What is IT Contracting?

Since joining a recruitment company, as a Recruitment Resourcer on the Contracts Team, I have been asked many times what it exactly is that a contractor does.

To put it simply, contracting is working for a company, for a designated length of time, and being paid a daily rate to do so. A contract is not an employee of the company, and this is reflected in the rate being paid, as they do not avail of benefits a company may provide, so earn more than a company would pay an employee. A contractor provides a service to an employer, instead of being in service to an employer.

This gives a contractor flexibility and independence. It allows them to gain experience with multiple companies and on different projects (and often in different areas) that would be infeasible in traditional employment. It also allows huge flexibility- between contracts, a contractor can travel, or upskill, or spend time with family, something which traditional employment doesn’t really provide flexibility for.

Hiring contractors allows the clients we worked for to have a highly-skilled workforce that can constantly move with the ever-changing requirements of the tech industry. This can vary from what types of developers they are looking for, for a particular project, to the location of their workforces- events such as Brexit only serve to highly how contingent workforces will become an ever-increasing part of the labour landscape in the future.

However, contracting also gives employees autonomy over their careers in a way traditional employment does not. Contractors are financially reimbursed for their services as a company would be, making it a more lucrative choice. They are being paid for a service, and so they do not have training periods, or time spent waiting for the next project to begin. They are also not tied to a company, although many do return multiple times. If they decide to relocate, or take time off, or switch to a different role, it is simply a matter of choosing a contract, and a start date, that aligns with these choices.

Working in contracts is fast-paced, and there is always something to do. The interview process can be very quick, and our candidates are often always open to hearing about new opportunities, and getting the next contract lined up. Many of our candidates are sourced for jobs, rather than applying through job advertisements, and we talk to people all around the world every single day.

One of the most exciting things I have personally found is how many people from different places, many of which Irish people would have traditionally emigrated to, are looking to relocate to Ireland. Ireland is constantly attracting the best tech talent in the world, and that is something to be really proud of.