A lot of FAANG contracts are covered heavily with a NDA, to the point I'm not actually allowed to talk about what the project is or which company I worked for. So it probably wouldn't be on my resume or portfolio.
The company involved masks their identity, probably going through some contracting agency. They scout you out, and probably want to avoid people spamming them for jobs. I actually did suspect when they contacted, because the organization of paying out well and offered a good salary for a simple job, and there's only a few companies in the world that can hire so many.
From experience, they do hire a heck lot of people. Most contract jobs are quite temporary though. Sometimes they're just scouting a new space and decide not to dedicate more effort to it. Sometimes they just need more assets for a project quickly and they can afford to throw money at any problem. They can probably just hire 100 people to do a little work each and a get a small experiment done quickly.
In my experience, that claim is almost always a giant load of bullshit.
I find contractors to be great only if they're from Northern Europe, Canada or UK. And only in startups since keeping costs low is a priority + there's not much context + you can on-board with minimal overhead.
However, for code that needs maintenance of any sort, it makes a lot more sense to bring the expertise in-house. Maybe it's more expensive in a myopic sense, but by being able to retain an individual that already has context (not to mention, who was also probably hired with a higher hiring bar) has more gains in the long run.
Just think about all the companies that tried to outsource to India or China in the 90s/00s and got bit.
This is incorrect.
> with fewer stock and other grants
With lockin, its more of a benefit to the company. Stocks hardly mean anything much for the employee themselves.