Are you always adding value or are you part of the furniture?
I heard a story recently about a contractor that has been working for a well known financial services organisation for over 20 years and still going!! In my opinion this ‘contract’ is far too long but I can see two main reasons for it happening:
> They are still offering a high value-add service and have achieved so much within this organisation that it would be an incredible risk to the business to lose them.
>This person is well and truly part of the business furniture now. Although their initial contract was set for a certain length, they soon became part of the culture and the business has now struggled to move them on, possibly due to a number of internal networks this person has created for themselves.
This got me thinking about what the optimal length of a contract should be? If it is too long, you may risk becoming stale within your role and your skill set may not develop. Your pay may not also increase as it could if you moved around the market and opened up other opportunities for yourself.
On the other side, if your contracts are too short, questions can be asked about whether you have made an impact and some recruiting managers may want to see more longevity within your roles. I have certainly had this as part of role specifications I have received in the past. I also understand that it is not always the decision of the contractor to move on and contracts get cut short due to business funding issues.
Other questions surrounding having such a long term contractors on site relate to how some organisations don’t recognise this on their head count statistics and can therefore hide the true figures and cost. Having long term contractors in an organisation that aren’t recognised as FTE means that the budget aligned to an area isn’t affected and the benefit is seen to far outweigh the cost. In that instance, why wouldn’t businesses want to keep renewing them?!
I would love to hear your thoughts on some (or all) of the following questions:
> What is the longest and shortest contract you have had?
> What were your reasons for wanting to leave a contract at the point that you thought was the optimal time?
> Did you have any concerns around IR35?
> What others issues have you faced that have affected the length of your contracts?
I’ve also created a poll in the BrightPool linkedin group where you can vote on and explain your ideal Financial Services contract length, I’d love it if you could vote on it by clicking the following link:
Natalie Fennell is the Financial Services Account Manager at BrightPool.