5 Reasons Employers May Say “No” to Hiring Contractors for Perm Positions

Job Interview (1)

Many employers are reluctant to hire technical contractors for full-time permanent positions for a number of reasons.  Even though technical contractors perform specialized tasks for them and tend to be specialized in their field, there is always some hesitation.

Most companies seek out employees who have tenure along with strong technical experience. There are certain situations where the interviewer forms a particular opinion of a candidate without gaining adequate details about that individual or has a strict bias for favoring candidates with a “stable” work history. Contractors might not be the ideal candidates for a full-time job position in some special cases; however, every candidate deserves an equal opportunity to prove their skills, dedication, and desire for a full-time position.

If you are seeking to transition into a full-time permanent role, here are some barriers that you will have to overcome!

Five common negative perceptions pertaining to contractors who interview for full-time positions:


1. Depart upon completion of the project and no looking back

Since contractors are bound by an agreement, they stay on the job until their work is complete. Once the job is finished, they need to search for a new job or project. Since they are no longer being paid for the services they offer, they have no reason to stay beyond that period of time.  As a result, employers feel that when the “next best thing” comes around, a career contractor will leave the current job in a hurry and not be truly committed.

Make an employer feel confident why staying is a goal and intention.

Questions companies may ask:

  • How long do you support your work when your projects are finished (to check commitment level)?
  • What is happening now that caused you to want to make the change from contractor to full-time?
  • What do you feel are the advantages of a full-time opportunity at our company?
  • What would you say if you were offered another contract position?

2. Partial contribution to an entire system or software life cycle

Contractors work with other organizations when bound by an agreement, to complete certain tasks. They commence and quit working according to the dates or duration specified in the contract. Their work period might not start at the beginning of a project or end with it, as their services are required as needed. Thus, in the execution of a complete project, the role of a contractor remains limited and may only serve part of an entire life cycle.

Be sure to fully explain full life cycle participation and being able to see a project or strategy from start to finish.

Questions companies may ask:

  • How many full life cycle projects (start to finish) have you been actively part of?
  • How long was the entire project?

3. Limited control over their actions

Unlike full-time employees, contractors have a bit more autonomy over their actions. Even though they follow project-related orders, they do not follow instructions blindly and choose to operate on their own terms. Some contractors are not always used to being a part of a structured organization or under the scrutiny of a supervisor; therefore they might not follow all instructions exactly, nevertheless, contactors ensure timely completion of tasks assigned to them. For a contractor that was independent, the transition to more structure has proven difficult for some.

Explain why being part of a team, company, and long-term environment is what you want.

Questions companies may ask:

  • How would you describe your relationship with client team members?
  • Who did you report to and how was your role different from other similar client employees?
  • What did you not like about being a contractor?

4. Feel unconnected

Depending on the type of contracting agreement, contractors work with the company only for a fixed period of time. Upon completion of the project they are working on, they need to locate another job or project. Because employees know this person is there for a finite about of time, they are often not included in meetings regarding confidential information or placed on projects that need the team to be involved long term.  As a result, even when working with full-time employees, contractors are unable to establish a strong bond or feel connected.

Explain why being part of that specific company is beneficial to you long term.

Questions companies may ask:

  • What do you think you will gain by being a full-time employee?
  • Have you ever left a contract before the end and why?
  • Do you keep in touch with past co-workers?

5. Viewed as having unrealistic salary expectations

The majority of business owners and hiring managers view hiring independent contractors as expensive when full-time.  Contractors often give a salary range that is equivalent to their contracting rate and not factor in benefits, bonuses, 401K matching, paid training etc. that the employer pays.

Assess what the salary range is for what that role is paying and factor in the company benefits that they are paying into that number.

Questions companies may ask:

  • As an independent contractor, if you go full time, how will it affect your business as it stands now?
  • Why do you feel that you will be able to give 100% to our company given your history of independence?
  • What do you think is a fair salary range?

These are just some helpful guidelines, so you don’t miss out on a potentially incredible opportunity. Understand that employers commit their resources, time, and money into their employees, and want to lower the risk factor of not retaining talent that is key to their organization and projects.