The number of contract workers in Canada increased by 50 per cent in the last 20 years – growing at a faster rate than the number of permanent opportunities – according to Statistics Canada. As per the Labour Force Survey, 1.4 million people worked temporary jobs in 1998, whereas in 2018, 2.1 million workers were engaged in temp and freelance roles. Contract employment involves hiring an employee for a pre-determined period of time. This type of employment is ideal for candidates that seek work-life balance and to those who are looking to add another feather to their resume while hunting for a full-time opportunity. The rise in freelance and temp work has also motivated businesses to partner with temporary placement agencies that provide flexible workforce solutions. Companies choose to hire contractors through staffing agencies because it reduces “back-office” costs such as recruitment, HR compliance and payroll. Additionally, staffing agencies have an established database of candidates who would like to work on contractual basis, making them the go-to resource for temp employees.
But job seekers are often blinded by the misconceptions that surround contract employment and are less likely to pursue such opportunities. Here are the most common myths, dispelled:
1. Contract employees earn less than permanent employees.
Companies hire contractors for specific skills that their current workforce may not possess or for tasks that require more hands to execute. As a contractor, you are paid for a set number of hours and based on your experience and knowledge, you have the opportunity to negotiate a higher rate than salaried employees. Neuvoo’s salary tool indicates that an average contractor’s salary in Canada is $63,375 per year. Entry level positions begin at $29,250 per annum while most experienced workers earn up to $107,738 per annum. If you are able to avoid gaps between contracts, and commit to multiple contract opportunities, you will find yourself earning more than a full-time employee.
2. Contract employment will hamper my prospects of attaining a full-time opportunity.
Contract opportunities are great for both employees and employers to test the waters and get to know one and another. Nowadays, most jobs are project-based, ideal for specialized professionals who can hit the ground running from day one. Bundling contract jobs, demonstrating the value you have added to different tasks and showcasing the impact you have made at different organizations not only presents you as a dependable and desirable candidate but also increases your chances of attaining a full-time gig in the future.
3. Contract employment is not “resume-worthy”.
Contract employment is supposed to be short-term, but let’s not forget that these finite gigs add valuable experience to your professional journey. Contract jobs expose employees to new skills and competencies that is always “resume-worthy”. It broadens your knowledge base and makes you more adaptable.
4. Contract workers can only focus on their strengths
As a contractor, your prime focus should always be your strengths. But that should not deter you from acknowledging what’s outside of your role. Contract roles are highly challenging because it requires you to stay abreast with industry trends and technologies, so you can exceed competition. Look for learning curves within your contract roles and strive for professional growth. Improve your knowledge base by absorbing new technologies and expanding your network.