Temp or Perm?  Weighing Your Employment Options

In today’s strong job market, there are many factors to consider when weighing your employment options.  Both temporary (contract) and permanent hire jobs can be lucrative and career enhancing.  Here are some high-level differences to consider when looking at both options.

Temporary / Contract Employment                               

Depending on how the contract is structured, you may consider these benefits:


  • Tax Deductions: Being self-employed may allow you annual tax write-offs including cell phone, computer equipment and software, office supplies, internet service, mileage and more. You’ll want to consult a CPA for your maximum allowable deduction or ask your agency for guidance.


  • Flexible Schedule: As a contractor, you may be able to set your own schedule or limit the hours you are willing to work.  If you prefer a part-time schedule or require a specific day off, this can be easier to negotiate if you are an independent contractor and are paid by the hour.  Keep in mind that, as a temporary employee, time off is typically unpaid.  So be sure that you are mindful of the impact it will have on your earning potential.


  • Hourly Wage: At times, contractors may negotiate a higher wage because they do not have benefits such as Paid Time Off, health insurance, etc. that might save the company money.  Another factor in asking for a higher wage is that many contractors are experienced enough to “hit the ground running” with virtually no ramp-up time.  An ideal contractor can work a full workload within the first 2 weeks of orientation, meaning the training time is minimal while the impact is noticeable within a short period.  Be sure to consult your executive recruiter or agency for salary guidance.


  • Company Culture: A temporary position can be a great way for you to experience the company before you sign on permanently.


Permanent Employment:

  • Employee Benefits: If you desire a stable set of benefits that include medical insurance, short- and long-term disability coverage, or family medical leave (such as maternity), it may be advantageous to take a permanent position with a competitive benefits package. Additional perks may also include a parking stipend, tuition reimbursement, and retirement savings.


  • Paid Time Off: For many, having a set Paid Time Off policy may be a determining factor when they are looking for an employment opportunity.


  • Career Advancement Opportunities: Do you want to be a boss someday? Being a full time and permanent member of the team may allow you more career advancement opportunities and recognition from company leadership.


  • Company Culture: If you thrive in a team environment and want to feel like a part of the bigger mission, you may feel more fulfilled in a permanent role.


What is the best fit for you and your career goals for this specific time in your life?  You can confidently make the next move in your career by carefully considering temporary and permanent employment options, while also seeking the support of an executive recruiting search firm in your area.