In this article Blake Thompson our Senior Contracting Recruiter talks about the things any contractor should consider before embarking on a permanent job search.
Without delving into the obvious, there are a multitude of factors currently at play that may make even the most battle-hardened contractor flick through a few of the more enticing permanent vacancies out there. The question is, is it worthwhile making the leap back in the current climate?
The short answer is it depends. If you can spare a couple of minutes, we’ll delve into the factors to consider before you make the leap, or don’t for that matter.
The biggest thing to consider is why you went contracting in the first place, if it’s money, then in the short term if a lot of assignments are incorrectly being deemed inside IR35 and the availability is low then moving permanent might make some sense. Rarely however is it so 2 dimensional, so it’s worth considering a few of the following factors in your decision-making process too:
#1: Are you going to be happy working on the same project(s) in the same environment for several years at a time? They say variety is the spice of life, and in a lot of cases you won’t be offered the same levels in a permanent role.
#2: Supply & demand will always be the overriding factor in the cost of a contractor in the long-run. It’s inevitable that turbulence in the job market is on the way, but it is also worth considering that by 2018 42% of public sector contractors had upped their rate to counter the IR35 legislation changes.
#3: True ‘contract for services’ contractors will be able to continue working on an outside IR35 basis, either immediately or after the initial fear of IR35 has subsided.
#4: There could be periods leading up to and post-April where you aren’t able to find an assignment, if you don’t have a healthy war chest in place to weather this storm or if the thought itself makes you too uncomfortable to consider, then maybe an Inside IR35 assignment, a Fixed-Term role or even a permanent role might be the safer option.
#5: If you do decide to look at permanent roles then you need to be certain that it’s how your portraying your circumstances. Recruiters and hiring managers alike will be less inclined to move you forward in a process if they think that you’re only using the role as a stop gap or that the interview process could be cut short if you suddenly find a contract.
#6: Flexibility can be a double-edged sword, as a contractor you’re free to take breaks between contracts but it goes without saying that this is unpaid. The upside is you generally get to decide when and how long you’re off. The other side to that is whilst you’ll be paid for any holidays you take in a permanent role; you’ve also got to contest with other people’s requirements and the fact that taking over 2-weeks at a time is pretty much a complete no go.
#7: The take home gap between an inside IR35 assignment and a permanent role is going to be tighter, but if you deo end up stuck on an inside IR35 assignment, even if there’s parity between them you need to decide whether it’s more important for you to have the flexibility of not being stuck with one company and having a boss versus the benefits that permanent employees gain such as pension and holiday pay.
On top of the above there are also the smaller factors such as office politics, potentially having to shut your LTD company and the fact that once you’re in a permanent job it’s almost impossible to go back contracting without taking the leap of faith and getting your notice period started before you start looking. After all, rarely will someone wait over a month for a contractor to start.
Definitely some food for though there. If you are interested in reading a more detailed look at this subject click here!
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