Contract / Consulting Jobs Explained … Available in Three Different Flavors

January 10, 2011 at 12:01 am 97 comments

In today’s ultra-challenging job market, there are many opportunities out there for so-called “contract” or “consulting” jobs. Historically in the staffing business, it’s a well known pattern that when the economy is down, companies tend to rely more on contract resources to get work done rather than hiring permanent employees. When the economy is up, the reverse is true and permanent jobs tend to outweigh contract opportunities. It’s a very cyclical and predictable shift in how companies approach hiring.

I think it’s safe to say that most job-seekers — especially those who recently lost their permanent positions as a result of the economic downturn over the last few years — are hoping to find another full-time, permanent job. They might be reluctant to accept a contract position for fear of being unavailable if a permanent position suddenly presents itself elsewhere. On the other hand, working is better than not working, right? And very often a person will start out as a contract employee and end up being hired by that same company on a permanent basis because they performed so well. Still other job-seekers actually prefer the world of contracting, and only pursue those sorts of temporary positions. Such professional contract/consultants usually have a very specialized skill-set that is in high demand, and can actually make more money contracting than they could as a permanent employee. Those contract/consultants also often move around a lot, accepting contract positions in different locations for varying lengths of time. In other cases, there are many senior-level semi-retired professionals who no longer wish to return to the grind of a permanent position, but are still interested in remaining active in their field by taking on interim contract assignments.

By the way … for those who are collecting unemployment compensation, it’s worth noting here that accepting any type of employment, contract or otherwise, will certainly affect one’s eligibility to continue collecting unemployment benefits. If the amount you earn on a weekly basis is less than your unemployment benefit amount, then your benefits will likely be reduced to reflect the difference. If you earn more than your benefit amount, then your unemployment payments will stop while you are working. If that happens, and then the contract assignment ends (through no fault of your own) then theoretically you can simply resume your unemployment benefit payments, which should be extended past where they might have ended before … you should still get the full amount you were originally allocated. However, in such a case you will most likely have to re-apply to get your benefits re-instated. And here’s my disclaimer — there is no guarantee that your re-application will be approved. For better information about his issue, I would advise you to contact your local Unemployment Office and discuss the particulars of your situation with a representative there. Here’s a website with links to unemployment information in all 50 U.S. states: “Unemployment Information.”

Among many job-seekers, there is a lot of confusion about contract jobs. I’ve gotten many questions about contract positions that indicate how confusing it can be: What exactly is a contract job? How is that different from a “consulting” job? What’s the difference between a “1099″ and a “W-2″ contract job? Is a contract the same as a “part-time” job? Is “full-time” the same as a “permanent” job? Can a contract job be “full-time?” Can a “permanent” job be “part-time?” Who invented Liquid Soap, and why? (OK, I just threw in that last one to see if you were paying attention.)

SO, let’s start with some basic definitions:

GLOSSARY:
Contract Job: A temporary position with a company. Usually, but not always, has NO benefits included (unless they are available through a 3rd party staffing firm.)
Consulting Job: A fancier name for a contract job. Could be a higher, more senior-level position.
Temp Job: Yet another name for a contract job – usually referring to lower-level administrative positions (secretaries, data entry, bookkeepers, etc.)
Permanent Job: The traditional employee situation with a company. Usually (but not always) includes benefits.
Full-Time Job: 40 hours per week. (“Full-Time” could refer to either a contract or a permanent job.)
Part-Time Job: Less than 40 hours per week. (“Part-Time” could refer to either a contract or a permanent job.)
1099 vs. W-2: A “1099″ employee is a self-employed “independent contractor.” Independent contractors bill their clients for their time – usually by using a purchase order – based either on an hourly rate or a flat fee for services rendered. Either way, no deductions are withheld from their payments, and they are responsible for paying all their own taxes (using IRS Form 1099 … hence the name.) On the other hand, a W-2 employee gets paychecks from the company they are employed by, based on the hours they work, at an agreed upon hourly rate. Those paychecks will already have all the standard deductions taken out for them by their employer (federal, state and local taxes, social security, medicare, etc.) Also, 1099 contractors must pay self-employment tax, while W-2 employees do not. In addition, independent contractors are often required by their clients to carry their own liability and other types of insurance.
At-Will Employee: Most “permanent employees” in today’s work world are hired “at will” – a legal term which means that they can quit anytime for any reason (or no reason at all) without giving advanced notice. Of course, the reverse is also true: they can be fired at any time for any reason (or no reason at all) without advanced notice. This really blows the old concept of “job security” eh?! It also tends to blur the line between a contract and so-called “permanent” job.

