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Contract vs. Direct Placement

What is Right for You?

Recruitment firms are often only thought of as a place to assist job seekers as they scan the market for new opportunities, but we are much more than just a great asset when seeking employment. Recruitment firms can additionally be an amazing place to seek career advice, information on market trends, and much more!

On this blog post, we wanted to aim to inform about a question often asked by people who are entering the market and are generally use to a traditional salaried position. That question is, “What is the difference between contract and direct placement?” Contract work is becoming more mainstream for companies to utilize, especially within the IT industry, and it doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon. There are benefits to both direct placement and contract work, but below we attempt to break these down further.

Please note that every role is different and we would highly suggest you bring up some of these points with your recruiter on a situational basis* Contract Roles Contract roles are roles that are worked under a specific time period. Often times we see contract style roles lasting around 6-12 months and often have the possibility of extension. Contract roles come available with a company based on time, budget, or project based needs. When employers are looking for someone to work on contract, they are looking for someone who is ready to go with little training. Working as a contractor would mean that you are a P3 employee working on site or directly along whatever employer has offered you the role. Pro’s

  • Contractor hourly rates. If your spouse can cover benefits, all you have to consider is the difference post your unpaid days off that year compared to your current salary

  • Often requires a shorter interview process and can get you started sooner

  • Ability to feel out the company, environment, and position without feeling an obligation to stay

  • Possibility to better your job title. Ex: If you are a tenured developer but you’re having trouble getting that “Sr. Dev” title, perhaps you could attempt a contract that would help you break the ice into that title (if you don’t get extended or go on perm, you could have that title on your resume once you resume your search!)

  • Almost always working 40 hour work weeks, and if not you are paid for all additional hours

  • Allows for diversification. When you work on a contract basis, you will get the opportunity to diversify which employers you work for, the work being done, and your skillset


Direct Placement Roles When you go through a direct placement, you go on directly with whatever company you are interviewing with. This would mean that the recruiter or staffing agency you consulted with prior to the interview process, was just helping source you for the company at hand. This is done when the company has issues finding a candidate themselves, don’t have the staff to recruit on this position, or just want additional help seeking possible candidates to fill the position. Pro's

  • Stability provided and long term work available

  • Possible internal growth opportunities

  • Ability to see your work grow and evolve within your company

  • Employer benefits and PTO


Contract-to-Hire If you are unsure of which option is best for you, perhaps contract to hire is worth a look. Contract-to-hire, often abbreviated CTH, is a great opportunity for you and the employer to work together prior to a longer term commitment. Connect with Hunter on LinkedIn.


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