With more and more of us seeking a better work-life balance, an increasing number of people are turning to contracting. Contracting can offer techs the freedom of maintaining a strong career while also choosing their own hours and projects, without sacrificing income. It also enables tech companies to respond quickly to new trends and find the right employees for a specific project.
While striking out as a contractor may seem a little intimidating, the benefits are numerous, especially for those who work in IT. And with more and more tech businesses favouring a fully or partially remote workforce, now is a great time for both IT professionals and companies to consider making the change to contracting.
Why contracting is good for IT professionals
Contracting in tech may is becoming more popular as businesses realise the benefits of hiring a contractor for specific projects. For contractors, this means that there are more opportunities than ever before, and the rewards speak for themselves.
1) Contracting can result in higher pay
One of the biggest benefits of being a contractor is the higher earning potential — doing the same work you would as an employee, but for better pay. As a contractor, you’ll be paid for every hour of work you do, and that rate is usually higher than that of employees working on the same project. And if you have specialist or sought-after skills, you can expect to earn even more, given the demand for what you’re offering. In addition to higher earnings, contractors are also entitled to tax perks, such as being able to claim work-related expenses. And while you will be responsible for your own taxes, there are a number of tax and payroll services that can helpfully explain your obligations, or take the burden off your hands completely.
2) Contracting can give you more flexibility
Not only does contracting in tech allow you to earn a higher hourly rate, but being your own boss gives you a lot of flexibility. The ability to choose your own IT job means that you can plan contracts around other commitments you might have, such as family responsibilities, hobbies or overseas travel. You even have the freedom to choose where you work, whether it’s in the office, from home or even out of a café abroad. This flexibility is also advantageous for those curious to try out contracting in tech, as a short or part-time contract can help you decide if contracting is right for you.
3) Contracting can boost your CV
Aside from the flexibility and monetary rewards that contracting can offer, it’s also a great way to boost your career in IT. This is due to the broad range of experience you pick up with new contracts and each new contract will allow you to grow professionally, whether that’s from gaining new skills or achieving exposure to new technologies. Not to mention that you can focus on aspects of the industry that excite you the most. With the constant development of your skills and network, you’ll be kept abreast of industry trends and your robust, impressive CV will help you secure more contracts.
Why contracting is good for tech employers
Clearly there are benefits to working as a contractor, but there are also many advantages for tech employers. This has become clear to many business owners in the last few years, with more companies choosing to hire contractors for specific projects than ever before.
1) Contractors can be a cheaper investment
While an employee is an individual hired to be part of a company’s workforce and is entitled to benefits such as annual leave, a contractor is self-employed and hired by a company to perform specific services. This makes contractors perfect to hire for one-off projects, whether for a few weeks or for a few months. And because contractors are brought on temporarily to work on one aspect of your business, the hiring process is usually much shorter than when taking on a permanent member of staff. The flexibility of hiring contractors can be particularly helpful for smaller businesses who can’t commit to hiring a full-time team member, or companies who experience busy periods at certain times of the year. Hiring a contractor means they’ll get straight to work, without needing company training or integrating into the company.
2) Contractors can meet an immediate need
Given that contractors are generally hired for specific projects, you’ll be able to find the right person for the job. Rather than hiring an all-rounder to join the team full time, you can hire someone with an extremely specialised or hard to come by skill set to tackle your issue head-on. This is especially beneficial when working on a project that involves new tech or trends that you and your employees may be unfamiliar with. Hiring contractors with particular skills for projects can also help your business gain a new point of view. With a fresh pair of eyes on your business problem, you may discover new ways to tackle it that you had previously never considered.
3) Contractors can help keep overheads low
Along with the ability to respond quickly to new tech, hiring contractors is a great way for a business to keep overheads low. Although contractors are paid more because they’re temporary workers rather than employees, there’s no need for lengthy training periods or to pay for upskilling. Contractors also work with their own equipment, and can usually assist you from any location, meaning businesses don’t need extra office space. Additionally, a company does not need to provide benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay or make KiwiSaver payments. And if you find that a partnership with a contractor isn’t working out, you can end the contract with a shorter notice period and with no reason needed.