To all the contractors making more money than there counterparts in permanent (FTE) positions congratulations, but unfortunately a trend that we’re seeing is people who take the inherent additional risk of contracting and unfortunately aren’t reaping the associated benefits.

Now benefits come in many forms and of course various people enjoy many different aspects of the contracting lifestyle (and it is a lifestyle choice) including having more control over projects and their career direction, more flexibility in their personal/work schedule and of course the big kicker making more money. However the last bit about money is where the problems arise and is impacting both those already on the contract side of the business as well as those new to the trade.

What we are seeing is that some people aren’t taking into consideration the real costs of benefits (including health/medical coverage, vacation, 401k, etc.) and are focusing on raw dollars (bill rate) to the exclusion of looking at the “whole package”. Of course this happens more frequently with those just getting into contracting, but we are also seeing those long term contractors get caught up in this as they change from one contract firm to another, and don’t get the details before agreeing to a rate signing on the dotted line. So while contract decisions (by companies, contract houses and you) may need to be made quickly they can’t be made without this information.

Standard Contractor warning statement: Many recruiters are either ill prepared or unable to explain all the aspects of how they work with contractors (W-2, Corp to Corp, etc.), much less what they provide for benefits and perks other than a timely paycheck so understand that when you venture into contracting you inherently are going into business for yourself and it’s now your responsibility to get all the details.

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