For the most part, contract jobs are either directly with a client company that has the need, or through a 3rd-party staffing firm that engages with the client company and provides consultants to them as needed. In such a case, the contractor usually becomes an employee of the staffing firm for the duration of the contract assignment. That firm then pays the person an hourly rate for the work they do at their client’s company, and then bills their client for that person’s time — after, of course, adding a significant markup. (Everyone’s got to make a living, right?)

The Pros and Cons of Contract Jobs:
When presented with the prospect of a contract job, it’s fairly easy for job-seekers to evaluate the overall pros and cons of such a position. Of course, each situation is different — but the following things are mostly true for all contract jobs.

Pros:
1) Income. Money coming in is always good, right?
2) It looks good on a résumé. Contract jobs – even short-term ones – look way better on a résumé than a gap in employment … especially if it’s work within your industry niche.
3) It keeps you current and up-to-date in your field.
4) A contract job gets your foot in the door of a company that could potentially hire you on a permanent basis.

Cons:
1) By definition, it’s a temporary position. When the contract ends (and they almost always do at some point) you will most likely be unemployed again. Future unemployment benefits could possibly be affected.
2) Generally, contract jobs do not include benefits (health insurance, retirement plans, etc.) unless they are available through a 3rd party staffing firm.
3) Contract employees often feel like outsiders at their companies. They don’t have the same feeling of “ownership” of their work that permanent employees usually have, nor do they enjoy the same feeling of camaraderie with their co-workers that permanent employees usually feel.

The 3 Different Flavors of Contract Jobs:
Whether a contractor is a 1099 or a W-2, working directly for a client or through a staffing firm, full-time or part-time … contract assignments generally fall into 3 categories or “flavors.” This is something that often confuses job-seekers (and recruiters!) when they hear about a contracting opportunity. I’ve even heard from some job-seekers that the recruiters they spoke with don’t seem entirely sure which flavor of contract opportunity they are working on. Clarifying which of these 3 flavors someone is looking at is critical in evaluating such an opportunity, and deciding if it’s worth pursing.

1) Limited Duration Contract:
This is when the contract has a pre-defined beginning and end date. The duration could be any length … from a few days to a few weeks or months. I’ve even seen contracts last up to a year or more. The main thing that defines this type of contract is that there is no plan whatsoever to bring the person on board as a permanent employee. It’s either not in the company’s budget, or for whatever reason the company does not want to add headcount to their permanent payroll. When the contract ends, the job is over.

2) Contract with the Intention to Hire:
In this scenario, the company already has an approved “req” (requisition) from their HR department to hire a new permanent employee. However, they want to start the person out as a contractor first – mostly to see how they perform and how they fit in with the company and the personnel. It’s the classic “Try-Buy” situation. They don’t want to pull the trigger and hire someone until they are absolutely sure they have the right person for the job. If it doesn’t work out, it’s a lot less complicated for the company to simply end the contract than it would be to terminate a permanent employee.

3) Contract with the Possibility to Hire:
Here, the person starts out as a limited duration contractor, just like number 1. However, in this case, the company has made it known that they are at least open to the possibility of converting the contractor into a permanent employee. The rub is that they do not actually have an approved “req” (requisition) from their HR department allowing them to hire a new person. This can be the most frustrating situation of all. This scenario suggests that if the person does a great job and proves to be a valuable asset to the company, their boss could then request permission to hire the person. But, there is certainly no guarantee that such a request would be approved … and no actual promise of permanent employment no matter how well the person performs. The decision of whether or not to hire the contractor is often dependent on factors totally out of that person’s control.

Those last two flavors are often confused with each other, and many times are both referred to by recruiters as “Contract-to-Hire” or “Temp-to-Perm” opportunities. However, as I’ve just explained, they are quite different from each other in a very fundamental way. It’s up to each job-seeker to dig in and ask the right questions when evaluating these opportunities. The most obvious question should be: “Does the company already have an approved req to go ahead and hire someone on a permanent basis if this contract works out?” If the recruiter can’t answer that question clearly, tell them to go back to their client and find out! I’m certainly not saying that you should turn down any of the 3 flavors of contract jobs defined here. However, knowing what you are getting into, and managing your own expectations is key.

