Contrary to full-time trends, contractors are seeing shorter assignments this year than in years past. There was a 78% spike in IT professionals who are only on a contract for 3 to 6 months, followed by a 42% decrease in professionals who have been on a contract for 6 to 9 months.
One reason we could see shorter term contracts coming into play, especially in the development space, is that companies are seeking short-term support for implementation and upgrade projects, then reverting back to their core staff for maintenance. For web developers, we see organizations looking to contractors for bug fixes or building out new features.
This is not to say that longer term contracts are not still possible, as we did see a 50% increase from 2013 to 2014 in the number of IT professionals on a 9 to 12 month contract. Companies who are more well-established can benefit from the flexibility of contract staff over a longer period of time, without locking themselves into fixed costs as with a salaried employee.