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Newcomers and contract employment

For newcomers, contract employment can be a great option when you are first settling in Canada. Contract or temporary employment is very common in Canada. And, it can be beneficial for newcomers who are looking to:

  • gain Canadian experience
  • find a short-term job placement
  • understand the Canadian workplace.

What is contract employment?

Contract employment is a set term agreement between and employer and a candidate. In some cases, these contracts are managed directly by the employer. But, sometimes a third party will hold the contract with the candidate, and possibly manage the payroll on behalf of the employer.

 

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What to consider when looking for contract employment?

It is important to consider your qualifications for contract employment to ensure that you find a good match. When it comes to contract work, employers look for people who can jump right in to the job with minimal training. So, it’s ideal if you have experience and qualifications that directly relate to the job.

Where and how to look for contract work?

Contract work is generally advertised in the same places as permanent employment. Some companies hire contract staff directly but most will use a recruitment agency or non-profit organization. Also, you can also find contract positions on job boards. You can usually find contract positions in a separate section on job boards.

What are the benefits of contract employment for newcomers?

For newcomers specifically, contract work can be a great opportunity. Contract work may be easier to secure than a permanent role. For example, employers may feel like they are taking a lower hiring risk when they hire people for a short-term contract.  And, they may be more willing to try someone without local experience.

Because experience is an asset in contract employment, it’s less likely that an employer will feel you are overqualified.

Contract employment allows newcomers to:

  • test a specific role or company
  • build your professional network
  • gain Canadian work experience
  • demonstrate skills, knowledge, and job performance

 

 

Does contract work lead to permanent or other work?

When you perform well in a contract role, it can increase your chances of securing a permanent role with the company. And, you can also use your contract experience to market yourself externally. At the same time, you are meeting new people and making important connections in your industry.

Are there disadvantages of contract employment?

This depends on the person. Some people may be concerned about not feeling like part of a team as a contract employee. Another disadvantage is that contract employment usually doesn’t cover benefits such as:

  • dental and health coverage
  • pension plan deductions

So, you would have to arrange health coverage for yourself. Also, some people find it challenging to have to start job searching again at the end of the contract. But, some people actually prefer to work on set term contracts because it allow them more freedom, choice, and variety of projects that they work on.  Overall, the professional advantages of contract employment,  plus the flexibility that it provides may counter the downsides.