Perm doesn’t exist
I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as a “permanent” job position, especially in Illinois, and contract to hire offers several important benefits over perm positions.
In the state of Illinois especially, an employer is under no obligation to keeping you employed, you can be laid off or terminated for any reason related to your performance or not. Even the placement fee that your IT recruiter will receive is usually under 60-180 days guarantee period, to minimize their loses in case of separation in that period… What does that tell you?
Make it work
Some people worry about health benefits, PTO and eligibility for unemployment. I agree that most staffing companies who would host the contract to hire, would not provide the best health insurance rates (if any) and may not offer any PTO. However these “benefits” can be easily converted to dollars and cents. You should take this into consideration and negotiate an hourly rate that would cover health insurance and time off. Since you will actually be paid for every hour you put in, if the benefits to dollars conversion is done correctly, you should come out on top! Also note that being a 2W contractor makes you eligible for unemployment, if things don’t work out.
Reap the benefits of contract-to-hire:
- Evaluate the job firsthand. You’ll be able to see for yourself what working for the company is like instead of relying the impression you made after a few interviews. You can assess your chances of growth, likelihood of getting along with your boss, or if you can learn form your peers. In other words you will get to have a courtship period before the wedding, verses marriage after 2 dates!
- Contract to hire position gives you an advantage when it comes to full time salary negotiation. With contract-to-hire, while the full-time salary range is discussed up front, the final number doesn’t come into play until the offer is extended. By this time the employer is certain that you’re the one they want. They have seen what you bring to table, and they have invested time and effort in bringing you up to speed . You have leverage, since replacing you would be costly and risky. Now paying you an extra 10K seems like no big deal compared to the expense of bringing on a replacement!
- If things don’t work out, you are better off than with a perm position. Even with a perm position things can happen to cut your tenure short. Short term employment in a full time role raises red flags when prospective employers review your resume thereby reducing your chances of obtaining a new job.