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IT Contracting: Do you have what it takes?

Posted by Travis O'Rourke, Head of Hays Talent Solutions, Canada, on Monday, Jan 9, 2017

Hays Canada Blog: IT Contracting: Do you have what it takes?If you’re considering IT contracting then I’m sure you have a sense of what that means. Simply put, IT contracting is where an IT specialist works as their own individual company for a client organization in a business-to-business agreement. These specialists are contracted on a fixed term basis, usually to work on individual projects, as opposed to traditional permanent staff who are employed on an ongoing basis.

But are you the type person that would thrive as a contractor? What’s the typical profile of an IT contractor?

First off, you’ve got to have the skills that clients want. To be a successful IT contractor you need to work in an area of expertise that is in high demand and that a client organization would struggle to recruit for in a permanent job. If it’s difficult for you to find permanent jobs then you’ll struggle even more as a contractor.

Find out what skills are in demand

Even for experienced contractors, learning new skills and keeping up to date with the latest trends is critical to success. An IT contractor needs to continually invest in their own business (themselves) to survive and prosper. On the plus side you have more control over how you develop yourself and define your own career path.

IT contractors need to enjoy the risk vs. reward dynamic in their working lives, be able to handle pressure from clients (people expect top quality for top money), and have good social skills to quickly integrate themselves into new teams.

You’ll also need to be an adept salesperson if you’re calling up clients and pitching for business. This is where working with an experienced recruiter like Hays is beneficial, as we already have a large network of contacts and can take care of the difficult and time consuming task of finding companies recruiting for your role/skills at the right time. You just need to turn up for the interview!

Basically, a top IT contractor has a strong entrepreneurial mind set; they’re willing to travel to where the work is; they’re business minded, they take care of their finances (tax, admin etc.) and they create a ‘financial airbag’ for when they’re between projects. You're running your own legal corporation - and you might even end up with employees of your own, passing on your skills and experience.

If this sounds like you, then you could be a prime candidate to move into the world of IT contracting!

Get more insights by contacting your local Hays office or download a free copy of the What Employers Want Guide

Job Title Location Job ID
QA Specialist Kanata 1054562
Java Developer Toronto 1052443
IT Systems Software Specialist Winnipeg 1053097
Oracle/Weblogic Developer Edmonton 1052453
QA Analyst Toronto 1052488
.Net Developer Regina 1054330


Talk to Travis O'Rourke, Hays Canada Director, on the Canadian temporary and contingent labour market.

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