How to go from being a contractor to on the books

How to go from being a contractor to on the books

When I speak to contractors, IR35 is a sore subject. It makes many of them think they have to go permanent now as the bottom has fallen out of their contractor game. But trying to do so is easier said than done.

The Situation

You have made the decision to go permanent following a number of years in the contractor game. However, when you apply for permanent jobs you don’t seem to find the same success. Your skills are outstanding. The experience you have is exemplary. So why the struggle to secure a post?

Companies are worried that you will leave their employment as soon as an opportunity presents itself back in the contractor game. Traditionally this is, in my opinion, an understandable reservation. Contracting pays a lot more than permanent. But one of the reasons is the risk associated with contracting in the first place. If your market drops the first people to go are contractors. So, you are paid to take that risk.

A Change in Contractor Circumstances

The change I am referring to is that of IR35. If the extra money that you were paid to take the risk has been taken from you and given to the taxman, then that benefit has gone.

The circumstance change before this which stood for the reservation a client would have was that a contractor had no work so would only consider a permanent job as a temporary solution.

However, many clients still have the same reservation now. But many of those don’t understand IR35 and its reason behind your legitimate desire to go on the books.

Communication to go Perm

When I look at most contractor’s CV’s who are looking to go perm the communication is not right. If a contractor is going for a contract job, they’ll list skills and experience. That is what a hiring manager is interested in pretty much exclusively. However, when going for a permanent job from contract you’ll need adjust your approach.

10 second rule

Most recruiters and hiring managers will initially skim read a CV. Many will make a decision based off that 10 second skim read. If they are pre-programmed to have a reservation as soon as they see you are a contractor trying to go permanent, your CV will be filed B.I.N.

Therefore, you need to address this so what they see first is your reason for wanting to go permanent to -pre-empt their reservation.

Make this clear in the Personal Statement section as clear as day.

Sum Up

Trying to go on the books when you’ve been an established Contractor is hard enough so be savvy about it and put yourself in a sceptical hiring managers shoe’s. You will find you may have more success.

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