Why is it hard to find a contract job?

Apr 6th, 2014
Why is it hard to find a contract job?

Almost every Fortune 1000 company hires contractors, consultants or independent contractors to augment their current team with temporary resources or to get some expert advice for an immediate problem.  So you’d expect these companies to be really keen to let job-seekers know when they have such a need. The truth is that it is extremely difficult and often frustrating for people to find a decent contract job. The main factors in landing a good contract gigs are - referrals, luck, or perseverance in digging up leads and following up with recruiters.

Try checking any job board for a contract job at your favorite company. Try digging up leads and you'll spend days on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Forums with very spotty and outdated information.

The main reason for this is that contractor hiring is completely outsourced. Large companies (clients) never hire contractors directly. They hire contractors through a set of preferred staffing agencies or consulting companies. In addition, these client companies do not like to advertise the fact that they hire contractors and so they actively discourage their preferred staffing agencies from advertising their name. Temp agencies are also very cautious about revealing thier clients because they don't want their competitors to know about it. This is what causes non-transparency in these jobs.

Why do large companies keep contracting secret?
There are many reasons- some legit and some not so much.
1.       Large companies don’t want to be involved in the non-core task of searching, qualifying and screening contractors. They have a hard enough time doing this for full-time employees.
2.       Large companies fear getting sued by contractors who can claim they should have been employees (co-employment). By hiring contractors through staffing agencies who run the contractor's payroll and pay for medical and vacation benefits of the contractor, it reduces the risk that a contractor can claim he/she was also an employee of the client
2.       Large companies don’t like it advertised that they are using contractors as it reduces their recruiting brand and the lure of Working at 'Hot company'. If people figured getting a contract job at Google is easy, it would presumably reduce the charm for others.
3.       Therefore, Fortune 1000 company contracts don’t allow their staffing agencies to advertise the client's name when advertising the positions or even mentioning that they work for the client
The problem in finding contract jobs
So you see cryptic jobs postings on job boards like ‘leading telecom company looking for a developer' or have to call friends who work as contractors at these companies or keyword stuff your resume and post your resume on a job board and pray some recruiter that’s recruiting for a desirable company finds you and calls you. In this day and age, it is sad that job-seekers are being asked to apply for jobs without even knowing who they will be working for.
What we are doing to change this
OnContracting is helping solve this problem by creating a preferred staffing agency directory for every Fortune 1000 company and letting job seekers find the most appropriate recruiters directly. This should let you find your dream contract job in 3 easy steps.
1. Find which Fortune 1000 company you want to work at
2. Find which staffing agencies supply contractors to those companies and
3. Connect with the recruiters at those agencies. Find the most appropriate one that deals in skills like yours. Talk to them, tell them about yourself and ask them for feedback and follow up regularly so they don't forget you

That is the most efficient way to find a contract job today.

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