Temp/contractor stigma. Is it real?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
37 posts

I have only worked for two companies, but I was initially hired at both of them for contract positions, never straight to full time. Maybe it is a function of my industry (medical device), but most entry level jobs in my life of work are filled by contract or contract to hire. I don’t see a stigma at all, and contractors are not treated as “less” at work, and MANY are hired on full-time. 

Post # 3
5077 posts
Bee Keeper

It can be. I think It depends on the industry and level of work, as well as your educational background.  

Some industries, contract freelance work is the norm.

Many places also have taken to contracting  through temp agencies to avoid paying benefits/insurance and dealing with the HR aspect – the higher cost to them paying a fee to the agency is offset by the benefit savings.  You’ll see this a lot with assembly and call center positions where it is a high volume of people all doing the same type of work and requiring a minimum of training.

However, if you are continually working entry level or unskilled/semi-skilled jobs unrelated to your education or field you are pursuing, it is probably going to send up a flag and make me wonder why you are striking out with more relevant, stable employment.  Might not be enough to not consider you, but it would probably be a nagging thought in the back of my mind.

Post # 4
9080 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
shadows9x :  No, I’ve worked at 2 companies that use temp/contract workers as a way to “try before you buy”. They love it when someone works out well enough to hire on full-time. The only reason a company would not see a temp/contractor as a good long term investment is if A) the employe has not proven to be a valuable contributor or B) the company or dept just can’t swing a full-time permanent hire at the moment, regardless of how good the temp has been — in which case, it’s not that the PERSON isn’t a good investment, it’s that the company just has a different financial strategy.

Post # 5
9525 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Depends on the industry. At some of the tech giants (thinking of Google in particular), contractors have been known to be treated like second class citizens on campus.

I’m a lawyer and we’ve had some temp-to-hire staff (secretaries and receptionists most often). I think the litigators sometimes pull in contractors to help with doc review during crazy times, but those are always just temporary positions.

Post # 6
4639 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Every time I hae been a temp, I have gotten hired on permanently. I think a lot of companies use it to test out employees, sort of like a lengthier working interview. My current company does this with all new employees because fit and culture is so important to us. We really want to make sure that they fit before making them a regular employee. 

Post # 7
359 posts
Helper bee

I started as a contractor at my currently company and was hired as an employee after 6 months. Some people like contracting because it tends to make more up-front money and you get to hop around and not be stuck at one place. I think companies like to do it, as another poster said, as a trial period, because if you’re not a good fit they can just choose not to renew your contract. It’s way harder to fire an employee. There are some temps and contractors who don’t care as much as employees because they know they’ll just go somewhere else, but I’ve also seen the opposite where they try to prove themselves to get a permanent position. 

Post # 8
1604 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

My position right now started out as a 1-month contract job, then I was extended to 3 months, and now they’re thinking of keeping me on permanently. It happens! That being said, I work in research, so even a “permanent” job isn’t permanent because once the study ends I’m out of work!

Post # 9
711 posts
Busy bee

My company also uses temps to “try before you buy”. It is important to remember that even if you are not brought on full-time, you should work hard and show enthusiasm to get a good reference out of the company! We have so many temps that don’t view their position as potentially turning into full time and that costs them in the long run.

Post # 10
1612 posts
Bumble bee

Depends on the industry. For some it’s normal. For others it can be a black mark. 

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