Risk & reward of the leap from permanent hire to contractor

Adam Osborne our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 5/31/2018 2:37 PM

Want to implement digital change through a variety of projects? Are you more interested in coding than hanging about the water cooler? Have you got 2 – 3 years of experience in your field within the field of digital and analytics? Are you a risk taker who wants to help businesses succeed in their short-term projects? If this is you, then you may want to consider a contract role within the industry.

Variety is the spice of life and in our always on, always in demand world of technology, we’re growing at astronomical pace. While some businesses are racing to transform their business models, others are ready to implement their changes, but may be missing the key personnel to do so. The skill shortage gap within the industry makes it tricky for businesses to find the right person for the right job.

The reason? Oftentimes, it’s because the right permanent candidates have already been placed.

What to Consider Before You Make the Move

One of the benefits of making the move from permanent employee to contractor is the opportunity to increase your wages. For example, someone making £50,000 per year on a day rate basis of £200, £300, or £400 per day could potentially command closer to £100,000 per year. However, there is risk in this kind of reward.

It’s important before accepting a contract role to understand the risk. This type of role is project based and can last anywhere from two to six months – sometimes less, possibly more. This short term offers slightly less financial security than a more traditional role, but with the rise of the freelance economy, many who walk this path understand its important to be financially stable before making the move.

Urgent projects create even more instability, but with the difficulty of finding permanent talent, day rates may increase. In other words, before you hand in your notice, be sure you’ve budgeted properly and are financially stable to take on a contractor role.

But, if you’re an expert in your field, perhaps a Head of Digital Analytics, the reward of making the move from permanent placement to contract role is the opportunity to focus on what you’re doing. As a contractor, you can get back in the trenches, help guide and grow teams, and be on the cutting edge of business transformation utilizing their digital implementation road map. Be the driving force for change and avoid getting bogged down in such day-to-day rituals as office politics.

Boost Your Digital Analytics CV with These Tips

Want to boost your CV to the top of the pile? Follow these tips:

  • Be specific when you reference digital analytics and/or digital implementation as a specialisation.
  • Be able to marry web analytics tool set with R, Python, SQL, etc.
  • Include any specialized training certificates such as Adobe Analytics Certificate. If you’re a Web Analyst familiar with Snowplow Analytics, it’s an added bonus and can boost your chances even further.

For Web Analytics contract roles, Adobe Analytics and Snowplow Analytics are in particularly high demand. More and more businesses interested in doing an Adobe Analytics Implementation project often find a skills gap in this area. However, though Adobe has been around longer and is more well known, a disruptor in the industry is Snowplow Analytics which is more personalised.

Your Turn

Contract roles offer bite size glimpses into the digital transformations of business and the skillsets they need to implement those changes. In our Your Turn section, we want to hear from you.

  • What projects have you worked on you found to be difficult or tricky?
  • What might make you move from permanent to contract role? And if you’ve made the switch, what most interested you to make the move?
  • With a shortage in the market for digital implementation specialists, what route have you followed? And if you’re interested in making the move, what draws you most toward it?

We’re currently looking for implementation specialists in the travel and online gaming sectors. For more opportunities, check out our current vacancies or contact Elizabeth Stone, Recruitment Consultant with a focus on Contract Roles at +44 20 8408 6070 or email elizabethstone@harnham.com to learn more.

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

MARKETING INSIGHT AND THE CUSTOMER FEEDBACK LOOP

Marketing Insight And The Customer Feedback Loop

As the holidays approach, Marketers are focusing more than ever on User Experience (UX). They’re not only looking at what kind of product customers might want or need but how will it look and feel to them? If a product doesn’t have what you need or doesn’t function as appealingly as others, what good is it? Key elements such as aesthetics, usability, and ‘feel’ are integral to the user experience. Because these elements come from such seemingly disparate departments as Marketing and Developers, it’s important to figure out how to come together for the ultimate UX. After all, if today’s buyers buy experiences over tangible products, then ensuring the experience is important to bridging the gap between customers, marketers, and developers. This, when done right, helps to build and retain customer relationships; the foundations upon which business is built. Design User Experience with M&D By bringing marketers and developers (M&D) together, you create the opportunity for innovation. But there are some key elements to consider when designing UX and it follows four stages. Do your research. Identify needs, spending patterns, buying behaviours, and historical data to determine what it is customers desire. Find out what they want or need and give it to them. This is the role of the marketer backed by development.Gather the data. Using multiple touch points across multiple sources and channels, find what works. What product offers usability and determine how design choices can help to create a seamless experience for your customer.Design your idea and create a prototype. Brainstorm your design. What are its product features, user interface, and aesthetics? Does it look user friendly? Would you pick it up off the shelf? Why? What is it about the product that makes you want to have it? What problems can it solve for you?Time to Test it. Is your product user friendly? What are its useful functions? How does it look? Feel? Incorporate feedback to improve its performance, function, or aesthetic. What does your test market say? Would they buy it? Why or why not? Bridging the Gap with collaboration We can forget sometimes, lost in our jargon and our buzzwords, that it’s the customer who we hope will benefit from our product or service. Yet, traditionally, marketers gathered customer preferences and drove sales, while developers designed products based on those preferences. However, the two departments were often siloed and creativity, usability, function, and aesthetics either got overshadowed or underrepresented to varying degrees. Enter customer feedback an integral point of reference for all parties involved. Customers are at the heart of user experience and it’s their feedback which can inform the user experience. What better marketing insights than those straight from the customer? Working with Marketers and Developers, customers provide a crucial component to helping marketers understand market dynamics. On the flip side, customer feedback can help mitigate risk or issues down the road by providing solutions and helping to resolve problems. the impact on Product Development By conducting user experience testing, marketers and developers can determine if a product is a good fit for customer needs. At the same time, they may identify issues to be resolved which can be learned of in real-time for a better user experience once the product is launched. Each has their role to play in designing the user experience and contributing to market insights for more informed business decisions.  These include: Marketers are part of the design experience from conception to inception. They are responsible for gathering the data to identify problem areas, working with Developers to create a product or service to solve a problem, and gathering data from the customer. Do they like this product? Why? What pain points does it serve? And how can it be made better or improved? Developers are the designers. They must take the information the marketers have collected and try to make the product into something functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Though they operate more at the back-end, they too much collaborate with customers to capture issues and solve problems. Developers test the products, making improvements as needed. Each stage a constant in UX design.Customers offer invaluable data and metrics through their feedback and reviews. The insights they contain as the end user about using the product, revealing its challenges, and suggesting room for improvement, make this three-part collaboration the final link in the chain between marketers, developers, and customers when it comes to designing the ultimate user experience. If you’re interested in the relationship between insights and UX, we may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

