Contract Jobs- What does that mean?

Mar 13th, 2015
Contract Jobs- What does that mean?

Contract jobs are paid jobs where a company hires you for a short time or a small project because they only need someone temporarily. Such workers are called contractors. (not to be confused with construction and defense contracting companies that are also called contractors).  Instead of hiring you as a full-time employee and firing you a few weeks or months later, the company hires you telling you upfront that this is a temporary arrangement.

For example -

A video game maker like EASports only needs a few testers as full-time employees during development of the game. However right before the game launches, the company needs to make sure that the entire game works flawlessly. This requires a lot of extra manpower for a short period of time. Thus, the company hires these extra testers as contractors for a few weeks or months to augment their full-time test team. 

Levi Stadium needs just a couple of Security guards during non event days, but may need several hundred during game days, so they hire a couple of fulltime security personnel and hire the rest as contractors on as needed basis.

Controversy about contract jobs


There is a lot of debate in the US and abroad about whether contract jobs are good or bad. Companies claim contract workers are required as businesses have changing demands and need flexibiliy to hire and let go workers quickly. Opponents claim it is a way for companies to avoid paying benefits and job stability to its workers.

There are also incredibly complex and unclear labor and tax laws that are not clear who can or cannot be considered an employee vs a contractor. Although companies can hire contractors under a ‘contract’, there are some IRS rules that can override the contract and dictate if a worker should be classified as a contractor or full-time employee. These rules rely on factors such as the amount of control the client has over the worker, etc. which can be misinterpreted by different people.

This misinterpretation of Independent Contractor (also called 1099) rules has led to various lawsuits where companies have been penalized for misclassifying workers, which has made them shy away from discussing their use of contingent workers or adding a layer of middlemen to insulate themselves from such co-employment or tax claims.

Contracting is notoriously non-transparent and many contractors just luck out in getting jobs or have been in the system long enough to know how it works. OnContracting wants to change that. We empower job seekers with information so they can take job search into their own hands. Get started in finding your next contract job by creating your profile on OnContracting.



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