It's no surprise that many people looking for new opportunities tend to search exclusively for direct-hire or permanent placement roles. Many people think they are being wise focusing all their energy on finding their next "dream job" or "perfect fit". However, your dedication to a permanent search could be hurting your overall chances of landing a competitive full-time position. Below are some reasons you may want to consider including contract/temporary positions in your search.
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It Allow You to Test the Water
One of the biggest objections people have when it comes to temporary employment is that they feel a temporary role lacks security. Though, any hiring manager/recruiter will tell you: your job security comes down to your performance, not the job description. That goes for contract or direct-hire roles. However, on the flip side, a temporary position provides candidates with the opportunity to try out a specific industry, skillset, or company culture before committing full-time. This ability to "try before you buy", is invaluable - especially for candidates looking to pivot their career path. The only thing worse than working a job you don't like is being stuck in that job.
Gives You Time to Maintain Skills
We all know the saying "if you don't use it, you lose it", and there's a reason we all know it: because it's true. One of the number one drawbacks to being unemployed (along with a lessened income), is that you lose the ability to maintain your skillsets. Being open to exploring temporary roles enables you to hone your maintain and hone your skillsets even further. This is one of the reasons why recruiters tend to reach out to individuals who are already employed. Someone who is actively leveraging their skillsets 40 hours a week, is more marketable than someone who may not have touched a tool in 3 months.
Prevent Gaps on Your Resume
Working in a contract role will not only help you maintain and market your skillsets, but it can also help you market your resume and background in general. Though it can be tempting to drop everything and dedicate one-hundred percent of your time to looking for the perfect new opportunity - this decision could end up hurting you in the long run. It's an unfortunate truth that a resume with employment gaps will typically receive less attention than one that does not have any. Having some sort of work going on between direct-hire roles demonstrates that you're adaptable, willing to work, and conscious of the competition in the job market. All things that hiring managers look for in top-tier candidates.
Faster Hiring Process
The average direct-hire role takes a minimum of 4-8 weeks to extend and offer. Taking into consideration that you most likely won't be taking the first offer you receive, and you'll most likely have multiple conversations happening with different organizations - you could be managing 3-6 conversations each extending 4-8 weeks. Not only is this a lot for one person to manage, but it's a long time to wait for feedback, and a long time to go without an income.
Contract positions; however, typically hire within 5-10 days, as they are usually roles that need to be filled immediately. Working with an agency that has established recruiters and clients will speed up this process even more. Here at GRC, our contractors typically receive offers within 2-5 days.
An organization's ability to hire you quickly is not only beneficial in that it saves you time, but also decreases the amount of time you have to go without a paycheck. It's a competitive market right now with so many people switching career paths, and many candidates are finding themselves searching for longer than they intended to. This reality can hit your bank account hard if you don't plan for it.
Expand your Network
We all know one person who got an opportunity at a company because they knew someone. And there's nothing wrong with that! There's a saying in recruiting: Good people know good people, and it's usually true! Growing your network is a long-term investment in your career, and working a temporary job is an excellent way to grow your network and establish credibility with your new connections.
Opportunity to Become Permanent Employee
As a temporary employee you have the opportunity to showcase your skillsets first-hand to the hiring managers. This is something that even candidates actively being considered for a full-time position in the same organization do not have.