What’s it Like Working as a Contractor Thru a Staffing Agency?
You’ve been without full-time employment for a few months now. You signed up with a staffing agency, had a few interviews, and today you got a phone call saying that their client, ABC Company, wants to hire you as a contract Web Designer for at least the next 12 months. Congratulations!
But who the heck am I working for?
You’re being hired as a ‘contract’ employee and not a ‘regular’ employee. What does that mean to you?
Well, first it means that ABC Company is not hiring you; at least, not in the traditional sense of employment, where you work X hours per week and they pay you a regular paycheck with taxes withheld.
They still want your services, but they don’t want to (or can’t) put you on their payroll. Instead, you will become an employee of the staffing agency, but you will work at their client’s offices, doing the work their client needs you to do.
The staffing agency will pay you weekly, withhold your taxes, and, if it’s a good agency, you will be eligible for a benefits package including health insurance and 401K. So technically, and legally, you have been hired by the staffing firm, not by ABC Company.
So what’s expected of a Contractor?
Shouldn’t my focus be on getting a new ‘permanent’ job?
Not necessarily. You’re out of work, aren’t you? A contract job (or freelance gig if that’s what you prefer to call it) is still a job, but it usually has a set beginning and end date. Today, however, we’re seeing a sharp increase in the number of employers who want to ‘try’ out a candidate before hiring them onto their payroll. There are a lot of these types of jobs out there, and obviously, you need to be currently unemployed in order to go after one of them. Check the job posting for terms like temp to perm or contract to hire.
Are you thinking that you won’t have health insurance or other benefits if you work as a contractor? Well, if you sign up with the right staffing agency, they will offer benefits for their contractors, like we do here at WunderLand. We offer Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance, dental and vision coverage, plus we have a 401K program with company match.
Contract jobs taken in your field are good to put on your resume. It’s becoming quite normal for people to go through periods of employment with periods of self-employment (freelancing or contracting while unemployed), and these jobs do have value.
There are people in many industries, especially Design and Tech, who prefer to move from one contract job to another without settling down at one company. It’s a great way to check out companies from the inside to see what it might really be like to work there.
Can’t a temp job end suddenly?
Yes it can. Just like a permanent job can end suddenly with a firing or layoff. At any time an employer can decide they don’t need or want your services anymore. If that happens, your staffing rep will try to help you land a new contract job or permanent job, and you can file for unemployment benefits just like you would if you were laid off a regular job.
So what’s the downside to contracting?
None, really! You’ll be adding more experience to your resume, meeting new people who may become valuable connections for your career, making good money, and have valuable benefits. Click here to see the jobs WunderLand is currently recruiting for.
WunderLand is a team of Talent Acquisition Experts who connect companies in Chicago, San Francisco and Connecticut (servicing New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Boston) with in-demand digital, marketing and creative talent. The experience, insight and market knowledge we provide have earned us loyalty and a reputation for quality.
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