Careers and Hiring Guide menu >

Movement in the ecosystem:
Motivations for switching employment types

Whatever the Microsoft Cloud role, use our guide to benchmark your salary or contact rate, or to uncover what you should be paying employees in your team.

No matter how a Microsoft professional feels they work best, there’s a plethora of options available to suit. From providing consulting services for a Microsoft partner to helping an end user make the most of their cloud stack, from working full-time on-site to contracting, those with the right skills have a multitude of pathways to choose from as they travel through the Microsoft ecosystem.

To give employers access to the widest possible talent pool, it pays to know what attracts professionals to these various types of employment and why. Equipped with this kind of insight, businesses are far more likely to be able to land their ideal hire, no matter where and how they’re currently working.

Motivation to move from a permanent role to freelancing

Over two-fifths (43%, up from 33% in our last survey) of permanent professionals tell us they would consider switching to freelance/contract work in the coming year.

Reasons for this include:

Higher earning potential
0 %
Flexibility
in lifestyle
0 %
Exposure to latest technology
0 %
Working on different projects
0 %
Being your own boss 30%
Ability to claim expenses against tax 23%
Not sure 2%
Other 1%
Being your own boss 30%
Ability to claim expenses against tax 23%
Not sure 2%
Other 1%

Those respondents who would move to freelancing for the higher earning potential would want, on average, a whopping 33% increase in their earnings to make the switch.

Why aren't professionals considering contract working?

The 31% (down from 39%) of Microsoft professionals who would not consider working as a freelancer cited reasons including:

I like to have a fixed, predictable income

56%
I prefer the security offered by a permanent role

50%
I'm happy in my current role

40%
Freelancing is too risky

24%
The lack of workplace benefits

19%
I'd find freelancing stressful

19%
I've worked as a freelancer previously and didn't enjoy it

7%
‘Other’ responses include inexperience and unwillingness to travel.

Motivation to move from freelancing to a permanent role

Two-fifths (40%, up from 31% in our previous study) of freelancers who responded to the survey would consider switching to a permanent position in the coming year.

The top 10 factors most likely to attract a contractor to a permanent role include:

1 Job stability and security 71%
2 Remote working options 68%
3 A stable income 61%
4 A competitive salary 55%
5 Career progression opportunities 55%
6 The new company's values and culture align to my own 52%
7 A generous benefits package 46%
8 Flexible/agile working 39%
9 Valuable work/feeling like your work will make a positive impact 38%
10 A senior role with more responsibilities 32%
1 Job stability and security 71%
2 Remote working options 68%
3 A stable income 61%
4 A competitive salary 55%
5 Career progression opportunities 55%
6 The new company's values and culture align to my own 52%
7 A generous benefits package 46%
8 Flexible/agile working 39%
9 Valuable work/feeling like your work will make a positive impact 38%
10 A senior role with more responsibilities 32%

Why wouldn't freelancers consider a permanent role?

Of the 33% (down from 37%) of contractors who would not consider undertaking a permanent role in the coming year, their reasons include:
I prefer the flexibility that comes with freelancing

72%
I earn more as a freelancer

64%
I like working for myself

53%
I've had a permanent role previously but prefer freelancing

40%
I prefer working on many different projects / with different clients

30%
Other

4%

Conclusion

As our data shows, sometimes the grass is simply greener on the other side. Many freelancers want stability and reliable income, while a lot of permanent employees are looking to up their earning potential. The number of both perm and contract professionals willing to change lanes has increased since last year, indicating that Microsoft professionals of all stripes are more open to new opportunities than ever. Interestingly, the top motivations for both types of professional to change their working model are financial, with size and stability of potential earnings proving key drivers. This could be a reflection of the inflation and rising cost of living issues facing many workers. This illustrates the importance of focusing on creating competitive packages, and promoting stability when aiming to attract contractors into permanent roles.
AdobeStock_636146904-scaled.jpeg

Relocation

Are professionals looking to relocate or emigrate for work?

47%
16%
26%
11%

Top reasons driving the desire to emigrate

An enhanced quality of life is the main factor that motivates our respondents to emigrate—other reasons include:
Improved quality of life 72%
Improved salary 58%
To experience a different culture 55%
To develop/progress professionally 51%
Access to better job opportunities 48%
Access to better standard of living 42%
To pursue new experiences 42%
Better work-life balance 37%
Climate/weather 24%
It is an emerging market for Microsoft 20%
Lower cost of living 20%

Reasons for relocating

For those that would like to move to another city or region within their country of residence, their motivations include:
Improved salary 71%
Access to better job opportunities 64%
Access to new career opportunities 55%
Improved lifestyle 28%
I like the area 26%
To experience a new place 26%
To be close to family and friends 15%
I dislike where I live 7%
I've lived there previously 6%
Other 1%

Want the highlights from this year's Careers and Hiring Guide at a glance? Our key findings report contains our top level insight and salary tables, so you can compare your own salary or benchmark your teams' across the Microsoft ecosystem.