About these ads

Entry filed under: Advice for Job Seekers. Tags: , , .

Baby Boomers to the Rescue! An Idea Whose Time Has Come … Overcoming Job-Search Obstacles and Redefining Your Career After 50

97 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ritika Shah  |  April 8, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Hi Michael,

    First of all, I visited you blog for the first time and really liked it. It was helpful.

    Suppose I join a job on contractual basis now and after say 1 year I want to move to some company as a permanent employee. Will the new company consider my resume (with contractual job work experience) on par with other candidate’s resumes? Or will my resume be of less weight because my work experience is contractual?

    Reply
    • 2. Michael Spiro  |  April 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Ritika:

      The answer is that it depends on the person reviewing your resume. I think most people would think that a year-long contract job just as valuable as a full-time permanent job … but there are probably a few who would not agree, and view contract work as lower status than full-time work. However, either way – any work is better than unemployment!

      Michael

      Reply
  • 3. Jay  |  July 25, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Is there an etiquette on contract to hire on still interviewing for FTE/direct hire positions? If someone accepts a contract to hire position but is also in the process of interviewing for a direct hire position, would it be proper etiquette to no longer continue interviewing for the direct hire position? I don’t want to burn any bridges as the professional community I work in is fairly small.

    Reply
    • 4. Michael Spiro  |  July 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      Jay:
      You’ve asked a great question! Most employers and recruiters would certainly expect a level of commitment from a candidate who is accepting a contract position. Needless to say, it would look bad to leave a contract job mid-way through just because a better offer comes along elsewhere … and doing that does, indeed, have the potential to “burn a bridge.” On the other hand, many contract employees are seeking full-time jobs at the same time that they are doing temporary contract work. Besides the financial stability offered by a full-time position, the addition of health benefits is often the ultimate goal. My general advice is to be as honest as you can be with your employers and/or the recruiter or agency you are working with regarding your long-term goals and short-term intentions. If, as you say, you are working in a small professional community within your niche — and the contract job you are starting really does have the potential to convert to a full-time position — then it would probably be a good idea to suspend your job-seeking activities and interviews elsewhere until either the contract ends or the exact status of the FTE conversion option is determined. Hope that helps. Good luck!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 5. Jay  |  July 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the response Michael. I had another question. I made a newbie mistake when I first quoted a rate to a recruiter and just quoted a rate that was directly comparable to the annual salary I am looking for. I know what the direct salary for this contract position would be at the company and the recruiter didn’t blink an eye at the rate so I think I probably shortchanged myself about $10 /hour. I haven’t accepted the offer yet, do you think I can negotiate and do you have any recommendations on how to approach it?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • 6. Michael Spiro  |  July 26, 2011 at 8:17 am

      Jay:
      Assuming that the recruiter you are talking to works for an agency who would then “mark up” your rate to their client company … it’s in their best interest (as well as yours) to pay you a higher rate, rather than a lower rate. Everyone will make more money that way. You should immediately talk to that recruiter again and express your feeling about shortchanging yourself in that last conversation, and wanting to get a more fair rate based on the client company’s comparable salary. On the other hand, if you are talking to an internal recruiter working at the actual client company … then you might have screwed yourself by quoting a low rate that they like, but that you now feel was too low. In such a case, it’s tough to go back and ask for more.
      -Michael.

      Reply
  • 7. Joan Conover  |  July 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

    When a persons task/job is terminated due to government downsizing/contract expire what are the options for a 1099 or a W2 “consultant” to recieve unemployment benefits? The company is moving all full time employees in the group to a unfunded “consultant basis”. Read that as no wages or benefits. The company has their resumes, and should work be available, can contract the person to the new task some time in the future. As of 1 August 2011, a current contract expires, as does the employment. All in the group are now receiving no wages after Aug 1. Can any of the former workers receive unemployment benefits while either finding more work or being taken on with new work? Right now, there is no possibility of funded work in the short (6 months) time frame.