The Next Generation Of French Web Analysts

The Next Generation Of French Web Analysts

The role and purpose of Web Analysts has evolved over the last few years, and now there are a number of different types of candidate profile across the French marketplace. Whilst, traditionally, Web Analysts focused on Data pulled from websites before using their findings to make business recommendations on how to improve the site and streamline user experience.  However, as, digital channels, including apps, social media and mobile devices have multiplied, the amount of Data available to gather insights from has increased dramatically. Web Analytics has become Digital Analytics as a result of the need to quantify and better understand customer behaviour regardless of the channel or device used.  Across the world’s leading technology hubs, the role of the Digital Analyst is no longer to just relay insights from a company’s website, but to analyse different Data sources, work with complex technologies and tell stories with their findings. We’re now seeing the same evolution take place across the French market.  Today's Web Analysts  Throughout the era of digital measurement and optimisation tools, the use of AB tests and MVT tests has allowed Web Analysts to trial different online solutions for their enterprises. Nevertheless, until recently, these have remained centred on only one channel; the website. Over recent years, however, new categories of Analytics have now emerged, all of which need to be viewed as equally important:  In-store Analytics: The measurement of physical store Data, a real-world equivalent of web analytics. Mobile Analytics: The analysis of users’ traffic and behaviour on mobile sites and applications. Social Analytics: The analysis of Data from social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  As a result of this diversification, businesses are now not only looking for technical Web Analysts who can work with Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics and implement tags with GTM or DTM. There is now an appetite to go further and deeper with their analysis and Web Analysts who can use tools such as Big Query/ SQL, R or Python are high in-demand. A candidate with ‘Data Web’ vision, a strong knowledge of Data and KPIs in different business models, stands out amongst ever-increasing competition.  Furthermore, as Web Analysts use a lot of Data, particularly personal Data, a strong knowledge of GDPR and the legal implications of their work are also incredibly beneficial.  In other words, Web Analysts are becoming more versatile. No longer siloed to their own space, Web Analysts should have experience of collaborating with marketing and technical teams, as well as to top management and senior stakeholders.  Tomorrow's Web Analytics With this progression of Analytics tools and skillsets, Digital Analysts are now playing a more important role in businesses than ever before.  As they continue to present new ways of interpreting and visualising Data, their impact on the bottom line is being felt more significantly than ever.   As a result, Web Analysts are now open to significantly more professional opportunities. Specifically, if they have a strong technical skillset and a business mindset, they can move into a Digital Business Analyst or Data Scientist position. This means that the best candidates are in incredibly high-demand and businesses need to be sure of what skillset they need before beginning a recruitment process.  For example, a company recently going through a big change in tools migration, such as moving from Adobe to GA, would be in need of a strong technical Web Analyst who can implement those tools. A business that is further down the line with their capabilities, on the other hand, may be looking for a candidate with a real business vision, in additional to an analytical skillset, who can make informed business recommendations. Whilst the French market may be in transition, we’re already seeing these changes take place in other regions. In the UK, there is a large amount of conversation around ‘Digital Intelligence’, and Web Analysts are now beginning to be viewed as important as Data Scientists within many leading organisations, partially because these roles are overlapping more and more. In fact, the lack of appreciation for Web Analysts in France is a point of contention for many candidates, something that was discussed frequently at this year’s MeasureCamp Paris.  Businesses who are looking to hire, and retain, Web Analysts need to be aware of this mindset. Candidates often share their apprehensions around the lack of training offered within their companies, as well as concerns about investment in their area. As Web Analysts continue to upskill, enterprises need to make sure they continue to offer growth, opportunity and a good working environment, particularly if they are seeking domestic talent.  Whether you are looking to expend your Web Analytics function or take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more. 

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