There’s No Place like Home for Direct-Hire IT
The gig economy is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean full-time employment is a thing of the past. For companies looking to hire full-time, your creature comforts may be your greatest feature.
Some people are built to roam. Moving between jobs, interests, and different cities—there is no settling down for the uncaged heart.
Others, however, search long and hard for a place they can call home. Once they’ve found it, they plant their roots down deep and thrive off the reliable sustenance. Such is the disposition of a full-time employee.
Last month, we took a look at the promising future of contract employment. In this month’s newsletter, we are reaching across the aisle to show that direct-hire employment is for anyone looking for a company they can call home.
A place for full-time work in the gig economy
This year, IT professionals saw an average 3% increase in their overall salaries (in Boston, the number is 4.5%). This is a slightly smaller increase than what workers saw in 2016 (3.9%) and 2015 (3.6%).
Additionally, tech companies remain pretty optimistic. One survey of 1,263 IT managers showed that 43% expect their department’s headcount to expand.
So, while it’s not exactly a renaissance era for full-time employment, it’s not quite an apocalypse. Companies are not taking a lot of big risks, but also not making huge cuts.
So, who’s hiring?
The tech industry does explain a lot of new growth. Amazon announced earlier this year that it would be hiring 100,000 new full-time employees until mid-2018 – positions ranging from customer support to engineering with full benefits.
Another tech juggernaut, Facebook, has steadily increased their number of full-time employees year-by-year. This year they reported a total 18,770 employees, up 38% from the year before. In 2014, they had 6,818 full-time employees.
It seems that any time a tech company expands into a new area, they bring a whole bunch of jobs with them. For instance, the Virginia-based DXC Technology recently announced they would be expanding into Crescent City, New Orleans. To help fill their new location, they’re creating 2,000 new jobs
Moreover, the total number of full-time employees in the U.S. overall has increased by 2.51 million between this year and last.
One-third of contract employees would rather be full-time employees.
When 63% of freelancers say they do it by choice, the flip-side is that the rest do it by necessity. A lot of companies opt for temporary labor because it is the most efficient option for a single-project hiring need.
The cost of a company opting for contract employees over full-time, however, ultimately does affect the worker.
“You don’t get any benefits to speak of, you only get paid for what you work … no sick time, no paid vacation,” said Brian Dupuy, a former full-time computer technician in Des Moines who has been temping since 2011. “After a year, they’ll sign you up for a 401(k) but the salary is so low you have trouble making ends meet to begin with.”
While some individuals have a harder time switching over from contract work to full-time, one solution that is often mutually-advantageous for jobseekers and businesses is a temp-to-perm job placement.
Michael Ellis, Director of Contract Technology Recruiting at Hollister Staffing, said, “Some candidates will use contract to perm to get their foot in the door. Typically, the interview process is shorter in this model. Once you get hired as a contractor you can establish yourself as a valuable resource and hopefully get hired as a permanent employee. I’ve seen it happen many times.”
The risk for the company is also considerably lower in this try-before-you-buy sort of model.
The benefits of direct-hire
The clearest benefit of being a full-time, direct-hire employee is the feeling you are valued. Even while many full-time employees are hired at at-will basis, one lingering fear many temporary workers share is that one stray sick day could cost their job. It’s the feeling of disposability as an employee.
In addition to PTO, full-time employees receive health insurance, retirement benefits, and sometimes even stock options; which is not to mention the deeper benefit of being part of a group where they can find a sense of belonging. These are the sustainable qualities that make a house a home.
What makes this match a mutual fit is ultimately a give and take between having a definitive purpose within the company based on the skills an employee brings to the table. And in the tech sector, these skills are worth their weight in gold.
Steve Rock, Direct-Hire Tech Recruiting Manager at Hollister Staffing, said, “I tell my direct-hire candidates: your stability is not necessarily in the company for whom you will work, nor in the projects in which you engage, but in your own technical skills.” He added, “The Boston technology space is extremely robust and growing. If you are willing to ride some of the ebbs and flows, a good engineer will always find opportunity.”
It’s a coder’s market, so that means talented engineers ultimately have the freedom to choose if they would rather be a contractor or buckle down as a full-time employee. The benefit of being a contractor is the extra money and schedule flexibility. But what’s particularly attractive about going direct-hire as a tech employee is getting access to the full suite, which means: having a sense of ownership and belonging, having a viable budget to work with, getting to work on exciting projects with cutting-edge technology, and (in some cases) being totally spoiled with company benefits.
Here are a few examples of companies with amazing benefits:
Google offers its employees free lunch, midday siestas, a personal errand concierge service, and even a family bereavement package.
Apple provides commuting reimbursement, tuition assistance, donation matching, onsite concerts and “beer bashes,” free apples (i.e. fruit), and a medical wellness center. All of that is in addition to product discounts and stock options.
Facebook offers on-site healthcare, four months maternity and paternity leave, $4,000 in “baby cash” for new parents, and free meals. Said one employee, “With Facebook you literally do not have to worry about anything - every benefit possible is available to you.”
One Silicon Valley start-up called Asana offers life-coaching services, organic home-cooked meals twice a day, monthly Uber perks, onsite yoga classes, and a $10,000 allowance for workspace furniture.
Hollister Staffing offers its full-time employees guided meditation twice weekly, leadership and communication workshops, and coaching through the Hollister Institute, free gym access, a kegerator, ping pong, and annual sales trips to exotic regions.