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  • Writer's pictureBrenda Armstrong

Contract vs. Direct Hire: Exploring the Advantages for Candidates and Employers

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

When it comes to filling open positions, both candidates and employers face the decision of whether to opt for a contract or direct hire arrangement. Each option has its own unique set of benefits and considerations.

Let’s check out some advantages of both contract and direct hire arrangements for candidates and employers.

Contract Work For Candidates:

Flexibility: Contract positions allow individuals to have more control over their schedules. They can choose projects that align with their interests and availability, facilitating a better work-life balance.

Skill Development: Contract roles often provide opportunities to work on diverse projects and collaborate with different teams. This exposure helps candidates gain valuable experience, learn new skills, and expand their professional network.

Validate Potential: Contractors and Employees both benefit from trying each other out for a period of time. Contractors might be interested in testing the culture and their managers leadership style. Where, employers might want to test the contractor for skills and team fit.

For Employers Hiring Contract Workers:

Cost Savings: Contract hires can be a cost-effective option for employers, as they are not entitled to benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, or retirement plans. And contract workers are not subject to payroll taxes and other employment-related expenses.

Access to Specialized Skills: Hiring contractors allows companies to tap into a pool of specialized talent for short-term projects or specific expertise not available within their existing workforce.

Scalability and Flexibility: Contracts provide flexibility for businesses to quickly adjust their workforce based on fluctuating demands. They can scale up or downsize without the complexities associated with permanent hires.

According to a survey conducted by Upwork, 59 million Americans performed freelance work in 2020, representing 36% of the total U.S. workforce.

Direct Hire For Candidates:

Stability and Security: Direct hires usually come with the assurance of a long-term employment relationship, providing job stability and the potential for career growth within the organization.

Benefits and Perks: Permanent employees typically receive comprehensive benefits packages, including healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off, and opportunities for professional development.

Company Culture Integration: Direct hires have the chance to immerse themselves in the company culture, build relationships with colleagues, and establish a sense of belonging within the organization.

Direct Hiring For Employers :

Long-Term Commitment: Direct hires signify a mutual commitment between the employer and the employee. This commitment often fosters loyalty and dedication, leading to increased productivity and reduced turnover rates.

Cultural Fit: Employers can focus on selecting candidates who align with the company's values and cultural norms, ensuring a harmonious work environment and better team dynamics.

Knowledge Retention: Direct hires provide stability and continuity within the organization. Employees who stay with the company long-term accumulate valuable institutional knowledge, which can be crucial for maintaining operations and driving innovation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, approximately 83% of all employed persons in the United States were full-time wage and salary workers.

Choosing between contract and direct hire arrangements requires careful consideration from both candidates and employers. While contract work offers flexibility and diverse experiences for candidates, direct hires provide stability, benefits, and a sense of belonging. Similarly, employers can benefit from cost savings and specialized skills through contract hires, while direct hires contribute to long-term commitment, cultural fit, and knowledge retention within their organizations. Ultimately, the decision should be made to best suit the wants, needs, situation and circumstances of both parties.

Whether you’re hiring or looking (for either contract or direct hire), we have got you covered. Our precision matchmaker capabilities have helped many of our clients find the right person at the right time, so go on, get in touch with us on

At ITEOM Digital Technology Talent Partners, we understand the importance of finding the right fit for both employer and employee. As a #SBA certified #EDWOSB, #WOSB, we are committed to providing exceptional service to our clients and candidates. Our team works with hiring managers to identify, interview, assess, and excellent onboard talent while working with candidates to align their purpose and passion with top employers. Reach out to us at to learn.


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