At Hamilton Forth, we are fortunate to work with a range of candidates and clients, placing into a variety of Salesforce related roles both permanent and contract. Lately, we’ve had an increase in candidates looking to venture into the contract world. Here, Hazel Swan, our Salesforce Recruitment Specialist, looks at some of the pros and cons of working as a contractor within the Salesforce eco-system.
Contracting brings a level of flexibility that allows you to choose how many projects you take on at any time. Whether you are looking for full time or part time work one of the benefits of contracting is the ability to select projects that fit in with your preferred work schedule.
If you only want to work two or three days per week then you have the flexibility to choose projects that will fit in with your preferred work pattern, lending itself well to a more balanced work-life approach. Depending on your financial situation, contracting means that you can choose how much time you take off in between projects, lending itself well to having extended breaks, travelling, and spending more time doing the things you love.
Contracting can offer increased freedom to control what work you do and for some people, variety is key. Taking on multiple smaller projects with a variety of clients means you can focus on projects that excite you. Whether it is gaining exposure to a variety of new Salesforce products, broadening your experience in a particular area/sector, or working with a specific client you have an interest in, the choice is yours. Picking and choosing the projects that will keep you motivated and engaged, whilst also growing your network and contacts is one of the key benefits of contracting.
Contracting is a great way to develop and broaden your knowledge and skills, with exposure to different stakeholders, processes, products, and environments. Contractors typically work on projects that last between three and 12 months which means you can challenge yourself with new experiences or deepen your knowledge and experience in a familiar area. Either way, you have more control over the type of projects you apply for that will help you shape your career based on your work goals.
As a contractor, you have more control over what you earn. Depending on what stage you are within your career, as a Salesforce professional you can propose a day rate based on the type and complexity of the role and how much you feel your time and experience is worth, taking account of the client budget.
This tends to result in higher pay as a contractor although it is important to note that you will not be entitled to benefits associated with a permanent role including paid time off, company pension schemes, healthcare schemes etc. It’s therefore important to plan ahead so that you have alternative provisions in place for holiday requirements, retirement, and unexpected periods of time off.
As a contractor, you will be responsible for finding your own projects in order to secure a steady flow of income. This doesn’t suit everyone and for those that prefer a steady income and less risk, then the permanent route may be more suitable.
With the right networks and contacts, you can plan ahead to make sure you have a steady stream of projects lined up. This means that building up a solid network within the Salesforce eco-system is key. This comes with time and requires effort to build relationships.
In time, you will become known as an expert within the ecosystem and known for delivering a top-quality service so you can rely on word of mouth to win new business. It’s also a benefit to work with an agency like Hamilton Forth, where we can help make introductions to clients and submit you to available contracts.
Contractors are responsible for managing their own finances, including tax, VAT and NI. This can be time-consuming, particularly if running a limited company. It’s important that you keep your records up to date and seek the appropriate advice to keep yourself right.
For contractors who don’t want to go down the limited company route, there is also an option to work with an umbrella company. Working for an umbrella company means you get most of the benefits of self-employment but you will have an employment contract with the umbrella company meaning you benefit from all of the same employment rights as other permanent employees.
The controversial IR35 changes that came into effect last year have now also been scrapped following the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng’s recent announcement. This has been a welcome decision for contractors and means that from April 2023, contractors and consultants will once again be responsible for determining their employment status.
Not Being ‘Part of the Team’
Depending on the project, organisation, length of contract and organisation culture, working as a contractor can be lonely for some. You are external to the permanent workforce and likely not be included in the traditional team meetings, celebrations and general team building activities out with the expectations of your contract obligations.
For some that’s a positive as it means you can avoid the general office politics, however for others, the work family is important and as a contractor, you may miss out on this element of the work environment.
Deciding what Works for You
These are just some of the highs and lows of contracting. When it comes down to a decision on which route to take, it depends on personal preferences, circumstances and where you are within your own career journey. Contracting is not for everyone (just like permanent isn’t for everyone either), however like most things in life, it’s assessing your own situation at a particular time in your life, and weighing up what aspects of your work/life you value most, and assessing if contracting fits into that plan.
At Hamilton Forth, our Salesforce recruitment team is exclusively focused on Salesforce appointments, working with organisations to source industry leading talent on both a permanent and interim contract basis.
Our business is built on a values-led approach, which ensures we are committed to helping both clients and candidates achieve their fullest potential by matching expertise to business need.
If you are a contractor looking for a new opportunity or want to explore the contract market then we invite you to come and have a chat with us and discuss your next project. Likewise, if you are a client looking for Contract resource for your next project then contact [email protected] for a discussion around your requirements.