Contract Work Compass: Contract vs direct hire positions

The Gig Economy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. There’s no doubt that the world of work is changing. And big change inspires important questions. At Ian Martin, we believe every question is valid in the search for meaningful work. This blog post series answers the questions we’re hearing from candidates as they chart their courses in the new world of work. 

The Question:

What’s the difference between a contract position and a direct hire position?

The Directional Assistance:

As you browse through Ian Martin’s current job opportunities, you’ll notice that at the top of each position posting there is an information key. Each posting is categorized by job type as either “Contract” or “Direct Hire.”

The term “Direct Hire” means that an outside company has contracted Ian Martin to do their recruiting on its behalf. When a person is hired for a Direct Hire position, they become a direct employee for a company other than Ian Martin and, in most cases, it will be a full-time, salaried position.  

If a position’s job type is listed as “Contract” it means that, in addition to hiring Ian Martin to recruit for the position, the outside company has contracted Ian Martin to oversee all aspects of that position. The worker that is ultimately hired for the position will be placed on contract for a specific job, for a specific pay rate. While they will likely work on-site at the outside company, they will not be a permanent employee of that company. Instead, they have two options: they can choose to become an Ian Martin employee, or they can choose to offer their services to Ian Martin as an independent contractor, and then Ian Martin, in turn, will contract their services to the outside company. Either way, Ian Martin manages the contract with the company, pays the worker, and the worker provides their services to the outside company for the duration of the contract.  


Wondering what factors to consider when deciding between a direct hire and contract position? Click here for more direction.