Things You Need To Know About Contracting



Career choices written on napkin

Whether you specialise in Credit Risk, Analytics, Data, Modelling, SAS, Insight, Data Management or Marketing Analytics, if you want to work on contract, this article will ensure you’re in the know.

The demand for contract workers continues to rise, especially within Data and Analytics, as flexible working becomes a way of life in many companies. Skills offered by professional contractors are highly valued by a wealth of organisations, many of whom see the procurement of short-term expertise as a key element of their recruitment strategy. Additionally, the growing skills gaps in Data and Analytics has meant that contract resource has become a necessity for many employers.



What is contract work?


What are the options?

Other considerations?

Build a network

What is contract work?

Contract work means that you are not employed on a permanent basis by anyone (apart from your own Limited Company). You have the freedom and flexibility to decide when you want to work and for how long. Generally within our sectors and industries of focus contract roles range from 3 month assignments to 2 year contracts.

In today’s competitive business, environment employers are turning increasingly to contract professionals to provide additional resources as and when they are needed, as well as securing harder-to-find skill sets for specific projects. In fact, for some Data and Analytics skills such as SAS Analytics, Web Analytics, Marketing Analysis & Credit Risk, there is a real shortage of talent and that’s where you come in.

In addition, the flexibility, choice and variety of experience you can achieve by fulfilling contract or interim positions mean that this is an increasingly popular career choice for many professionals. As well as the career choice, contract work can also be an ideal solution for those between permanent jobs, travelling or looking to return to work after a career break. 

What are the options?
 

There are two main options for contracting; you can either set up your own limited company or go through an umbrella company. Which one is for you? If contracting is a long term career choice then setting up your own Limited Company may be the best option as it is the most tax efficient way of managing your income. However, if you are only going to contract for maybe 3 – 6 month with the intention of then getting a permanent job, utilising an umbrella company will potentially be your best choice.

If you choose to set up a Limited Company, which is the most common route, then you will need to:

  • Become familiar with the constraints of IR35 and what contractual agreements you should and shouldn’t enter in to. If you are paying taxes like a Limited Company, you will need to behave like one, for example restrictions potentially exist concerning how long you can provide services for one client. Also, your Limited Company needs the right to substitute its employees with other consultants.
  • Get a good accountant. Don’t cut corners, you really should do everything thoroughly and by the book. This is a real hot topic for the Government at the moment and you need to be familiar with and comply with all the latest regulations.
Other considerations if your choose to contract

Think about the medium term when it comes to income, as a stable contract for 12 months at a market rate is far better than a very highly paid one for 3 months. It can take another 2 months to find that next contract and you could be unpaid for that length of time.

Be careful contracting through micro agencies (1 or 2 staff) if you can. If you do choose this route, you must credit check them. Some micro agencies can be financially risky, remember they are the ones paying you, not the client.

One of the big benefits of using agencies, as well as an easy route to market for you, is the fact they will normally pay you within 2 weeks of the end of the month you have just completed. Be aware that contracting for companies directly can, in many cases, mean you are paid like a supplier and monthly invoices can take around 45 days to be paid in the UK.

Build your network

Lastly, build your network with all agencies and clients, as well as other contractors.  However you choose to contract, you are now the sales function for you and your skills, and your network will have the have the knowledge of where your next contract is.


<< By Simon Clarke>>

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Risk & reward of the leap from permanent hire to contractor

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.

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