Contract v Perm

The Eternal Conundrum: Contract or Perm?

Contract work has long been associated with the IT industry as a natural path for many. But is it right for you?

Here, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of contract versus perm.


  • Flexibility and freedom: the top reason cited by our candidates who are looking for contract work. With plenty of options around the length of contracts, holiday, hours and more, contract work is always popular with those who want a bit of freedom in their role
  • Financial opportunity: of course, contract work isn’t just about flexibility. The financial opportunities for contract workers can be high, potentially more so than permanent staff, as employers don’t need to worry about sick pay, pensions or holidays, and leaving cash free for daily rate
  • Variety and experience: many contract workers opt for that lifestyle because it gives them experience of a wider range of companies and roles. With no office politics to worry about, not to mention the benefit that comes of gaining experience with different employers, the variety of contract is a big win for many
  • Good for the employer: there’s a reason that the contract market continues to thrive - it’s great for employers too. With restrictions in place around hiring full time members of staff for many employers, contract can be a good alternative. As a result, contractors often find themselves in high demand


  • Structure and safety: for many, these are the two best reasons to look for a permanent role. Whether they’re actual or perceived, these benefits are more typically associated with permanent roles than contract
  • Getting ahead: by the same token, permanent roles often offer a more defined career path than contractors enjoy, with clear opportunities to progress within an organisation. And permanent workers are more likely to reap the rewards of their hard work on a project than contractors, who may already be on their next project when the plaudits are handed out
  • A secure salary: while contract work can offer some big financial opportunities, a guaranteed paycheque at the end of each month is a huge incentive for permanent workers, as are the benefits that come with a full-time role - holiday, sick pay and any other bonuses the company might offer
  • Knowing where you’re going: although flexibility and variety are great for some, others prefer to know where they’re based and what they’re doing on a daily basis. Permananent roles tend to offer a more ‘locked-down’ employment experience

Which is best?

Obviously, there’s no definitive answer to that question - the right answer is the one that’s right for you.

But whichever side of the fence you sit on, we can help you! If you’re a contractor looking for a permanent role, or are currently in a full-time job but are thinking of making the jump to contract, contact us to find out how IT Human Resources will be the last recruitment partner you’ll ever need.