5 Proven Tips for Contract to Full-Time Negotiations

Any kind of negotiation can be uncomfortable. After all, negotiations are often two parties with bottom lines trying to reach an agreement. When you’re negotiating a contract employee into a full-time position, there are some tried and true tips to follow that will ensure the candidate wants to stay with the company and you can afford to have them stay. 

But first you need to understand the difference between contract and full-time employment.  

To start, contract work is a job position that is only open for a specific (or “contracted”) amount of time. A lot of companies hire contractors to perform certain tasks within the company. However, they are not considered a part of the company and are often considered outside employees. 

On the other hand, a full-time employee functions as an internal part of the company. They follow a set schedule and job function while being compensated based on their experience and time within the company. 

If you’re looking to fill an open full-time position with a contract employee, you will need to negotiate your way into a successful transition. In this article, we will lay out 5 proven tips you can use to have a successful negotiation that will keep you within budget while keeping your candidate interested. 

Tip 1: Have a Baseline Salary Prepared Going In

Before you sit down at the negotiating table, you’re going to have to do a little homework so that you’re prepared to discuss salary. For starters, you need to research the standard salary for the industry for the role you are looking to fill. 

While you research, make sure you are getting location-specific information. Industry-standard salaries often fluctuate depending on where you are located geographically. According to ChartHop, this fluctuation can be anything from 3% in entry-level positions to 90% in the field of software engineering. Make sure you have a number in mind that is appropriate for your location. 

Keep in mind that the baseline salary may not be where the employee started on contract, but it’s a good place to start negotiating. 

Tip 2: Prepare a List of Qualifications You’re Looking For

While there’s more than likely a detailed job description for the position you need to fill, the qualifications for that position may differ slightly from what was needed of the contract employee. That’s why you should create a list of qualifications that you’re looking for in a full-time employee. Make sure to create a list that reflects the success they had as a contract employee. 

Tip 3: Help the Candidate Weigh Salary vs. Benefits

Sometimes the negotiation can come to a screeching halt as soon as a number is discussed for salary. Some contract employees may have trouble seeing past that number as they likely made more money as contract employees. That’s why it is then your responsibility to discuss with the candidate the other benefits they will be receiving as a full-time employee that they did not enjoy under contract. 

While there may be a discrepancy in salary, as a full-time employee, the candidate will be gaining the benefits of:

  • Additional job security
  • Medical benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Paid time off

Laying out these benefits against salary will show candidates they have more to gain than just a salary number. 

Tip 4: Be Clear and Flexible

Remember that while you did your homework, it’s likely the candidate did as well. This means they will most likely be coming to the table with a salary in mind. That’s why you don’t want to lowball the employee from the outset. Chances are they have already shown aptitude and qualities that you want to keep as an employee. Making them feel like they’re being taken advantage of will shut down negotiations quickly. Additionally, make sure you present all information clearly and directly to avoid miscommunication around such an important thing as salary and benefits. 

Tip 5: Settle on the Salary That Works for Your Company

We would all love to give qualified candidates the salary they want and more. However, we are ultimately constrained by budgets. When you offer a number for salary, make sure to back up your offer with your market research and industry standards. Additionally, make sure you are offering compensation that will help you recruit and retain talent while not breaking your budget. 

Contract to full-time negotiations doesn’t have to be tense and awkward. With these simple tips, you’ll be able to negotiate successfully and get your new employee on the job quickly. For all of the latest information on how Epic Placements can help you recruit IT,  Healthcare, and Executive Professionals, visit us on Facebook and Twitter or contact us today.