Contractor Roles: Testing the Waters for Full-Time

If 2020 taught us anything, it was the importance of flexibility and adaptability. It also gave us time to reflect on what we wanted from our careers and how to truly balance family life when we were both working from home and managing family tasks. So, if you found yourself wanting to try something new, one option may have been taking on a contractor role. Why Contracting Can Fast Track You Through the DoorTaking on this type of role is a good way to ‘test the waters’ for both the client and the candidate. While the focus is more often on contract-to-hire roles, we also have candidates and clients more interested in freelance projects. For example, someone may be in media most of the year, but for a shorter-term project of a few months, they might be a Business Analyst. These freelancers are experts in their field and can often hit the ground running to help launch or implement a project. So, who’s looking for someone interested in either a contract-to-hire or a freelance contract role? There are such a wide variety of businesses, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few businesses. In today’s changing times, the better question might be, who isn’t sourcing for prospective candidates interested in a contractor opportunity?  If you think about how fast things move in marketing and entertainment which includes sports marketing as well, it makes sense that contractor roles or contract-to-hire opportunities are the order of the day. Admittedly, we saw the largest uptick in contractor roles during the early days of COVID as businesses moved everything online and realized they weren’t dependent on local talent. As the name implies, this is short-term with the goal of trying a candidate out to see if they’re a good fit and vice versa for the candidate to see if the employer is a good fit for them. And for businesses with urgent projects or wanting to get a larger project launched, it gives them a fast track to get someone on board. If the person works out well, then they may be hired on permanently. 5 Markets to Consider for Contracting RolesDigital MarketingEntertainmentSports MarketingConsumer GoodsBioTechWhile the focus for many clients interested in finding candidates on a contract basis are in businesses such as Digital Marketing, Entertainment, Sports Marketing, and Retail, newer markets include start-ups. For Data Scientists interested in working for a startup, they may choose to Contract for a smaller project with the idea of becoming full-time once the project is complete and the client has had time to ‘try before they buy’ to see how a prospective candidate works best in a team and for the client.State of the Contractor Market from 2020 to 2022Contract did well in the industry compared to full-time most likely due to concerns over budgets, headcounts, and how both businesses and individuals were figuring out how to navigate a new way to work.In early 2021, there was a dip in contracting roles as the vaccine rolled out and companies began to hire full-time employees directly again. However, as 2021 comes to a close, there still remains an air of uncertainty which has led to an uptick in Q3 and Q4 numbers.However, in the next six months, the state of the contractor market is expected to remain steady. Though COVID will be an indicator of the market ups and downs, there remains an inverse correlation in the contractor niche that during COVID, there was high demand for contractors, and when business is booming, there’s more of a demand to hire candidates upfront without testing the waters first.Benefits of Choosing Contractor RolesWhether you choose Contract-to-Hire or a Freelance Contractor role, here are some of the highlights for candidates:Remote flexibilityProductivity over locationNegotiating powerContract-to-hire roles are good for candidates with 2 -5 years of experience while Freelance Contractor roles are best suited to mid-to-senior level roles requiring 5 – 15 years of experience.It’s important to keep an open mind regarding Contractor roles. Consider this. Often, those looking for a change or a challenge, will leave a full-time role, take a leap of faith to do contract work for a business they believe in, and with the end game in mind of a full-time offer. But having taken that leap of faith, they may have shown they can do more, or gained a promotion, and thereby have stronger negotiating power than if they were simply hired directly into a full-time role.If you’re interested in the Data & Analytics industry, Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our current contract jobs or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 – 4999 or send an email to  For our Arizona Team, contact us at (602) 562 7011 or send an email to For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to  

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