Posted on April 2023 By Speller International
TO CONTRACT OR NOT TO CONTRACT? THAT IS THE QUESTION…
The SAP market has been on fire in the last year and a half. We’ve seen sky high rates, new projects launching and new technologies being introduced. But as we come into what can be described as a slower or more of a plateau in the market, is contracting the best way forward? As we stare down at a potential downturn in the economy is a permanent position the better option? In a series of blogs over the coming months, we discuss the pros and cons of both contracting and permanent placements, and the different ways to contract ie. PAYG and ABN.
Which side of the fence do you sit on? Have you considered this question from all perspectives and could you be missing some vital pieces of information? And remember to stay tuned for the pros and cons of permanent roles!
Contracting can provide greater choice over where, when and under which conditions you work. Agreements are typically based on working practices, conditions, deliverables and working hours/days. It can also provide greater scope for testing the waters in other industry sectors and to broaden your experience.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Over time contractors typically enjoy more varied experiences as they engage with different organisations, and work across diverse workplaces and locations. And of course, organisations are your client, not your employer, which can often to a more balanced and fair relationship.
Variety leads to experience and experience leads to better skills. This can be a powerful recipe for getting an edge as an SAP consultant and building a persuasive CV. Meanwhile your network grows; a substantial by-product with a range of benefits. It also gives you more exposure to more of the latest technologies.
Greater Financial Reward
Did we say double your money? OK, maybe not all the time but typically the hourly rates enjoyed by contractors are much higher and occasionally up to twice as much.
It all boils down to the fact that contractors do take on the riskier side of the relationship, as engagements are typically flexible and short term and there is a level of risk – if you mess up, you can be held liable!
As a contractor, even if you reduce your burden by engaging through an agency like Speller or a Contractor Management Company, you need to allow for a little more administration time. At the very minimum you will need time for things like filling in timesheets and submitting expenses.
If of course you decide to handle your own affairs entirely then you need to factor in time for payment administration and preparing your submissions to the ATO, which can be quite time consuming. Please refer to the ATO website for more information on the requirements for tax lodgements and declarations.
While contracting can be very lucrative, quite rightly, permanent employees are more protected by the business they are employed by and employment laws. Contractors are engaged to deliver a service and if that service is no longer required or if the person to no longer deemed suitable to deliver that service, then the contractor can be easily let go.
Less Income Stability
As a contractor you will usually spend more time seeking and retaining “employment”. Obviously, whilst between contracts you will not be earning any income. For some people this is seen as a risk, whilst for others it is seen as an opportunity to get downtime or invest in their training and certifications. Building and maintaining your own networks and brand as a contractor is crucial and should not be overlooked as an activity every contractor should be doing.
Bye Bye Employee Benefits
Traditional employees of course receive a range of benefits including sick and holiday pay, and investments into your personal and professional development This doesn’t mean that you can never get sick or take a holiday or upskill; it just means that financially you need to prepare for a few ‘rainy days’, and plan better for a few more ‘sunny days’ off.
Powers of Negotiation
More so than an employee, you need to be adept at negotiating your own payment terms and working conditions in order to maximise your earning potential. This of course doesn’t always come naturally. This is one of the advantages of utilising a specialist SAP recruitment agency like Speller International as we work hard to represent you and ensure you are working under the best conditions. Read our blog on negotiation here.
Not Having Traditional Colleagues
Sometimes, it can be a little bit isolating as a contractor. As your passage through workplaces is more fleeting your relationships might not be as strong as those enjoyed by the ‘employees’ you work with.
With many things, there are positives and negatives. We have seen candidates successfully work as contractors their whole career, never missing the traditional ‘work perks’ a permanent role offers, we’ve also seen other consultants jump back and forth between contracting and permanent placements depending on where they are at in their personal and professional life.
If you’re in a permanent role currently and thinking about contracting, get in touch with one of the Speller team today to find out more.