    Reply
    • 8. Michael Spiro  |  July 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Joan:
      First of all, let me give you my disclaimer: I am not an expert on Unemployment Laws or Regulations. For the best answers to your questions regarding eligibility, you should contact your local Office of Unemployment and ask them. If I had to guess, I’d say that any W-2 employee (permanent or contract) might be eligible for Unemployment Benefits if their job/paychecks end due to no fault of their own. On the other hand, a 1099 contractor is probably not eligible for Unemployment Benefits if their work stops since they are, by definition, “self-employed.” Again, check with your local Office of Unemployment for the most accurate information.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 9. Bee Mac  |  October 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    If I accept a contract position, am I actually under contract to work the job for the entire duration of the contract? Suppose I get an offer for a full-time job, can I leave the job without breaching the contract?

    Reply
    • 10. Michael Spiro  |  October 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Bee Mac: There would be no “breach of contract” involved in quitting a contract job before it is scheduled to end, since most contractors (as well as most full-time employees) are hired “at will” — a legal term which means that they can quit anytime for any reason (or no reason at all) without giving advanced notice. Of course, the reverse is also true: they can be fired at any time for any reason (or no reason at all) without advanced notice. However, it is certainly not a very professional thing to do! You’ve basically asked the same question that “Jay” asked (see comments 3 and 4 above). My answer to you is the same:

      “Most employers and recruiters would certainly expect a level of commitment from a candidate who is accepting a contract position. Needless to say, it would look bad to leave a contract job mid-way through just because a better offer comes along elsewhere … and doing that does, indeed, have the potential to “burn a bridge.” On the other hand, many contract employees are seeking full-time jobs at the same time that they are doing temporary contract work. Besides the financial stability offered by a full-time position, the addition of health benefits is often the ultimate goal. My general advice is to be as honest as you can be with your employers and/or the recruiter or agency you are working with regarding your long-term goals and short-term intentions. If you are working in a small professional community within your niche — and the contract job you are starting has the potential to convert to a full-time position — then it would probably be a good idea to suspend your job-seeking activities and interviews elsewhere until either the contract ends or the exact status of the FTE conversion option is determined. Hope that helps. Good luck!”

      -Michael

      Reply
  • 11. Saul  |  October 18, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Hi Michael,

    I currently have a full-time job in outside sales. Can I also take an additional commission-only position with another company? Can my employer find out about the other job through the IRS or any other general means? Do employers check to see if their employees are “double-dipping”. This would be a great opportunity for me to get out of debt and save for high school and college expenses.

    Thanks,
    Saul

    Reply
    • 12. Michael Spiro  |  October 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Saul:
      Part of the answer to your question kind of depends on what type of agreement you have with your current company. Some places make you sign a document during the hiring process that restricts your ability to do any other business outside of your own company. If that is the case, then what you are proposing could be in violation of that agreement — and could get you fired. Without such an agreement, it may not technically be illegal or a work violation … but as you probably can guess, it would be frowned upon by most employers who would be afraid that the work you do outside of your main job would take away time and energy from their company. Either way, if the question is would you get “caught’? … it’s hard to say. I don’t think the IRS would release information to an employer that would give you away — but there are plenty of other more common ways for your “moonlighting” to get discovered. It’s a very small world after all, and someone somewhere might see or hear about your outside work and let it slip to the wrong person. Eventually, your employer might simply hear about it through the grapevine. What happens then is the real question. If don’t think that you can be honest and simply tell your boss what you are doing — then obviously you feel there is a risk of being fired by doing what you are proposing. Tread carefully!
      - Michael

      Reply
  • 13. D-cam  |  October 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    My question is I got a call about a job from a recruiter we talked and emailed back on forth on the duration of my position so I accepted the position the recruiter told me it was for 6 months but two months into my job I get laid off for no apparent reason is this wrong or what

    Reply
    • 14. Michael Spiro  |  October 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

