Perm vs FTC Perm vs FTC
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  1. #1

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    Question Perm vs FTC

    Had an interesting chat with an old client last week and I'm beginning to second guess myself - was hoping for your thoughts as I still have time to decide.

    An old client (large multinational I've had a handful of great previous engagements with) approached me, they're starting up a new company in the group and want me to run a key function (which is something my CV would benefit from)

    But there's a hitch - they can't hire any contractors right now, for any reason, so they were trying to get me to entertain a perm offer.

    I refused, so they suggested they could offer an FTC, which would be 6 months initially. And then they'd ask again if I want perm.

    Normally I wouldn't entertain an FTC due to the cash side but aside from one or two narrowly missed good opportunities, the market has been pretty quiet for months and I figure if I can't make the contract money at least I can make the CV look better, and if I'm enjoying myself working on this startup I could hang around.

    My thinking with FTC is that it prevents me being trapped between lower money/something I'm not enjoying and trying to explain a short perm job to agents. Do I have the right understanding of it?
    Last edited by man; 26th September 2020 at 15:49.

  2. #2

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    My tuppence. Large multinational starting a new function wanting someone for a key position. That seems like you're in at the start, you'd be shaping the culture and if it were to boom you'd might have management experience which might change your CV in a couple of years. I'd go for this rather than some FTC. Don't know how they compare money-wise but I'd be looking at the long view.

    Depends on your aversion to perm roles/culture. Pleasant choice to have.

  3. #3

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    Hard to see much of a downside, particularly if it's genuinely CV-enhancing. If their reason for "no contractors" is predominantly to do with fitting in with groupwide policy rather than cost, as is probably likely, they might well be amenable to paying contractor-type money via FTC (that's what I'm doing right now.) And even if not, a six month CV-enhancing role if there's nothing much else on the horizon at least keeps you busy, earning, and in a better situation in six months' time.

    I too would be very reluctant to take a permanent role if I only intended to stay a year or so, just from an explaining-it-in-future point of view. FTC avoids that issue.

  4. #4

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    I'd do some reading on your rights etc in a FTC vs perm contract. If it's going to last more than two years then an FTC becomes perm for the purposes of some rights IIRC.

    I'm currently struggling to think what tangible difference there is between the two on a day to day, practical level. Both are on the client payroll, both subject to NI and PAYE (with the client paying ErNI), both can have pension, both get holiday pay, etc.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amanensia View Post
    I too would be very reluctant to take a permanent role if I only intended to stay a year or so, just from an explaining-it-in-future point of view. FTC avoids that issue.
    Much easier to just let a 6 month FTC run its course and do smth else if an opportunity arises. Yes you can also leave a perm job fairly easily, but there's less explaining in the future what actually happened.

    What I'd be thinking though is whether you are actually going to have contract opps in the future, cause at least currently it looks like contracting is very much dead with loads of companies going the same route as your ex client.

  6. #6

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    I really don't get all this worry about explaining away a perm job. Many here have dipped in and out as opportunities have presented themselves and lived to tell the tale.

    A manger at an ex-client was perm for years before going freelance. She then realised to get where she wanted to be and have the level of control/influence she wanted, she had to go perm again. When the time was right, she went back freelance again. She's very respected in her line of work and suffered no issues with switching.

    Why people are touting time as perm as shameful and something that needs to be hidden like some 1940s unwed mother, is totally beyond me.

  7. #7

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    FTC, a permi but with a fixed end date. Surprisingly not an oxymoron.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    I really don't get all this worry about explaining away a perm job. Many here have dipped in and out as opportunities have presented themselves and lived to tell the tale.

    A manger at an ex-client was perm for years before going freelance. She then realised to get where she wanted to be and have the level of control/influence she wanted, she had to go perm again. When the time was right, she went back freelance again. She's very respected in her line of work and suffered no issues with switching.

    Why people are touting time as perm as shameful and something that needs to be hidden like some 1940s unwed mother, is totally beyond me.
    +1 - by going permanent the firm isn't looking for your replacement by using FTC the company is always going to worry that you won't renew and leave them in the lurch.

    In the current market just go permanent, use the time to move up to another level again and then decide what to do.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    +1 - by going permanent the firm isn't looking for your replacement by using FTC the company is always going to worry that you won't renew and leave them in the lurch.

    In the current market just go permanent, use the time to move up to another level again and then decide what to do.
    For once I actually agree with going perm.
    The difference between FTC and perm is a bit moot anyway.
    And if starting a new function, worse executive duties, outside IR35 contract is probably not even an option.

    Downside with perm is the notice period of three months if it really doesn’t work.

    Good luck.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    For once I actually agree with going perm.
    The difference between FTC and perm is a bit moot anyway.
    And if starting a new function, worse executive duties, outside IR35 contract is probably not even an option.

    Downside with perm is the notice period of three months if it really doesn’t work.

    Good luck.
    That's where a bit of negotiating could work in the OP's favour. I don't think all perm roles have 3 months' notice (but then I haven't held a perm role since 2005) but the OP could negotiate a mutually convenient notice period of, say, a month or 6 weeks rather than 3 months if that is the company's default. Depending on the seniority of the role, the notice period could well end up being paid in lieu rather than worked.

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