By Glenn Bratton, Manager – IT Services, Frog Recruitment
It’s a very confusing situation in the world of contracting at the moment.
On the one hand we have people predicting that the world contingent workforce will grow to 50% of the overall workforce, that the economy as it stands lends itself to the contracting market and that there is a growth in NZ contracting.
Then on the other hand we have various pundits talking about a decline in contracting advertisements, lack of suitably skilled people, and resurgence in permanent recruitment.
Of course, you would have to understand where the messages are coming from, is the data being used actually relevant to making a comment, and the final point, and most important, are you as a professional contractor actually working at the moment.
The reality is that there is always a need for a well-skilled and experienced contractor workforce and having been in the contracting industry for over 25 years I can say that there is nothing new in these messages. Of course, some areas will be in decline while others will be on the rise. But it is cyclical. Surely you did not become a contractor to work 12 months of the year, every year. The reason you get your hourly rate is to be able to see you through the ‘holiday times’. But that’s a whole other issue.
So how can you ensure you are the top of the pile when going for that ‘elusive’ contract?
Your CV needs to be current and concise identifying your results and value-add. Remember, employers are buying experience first, the legacy you will leave them second, with team fit a long way third.
Your experience needs to be current. Being an expert in an older version of a software product naturally increases your competition in the marketplace (unless it is so old that no-one is left who knows it!!). Take the time to develop your expertise and upgrade your knowledge in your times between contracts.
Today, your social network footprint needs to be large. So make sure you optimize your LinkedIn Profile (Frog can assist you in this), join groups of interest and then communicate with them.
Deal with a few tried and true recruitment companies and contact them regularly via email and phone to update them on your current situation. It will pay off in the long run.
And finally, if you are between contracts at the moment, spend the morning looking and networking then play golf, go fishing, or feel the sand between your toes in the afternoon. It may be a long time before you get the chance to do it again.
Please contact Glenn Bratton if you would like more information about registering with Frog Recrutiment for contracting opportunities or optimising your social network