      D-cam:
      Unfortunately, the answer to your question is no — it is not “wrong.” The truth is that even so-called permanent jobs are almost always “at will” situations — a legal term which means that they can fire someone anytime for any reason (or no reason at all) without giving advanced notice. Of course, the reverse is also true: a person can quit at any time for any reason (or no reason at all) without giving advanced notice. Contract jobs are even less secure. No matter what the recruiter told you about the 6-month duration, and no matter what the company told the recruiter and you about the expected length of the contract job you accepted … they are allowed to change their minds any time. Actually, that’s one of the reasons many companies prefer to use contractors vs. permanent hires … it’s a lot less messy for them to simply terminate a contact position than it would be to fire a permanent employee. You may never know the real reason they laid you off prematurely: it could be that business was slower than expected; it could be the work you were hired to do is no longer required; or it’s possible that they thought you were not performing your job well … or they simply didn’t like you! Whatever the reason, you really don’t have any recourse.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 15. Sofia  |  October 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve been contracting with a family of companies for the past 2 and 1/2 years while I’ve been working on my PhD. For the past 12 months, I’ve been working closely with a team at one company, and two weeks ago another company within the family unexpectedly offered me a permanent position. The company I am currently contracting for has offered me permanent positions during my contract, but has stated that I would have to relocate. I verbally accepted the position from the sister company because I am ready to begin my career and it seems to be the best choice for my family (they are excited to have me, there is potential for upward mobility, they met all of my requirements for hiring). I don’t need the health benefits because my spouse provides them. But upon telling the contract company, I now feel like I have somehow betrayed them, and I am heartbroken to leave them. So, my question is: Am I making a mistake to leave a position I love for the benefit of a permanent position on my resume.

    Reply
    • 16. Michael Spiro  |  October 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      Sofia:
      I certainly understand your desire to stay loyal to the company that has provided you with contract work for the last 12 months. However, you certainly don’t “owe” them anything at this point. Most contract positions do not last anywhere near that length of time, and I’m sure they’ve made a ton of money by having you working for them all that time (on the mark-up they’ve been charging to the client.) However, the bottom line is that this should be a business decision … and you must consider what’s best for yourself and your family. It’s not just “for your resume.” You said it yourself: it’s a chance for “upward mobility, and they met all your requirements for hiring. ” A locally-based, permanent job is clearly the best choice for you. Thank your friends at the contracting company, and tell them it’s time for you to move upward and onward.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 17. Jasmine123  |  December 11, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Hi Michael,

    I’m currently in a dilemma where I’d like to move up and out of my full-time administrative position (which I’ve only been at for just a year) to a project control officer role which is a contract position, but is involved in a very high profile project at the company and is also working internationally. I have posed the idea to my boss and she’s quite stringent on staying the minimal 2 years, which is expected upon hire of most full-timers. However, this contract position is a step up and forward towards my personal development in learning and skills-building for more a project management direction in future. Coincidentally, the position is within the same department and I would be working for my boss’ direct report, rather than her, so there’s a great potential to “burn bridges” if I were to quit this full-time position for a higher paying contract job… which she has already expressed much distaste for because I’d be moving from a secure, long-term role to a temporary insecure one. Your thoughts?

    Reply
    • 18. Michael Spiro  |  December 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

      Jasmine:
      You’ve described an interesting dilemma. On the one hand you have the so-called “stability” of a full time job (which, I assume, includes medical benefits) in an administrative position. On the other hand you have an offer of a higher paying, higher status project-related job in a contractor role (which, I assume, does not include health benefits) that is more along the lines of where you want your career to be headed. If you remove the politics and drama associated with your current boss’s “distaste” for the contract role you are being offered, the medical benefits issue, and the money … you are left with a clear choice: take the position that puts you on a better path for future career growth. Only you can answer how much those other factors weigh into the decision. How your current boss feels should probably the least of your concerns. (It’s your career that’s at stake here, not hers.) “Expecting” a 2-year commitment for all new hires may sound reasonable … but it is certainly not contractually required, nor is it legally enforceable. The medical benefits — I don’t know your situation, but since you didn’t mention it, I assume it’s not a big factor for you. Money … many people take pay CUTS to get on a better career path. Being offered a pay RAISE to do so is a no-brainer! Yes, contact jobs do “feel” less secure than full time jobs, for obvious reasons. However, as my blog posting above pointed out, no job is really secure in today’s world of “at will” hires. You could be laid off at any time, for any reason — or no reason at all. Instead, ask yourself where would you like to see yourself career-wise in, say, 5 years. Then consider: which of the two choices you are currently facing will be more likely to get you to where you want to be then? Good luck!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 19. Cathy  |  January 25, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Hi Michael,

