The Year of the Cloud Contractor

With the combination of industry hiring trends and various benefits that lean towards working short to mid-term engagements, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the Cloud Contractor.

In the past, when given the choice between contract and full-time employment, the decision has been quite clear. Conventional wisdom has had an influence over technology and cloud professionals favoring full time equivalent (FTE) opportunities when presented the choice. However, we’ve recently been seeing more and more of these types of professionals taking advantage of the benefits of contract engagements. Below, I’ll explain the three main reasons why.

Benefits of Projects:

The major drive behind accepting contract projects comes down to the type of work needed by hiring companies. Organizations are opting to hire contractors who can take ownership over the projects they are assigned. Whether it is migrating a few applications or standing up an entire DevOps environment within an organization, these project types are allowing engineers and architects to have responsibilities they may not have had access to in the past. Through this method, contract workers can manage projects back-to-back, increasing the marketability of their personal brands moving forward.

Higher Rates:

Dice reported earlier this year that although unemployment in tech industries are reaching all time lows, many of the salaries are actually becoming stagnate. Contract engagements are a way for employees to earn inflated rates for large portions of the year. Working in the IT Talent Solutions industry, I’ve seen a number of senior professionals accepting larger hourly rates that would cover their traditional entire year’s salary in just a few months. This also allows these employees to take elongated vacations that would not be possible while working in a traditional FTE role. Additionally, we’ve seen certain contractors work more than one project at once. In the past, technology professionals were often working 60 to 80 hour weeks across multiple projects in their salaried role without any additional compensation. Contractors, if they so choose, can work these same hours while ensuring they are adequately paid per project.

Flexibility:

Behind project work and compensation, remote work options and flexible hours are becoming increasingly more important for professionals when deciding which employment opportunities to take. Contract engagements have traditionally allowed more flexibility around both in the tech world. Generally, these professionals will work on site for a short period of time to get started on a project, and then take advantage of the tremendous remote and hourly flexibility afterwords.

With all this in mind, don’t be surprised to see more technology and cloud professionals riding the contractor wave over the coming months and years. And if you need help finding these professionals, be sure to reach out.