Types Of Vacancies
Employers normally advertise two kinds of vacancies: permanent roles, and contract roles. The key difference is that people in permanent roles are company employees, whilst people in contract roles are normally self-employed.
Permanent roles are traditional salaried positions, and they (at least in theory) grant the employee the maximum employment rights and protection. The majority of British institutions are geared up for permanent employees: it is easier to rent somewhere to live, to obtain credit, to get a mortgage and so on if you are in a permanent role. The majority of vacancies are permanent roles.
Contract roles are fixed-term positions, paying either an hourly or a date rate. You have to run your own company (or be part of an umbrella company), and you submit timesheets to the firm where the position is. Invoices normally go to the recruitment agency. The recruitment agency pays your company for your services, and you draw salary, expenses and dividends from your company.
It used to be the case that contracting was something you could only move into later in your career, but shortages of skilled programmers and an increase in the number of startups (especially in London) have made it possible to do contract work earlier in your career.
Other Vacancy Types
Other roles you might come across include:
- freelancing: people in these roles are self-employed, but they are hired on a project-by-project basis. Freelancing is a great way to get a lot of variety of work, but you do have to be able to constantly bring in new work.
- temporary roles: people in these roles are company employees, but their employment ends on a specified date. Industrial placements are one example of a temporary role.
- interns: people in these roles are not company employees, nor are they self-employed. Interns are effectively visitors, who are shadowing company staff to gain additional experience. Interns are normally unpaid, which makes them a controversial type of role, especially if they do actual work for the company during their time with the company.