I've received a recruiter email that states that they're interest in both "full-time or contract-to-hire". While the position doesn't interest me in this case, I'm wondering, on both sides, what the appeal of "contract-to-hire" is?
If I'm a contractor, I need to handle my own taxes, provide my own healthcare, and in general play the role of the "employer". That's fine for many people, and many people like doing that. To make up for that, contractors are typically paid a much higher hourly rate. Other people prefer being an employee and not having to think about any of that.
I'm wondering, then, why someone would want to become a contractor for three to six months, then become an employee? They'd have to set up all of their contractor-only stuff (possibly get an accountant, find health insurance...) all for it to become pointless six months later. If you're going to be a contractor, why not just continue being a contractor?
From the employer's side, this question mentions that:
It gives the employer and yourself a trial period to see if they want to keep you, and if you want to stay. It tells you that there is a FTE position and it's yours to win. A regular contract position tells you that there is no FTE position at the end of the rainbow.
I don't follow this, though - almost all US employment in the tech industry is at-will, so anyone can be fired at any time, or quit at any time.