Career strategist says jobseekers looking to get hired during ‘September surge’ should go for contract positions, not full-time

@kyyahabdul/TikTok Ground Picture/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘In bad economic times, companies turn to contractors’: Career strategist says jobseekers looking to get hired during ‘September surge’ should go for contract positions, not full-time

'As a new contract employee, can confirm'


Jack Alban


Posted on Sep 9, 2023

If you’re looking for a new job, then you should know about the “September Surge”—the moniker given to the hiring phenomenon of many major companies historically hiring on more people during the fall months.

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Maybe it’s because businesses are making up for all of the initiatives they were putting off during the summer, as folks were too busy planning vacations. Or maybe it’s because companies are trying to ensure that they’ve got folks ready to work throughout the holiday season or that they’re properly staffed with people for the new year. For whatever reason, there are a lot of folks getting hired in September.

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And TikTok user Kyyah Abdul (@kyyahabdul) says that while folks are probably getting stoked over the September surge that they should temper their excitement because a “January purge” is coming as well. Abdul, a career strategist, highlights in a viral TikTok how January saw some of the worst mass layoffs of 2023, especially in the tech industry.

@kyyahabdul Using the tech industry as an example because those layoffs were tracked by #septembersurge ♬ original sound – Kyyah Abdul
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She goes on to say that while it would “make sense” for businesses to hire a bunch of people in September under a stable economy for full-time positions, that isn’t the case. “The economy isn’t great right now,” Abdul says, adding that companies are going to have to get “creative” in order to ensure their businesses are fully staffed.

As a result, Abdul says, job seekers would probably be best served looking for contract positions as businesses will probably be offering more work for contractors due to the costly nature of on-boarding full-timers. She also added that while many companies may have job postings for full-time positions, that these ads are merely there to keep up appearances.

“In bad economic times, companies turn to contractors because it’s cheaper, you can hire them and fire them pretty easily, and at the end of the day, whether the person was a full-time employee or a contractor, on their balance sheet at the end of the year, it’s still going to be written off as personnel expenses,” she says.

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So, from an employer’s perspective, they’re going to get the same monetary benefits from hiring a contractor as they would a full-time employee.

Abdul went on to say that if folks are interested in looking up contract work that it’s fairly easy to see which big brands have contractor job postings. “There are employers that partner with different organizations to have specific sites for contract work,” she says.

The TikToker added in the comments section of her own video that folks can even find themselves contract jobs that eventually transition to full-time. “Contract-to-hire and full time contracts with external firms! Also, this is an excellent time to network,” she wrote.

The video has accrued more than 137,000 views since it was posted on Sept. 4.

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One person said that Abdul’s words rang true: “This was me last year. Started in sept, laid off in Dec.”

Another user said, “Wooo I was just hired through a recruiter from contract to permante hire.”

Judging from another commenter’s reply to her video, it would appear that there are contract positions available for folks to nab up. “Yup landed a contract a couple weeks ago and they’re hiring 18 more ppl this month,” the user wrote.

According to LinkedIn, Abdul’s claim that bad economies breed more contractor positions is true: “During a recession, businesses may face uncertainty and fluctuating demands. Hiring contractors allows organizations to quickly adjust their workforce to match the current workload without the long-term commitment of permanent employees.”

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The Daily Dot reached out to Abdul via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Sep 9, 2023, 8:01 pm CDT

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