As a Salesforce professional, you benefit from having both permanent and contract opportunities available to you. Although the tech industry is struggling to maintain the growth it experienced due to the pandemic, Salesforce isn’t following suit. With expected growth of 22% YoY over the 2023 financial year, and an estimated 9.3 million new jobs by 2026, your skills are, and will continue to be, very much in demand.
You might already have a strong preference for either contract or permanent roles, however, it’s possible that making a switch suits you better, or might be the right move for you in the future. Whether you’re a Consultant, a Business Analyst or an Architect, the permanent and contract opportunities are endless – but which path is the right fit for you?
Focus on Salesforce are a specialist recruitment consultancy, dedicated solely to recruitment within the Salesforce ecosystem. We’re using our expert market knowledge to help you weigh up your options.
Stability vs. Flexibility
We’ll start here, because this is often the crux of the matter. A permanent role offers you more stability and job security – you are a permanent employee within your organisation, and there is no end date to your employment. In contrast, if you are contracted, your employment could end at any time, for example if business plans change or the project you’re working on ends unexpectedly. Even if your contract ends at the time planned, you need to think about when you want to line up your next contract, and go through the recruitment process again (although this is often quicker than the process for a permanent role). There could be long gaps between contracts, so you’ll need to plan and budget for this. However, there are contract opportunities that are offered with the potential to become permanent, but this isn’t a sure thing.
On the other hand, some value flexibility over stability. Contracting offers you the choice of which roles you take on and projects you work on, often meaning you have more control over when and where you work. Although organisations are steadily improving the flexibility they offer their permanent employees, you won’t have as much leeway. This flexibility could benefit you in many ways, such as being able to travel for two months between contracts if you wish, and travel more for the roles you choose in general.
With a permanent role, your organisation will take on administrative tasks, such as taxes, pension pots, national insurance/social security, student loan repayments, etc. As a contractor, you’ll need to organise this yourself. There are many things you’ll need to consider, such as whether to be paid through an umbrella company, under PAYE through an agency, or register as a limited company. Do you want to accept a role inside IR35? Have you filled in your time sheet for this week? This will add to your workload, and you’ll have to try and budget accordingly.
This is often another deal-breaker when making the choice between a contract or permanent role. With a permanent role, you’ll have a stable income, and can budget for the long-term. However, as a contractor, your specific skill set is in demand, meaning your employment could be much more lucrative. For example, the average daily rate for a Salesforce consultant in the UK is £550. Glassdoor report the average annual salary for a Salesforce Consultant in the UK as £54,341. If you factor in the same number of hours in the contract role as the permanent role, you’ll be earning considerably more as a contractor. You could also benefit from tax relief if you have your own limited company.
With this in mind, however, a contractor won’t reap the rewards of an organisation’s employee benefits package. That includes bonuses, pension, holiday and sick pay, membership discounts, parental leave, stock options, and more. This can add up to a sizeable sum on top of your base salary. You can, of course, pay into your own pension pot, and with an umbrella company you can still benefit from statutory pay for illness etc., but you’ll need to weigh up whether your higher day rate makes up for the benefits you’re missing out on.
As a contractor, you’ll gain exposure to a multitude of different projects, environments, industries, people and organisations. The job variation you experience can help build up a comprehensive portfolio of work. You’ll also have a wider network of contacts within the ecosystem, which you’ll need if you want to continue getting contract offers through the door.
However, unless you are on a long-term contract, you won’t benefit from the relationships you can build in a permanent role. You can really get to know, and enjoy, a company and its culture when you are a permanent employee. You can also become part of a team with which you can collaborate seamlessly, and build life-long relationships. You’ll need to assess what’s more important for a professional with your skill set.
In the same vein as exposure to different industries etc., contractors can gain exposure to a wider range of skills. You can choose which contracts/projects to take on, giving you more control over the skills and experience you acquire. In a permanent role, a lack of job variation means you can hone the skills you need for your current job, but expanding this to the level you desire could be challenging. You would, however, have a longer time to build and demonstrate your ‘soft’ skills, within a team that you know well, and trust. The importance of soft skills, such as organisation, communication and empathy, has grown exponentially in recent years. The talent pool has decreased in size, so employers have to consider the value of these skills in lieu of the relevant certifications or experience.
When it comes to considering your career progression, the different paths that permanent and contract roles offer are important to consider. In a permanent role, you’re more likely to access a secure path of career progression within your organisation, which offers long-term security and growth. As a contractor, however, you’ll have more control over the process. The path your career takes will be more on your own terms, and you won’t necessarily have to follow a fixed journey.
There are other benefits to permanent roles when considering progression. Your organisation is likely to offer you continued professional development and training, as an investment in you, in this regard, is an investment in their organisation. As a contractor, if you want this type of progression, you’ll have to organise and fund this yourself, making gaining the qualifications needed for a senior role more complicated to attain.
Want more advice on potential roles, permanent or contract, and whether they offer you what you’re looking for? Get in touch today to speak to a specialist recruitment consultant, who can help you find the right fit.