typically paid in a salary.

An example of this would be a company hiring a computer systems analyst whose specialty is to design solutions that help the organization’s IT system run more efficiently. They may prefer this individual to be a permanent member of staff so that he or she will be on-the-ground at all times, making them better able to focus their attention on the intricacies and unique needs of the business.

Pros of Working as a Full Time Employee

  • Full-time employees have a higher degree of job security, in which they have a consistent paycheck and do not have to constantly market themselves.
  • Full-time employees have a sense of company culture, which makes them feel part of the team and passionate about the work they are completing for a company. This, in turn, increases productivity in day-to-day projects and nurtures business relationships for the future.
  • Full-time employees typically pay less out of pocket for insurance contributions. While actual benefits may be similar. Companies, because of their size and enrollee stability, receive lower insurance costs.

Cons of Working as a Full-Time Employee

  • Full time employees typically make less on an hourly basis than consultants. This is the trade for more security.
  • Full-time employees are not eligible for overtime. Employees make the same for 40 hours as they do for 55 hours. Not to mention the sunk cost of personal time lost.
  • Full-time employees might be missing out on opportunities to expand their skill sets. Some IT professionals love being able to move around companies in order to challenge themselves with different, new technologies rather than staying on one business all the time.
  • Full-time employees might feel beholden to stay with a company, even if they feel they are not compatible. They cannot sever ties as easily with certain projects or companies, or else they might have to scramble to find other employment.

Choosing Between Contracting and Full-Time

The IT industry has the wonderful benefit of ample opportunities for both contractors and full-time employees. What one person may see as a disadvantage, someone else might see as an advantage.

Can’t decide? Let ASG help navigate your search. We partner with a wide variety of companies for contract, contract to hire, and full-time employment opportunities. Our associates are happy to connect bright, eager IT professionals with a multitude of opportunities. Contact us now!