In this interesting article, Amoria Bond's Contractor Care Manager Lindsay Irvine shares her thoughts on the benefits of contracting, the opportunities it can create to progress your career and the support that Amoria Bond can provide.
The last 18 months have been a challenging time on so many levels for all of us. Many people in the UK have felt the struggle of losing their job, with 104,000 redundancies made in the United Kingdom from February to May 2021 (Statistica). There is a chance that you were one of the thousands of people affected, and you may still be finding the search for work relentless.
But there are positive signs of the economy bouncing back, with the number of job vacancies from June to August 2021 exceeding 1 million (ONS Labour market overview, UK: September 2021) and business confidence continuing to reach the highest levels on record (REC, JobsOutlook September 2021). Also, as for contract roles, the opportunities are rising, with a 43% increase in contract vacancies this year (HR Review), providing fantastic opportunities to those affected by redundancy in the last eighteen months.
However, is contracting an attractive option to people, or is it a backup plan in case you can’t secure a permanent role?
Why contracting should be appealing
There are a number of reasons people can be attracted to contracting:
• The interview process is often a lot faster, and it is not unusual for a role to be filled within a few days.
• Contracting is a great opportunity for you to bolster your skills set.
• You have the opportunity to work across a variety of industries, enhancing your CV.
• Working on various contracts will enable you to build your professional network.
• Many prefer contracting as they have a much more flexible workweek.
• For those still hoping to return to a permanent role in the long term, working in a contract role can provide an ideal opportunity for someone to experience the company culture first hand and see if it would be an ideal fit for the long term should a permanent role became available.
• One of the major benefits, particularly as various markets experience a major candidate shortage, is the opportunity to earn a higher rate of pay, and that can be seen as highly attractive to many, offsetting the lack of benefits such as paid leave.
So it can be far more than just a stop-gap for those made redundant; for many, it offers an ideal way of working, and at Amoria Bond, we have seen a surge in interest from those who have graduated in recent months.
The majority of those people had struggled to source a permanent role during 2020 and approached us about our contract roles as they were attracted to the flexibility of contracting and the opportunities it provided to enhance their skills and experience. In addition to which the attraction of adding working with particular companies can be a major draw as it boosts their CV.
For all the positives, for many people, change can be a challenging time. Anyone who’s faced redundancy has already been through an incredibly stressful time, and the decision to move into contracting can be a whole new experience they are unfamiliar with. Having worked in a permanent role for many years, the world of contracting can be unfamiliar and seem particularly daunting.
If you are reading this and have worked in a permanent role for many years, then perhaps you want to find a permanent role for the remainder of your career. People often say they prefer the security, paid leave and pension and other benefits that can come with a permanent role.
However, over the years, and particularly in light of the last 18 months, many people have found that permanent jobs no longer offer the security they want. They may have taken the time, post redundancy, to reflect on the next step in their career or considered who they want to work for, the skills they want to develop, the industry and type of work they want to be involved in
With the end of the furlough scheme, the risk of redundancy is looming over people again, and I imagine a lot more people will be facing decisions about their career, re-evaluating how and where they work, assessing their skills and experience and reconsidering contracting as an option.
Why contract with Amoria Bond?
The experience here at Amoria Bond is one that I am immensely proud of.
Our consultants are incredibly knowledgeable about the field they work in and the fantastic opportunities they secure with our end clients. They will ensure that you are expertly guided through the process. They will begin by taking time to listen to your career ambitions, life goals and motivation so they can recommend relevant opportunities. They will deliver on commitment, replying to emails and call promptly, providing progress updates as agreed and feedback through the selection and interview process. Our commitment to this level of service is underpinned by our Best Service Charter, details of which you are welcome to view here.
In addition to all the help and support they will provide you with, they are very well aware of how fast-paced the contracting world can be and manage the process effectively to ensure you and the end client are aware of that and to ensure opportunities and ideal candidate are responded to quickly.
And once the role is secured the support does not stop there. Our legal team will issue you the contract and paperwork, and your consultant and I will organise a call to discuss the details, talk you through the timesheet and payment process and answer any questions you may have.
What support will be available during your contract?
My role is fairly rare within the recruitment industry but is pivotal at this stage of the process. Amoria Bond chose to introduce a Contractor Care Manager role to the business to ensure each person who works with us is provided with a point of contact, in addition to their consultant, who liaises closely with the legal and finance teams. My role involves working with you throughout the duration of your contract: from the moment the paperwork is issued to you, I will be in touch to ensure your contract is compliant, we have the relevant documentation, offer advice and guidance about payroll companies or insurances companies. When the contract begins, I will be on hand to ensure the timesheet process is clear and runs smoothly. Most importantly, I will ensure your queries are addressed, and our high level of best service is maintained.
We understand that moving from a permanent role to a contract opportunity can be a new experience for many people and our contractor care support is on hand to ensure you are guided easily through the process.
Once your contract begins, we will maintain contact throughout its duration, supporting you to ensure timesheets are approved, payments are managed and paid on time, and you feel supported on a regular basis. We will also approach the client towards the end of your contract to confirm plans for its continuation.
Change can be disconcerting, but we do everything we can to help. Those people who have worked with us so far and talk of their experience say our support and guidance is not something they had previously experienced when working in contract recruitment. They really value having a dedicated contract support person to handle queries for them and who will work closely with them throughout the contract to ensure payments run smoothly and, as the contract is due to end, will secure news of any contract extension.
If contracting is something you have yet to explore or you’re considering returning to, please get in touch with me.
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