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Permanent Recruitment vs Contract Recruitment

Posted about 1 year ago by Alex Mann

Perm vs Contract Recruitment

You may have been wondering what separates permanent recruitment and contract recruitment…Other than the obvious. The Parker Shaw wordsmith caught up with the chief Permanent Recruiter for the business, Rebecca Bradshaw.

Broadly speaking, what do you see as the main difference between permanent and contract recruitment?

Compared to the contract side of things, recruiting for a permanent position is slightly more passive and slow paced as there tend to be fewer people in our industry looking for permanent work. The reason for this is because there is a slower turnover of work/staff within the permanent IT sector so it often makes the recruitment process take longer. It’s more of a passive market than contract, fewer people applying/looking for work. I think people are worried to leave their roles for something new; after everything that has happened in the economy you still a lot of CV’s staying for the long haul. My gut feeling is that due to attempts to reduce expenditure, employers - particularly government/public sector – have swayed more towards hiring permanent members of staff instead of contractors over the past few years. It is arguable that AWR and IR35 regulations coming into play recently have perhaps made employers want to go down the permanent route as there is less red tape with a permanent member of staff. As well as red tape, I suspect there is a bit of reluctance from permanent employers to use contractors because their long term commitment is questionable.

So in terms of commitment, aren’t companies chasing a unicorn if they expect to find the perfect mix of attitude and attributes?

Obviously it matters if you can do the job you're applying for but a key difference between contract and permanent jobs is your personality. With a contract, you’ll be expected to come in with the required skills at your disposal, do the job and be comfortable with leaving the role in as little as a few weeks. However with permanent roles, a business is looking to bring you on board for a long time. Whilst you’ll need to be good at the job, they’ll be happy to potentially train you on certain aspects provided your attitude gives the right impression to them. They’ll want to spend time bringing someone up to their required calibre if your true personality comes through during the application process.

Is this why it can take a lot longer to hire a permanent candidate over a contract candidate?

Essentially, yes. A business is looking to invest a lot of time into someone: by taking them on full time they often need to spend a lot of time finding the right person for them. This means it can be a lengthy process from job advert to filling a position. The wait can often seem frustrating to both job seekers and those who are recruiting, but it is often with good reason. Sometimes even we don’t know how long the process will take; there is a fairly common correlation between larger companies’ hiring taking longer due to them having more red tape to get through.

Why Don’t You Have Any Permanent Roles Near To Me?

Companies recruiting for permanent staff tend to prefer working with agencies who are local to them for a more personal or familiar touch. This is why a lot of our job postings for permanent roles are in the Hampshire/Dorset/Surrey area. Having said that, as a business we are always looking to grow and expand our reach so it is always possible we’ll have opportunities in other parts of the country, but like the recruitment process for a permanent vacancy, these things take time.

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