    Ok so here is my situation. I left my FT Perm position last May to go back to school full-time in another field I thought I wanted to be in. I went to school, then decided it was not the road for me. So thru everything I have had no income (I did not apply for UI because I left my co. at will and knew I would not be eligible) (also I made sure I had a nice bank acct to pay my bills during school, so i have been financially ok for that time) and have been searching for employment in my original field again. I just landed a 6-9 month contract position. My recruiter says there is possibility for contract extension or perm hire. Now say neither happens and my contract ends and have no new job again after this contract position, can I apply for UI? I did fill out a W2 form… Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • 20. Michael Spiro  |  January 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Cathy:
      My quick answer is yes … I do believe that if you worked at a contract job and then that contract ended — so you were then unemployed through no fault of your own — you would be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The specifics of how many weeks you need to have worked to be eligible, and how much your actual weekly benefits would then be may vary from state to state. However (and here’s my standard disclaimer) I am NOT an expert on unemployment laws. For the best information, I would advise you to contact your local unemployment office. Here’s a website with links to unemployment information in all 50 U.S. states: “Unemployment Information.”

      Reply
  • 21. Taylor Sam  |  February 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I am trying to decide if I should leave my current FTP to take a “Contract to Hire” offer. The contract is appealing because it pays more than twice what I make now. However, I am concerned because the contract itself does not mention anything about it being a contract to hire position and the contract does not have an end date. The temporary agency is also asking that I give them 20 business days notice before terminating the contract, which seems excessive to me. In you opinion, is this a risk worth taking?

    Reply
    • 22. Michael Spiro  |  February 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Taylor:
      If I were you, I’d ask the hiring authority (not the recruiter) to clarify their long-term intentions for this “contract-to-hire” position. In my experience, very few people leave full-time jobs — with health benefits — to go to a contract position that is not set up as a true trial period, with the intention of hiring someone full-time. Sure, more money is great … but the risk, as I’m sure you know, is that you’ll find yourself unemployed when the contract ends sooner than you expected. And the agency asking you for “20 business days notice” is not necessarily excessive, although the standard convention for giving notice is 10 business days (2 weeks.) In any case, any such agreement is NOT enforceable. No matter what the agency would like you to promise (and, of course it’s for their benefit, not yours) … the bottom line is that you are being hired “at will.” Do you think they’ll give you 20 days notice if their client ends the contract abruptly without warning? Uh … no — you’ll be out of work that day!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 23. mark king  |  February 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Hi,
    I am in a contract with a job consultant for 1 year.The contract says that he would provide training to me & then place me with any company.There was no mention in the contract that by when he would place me.Now it has been 30 days after the training and I am yet to be placed.In the meantime I got into a project through a different job consultant which I am definite to join.
    Can I breach the contract with the job consultant with whom I have signed the contract?Any legal complications?

    Regards,
    Mark

    Reply
    • 24. Michael Spiro  |  February 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Mark:

      The type of “contract” you are talking about has nothing to do with the contract/consulting work I wrote about in my blog article. From what you described, it sounds like you’ve agreed to pay someone to help you find a job (something I would never advise anyone to do!) If I understand correctly, this “job consultant” you “contracted” with is probably a combination of a Career Counselor who is claiming to be able to help you with basic job-seeking skills (resume writing, interview techniques, networking etc.) and a Recruiter who claims he has contacts at companies who could potentially hire you after you take his “training.” Both Career Counseling and Job Placement services are available for free from multiple sources. The average job-seeker should not be paying anyone for those things.

      That said, I have no idea what the “contract” you signed says … so I cannot possibly comment on whether or not you would be in “breach of contract” or have “legal complications” if you got placed in a job by someone else. My guess would be that this person you originally “contacted” with is only interested in getting paid by you! If you’ve paid him in full, he’d probably be happy to see you find a job any way you can. If you haven’t paid him in full yet … he’ll try to claim that you still owe him money. You should probably consult with a lawyer to get more accurate advice.

      Michael

      Reply
  • 25. Laura  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I just accepted a contract-to-hire position with a large company. Once my contract ends (in 3 months) and the company decides to hire me full-time, would it make sense for me to ask for more money or should I expect a pay cut since I’ll be getting benefits from the company? I know I have the choice (as well as they do) to leave the company after the 3 months so I would think they would be willing to pay me more to have me stay instead of hiring someone else and training them. Am I wrong to think that? Just wondering what my options are, any advice is much appreciated!

    Laura

    Reply
    • 26. Michael Spiro  |  April 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Hi Laura:
      Contract jobs are usually paid on an hourly basis, while full-time “permanent” jobs are generally based on an annual salary which usually includes benefits. That said, I’m not sure how to answer your question. “Asking for more money” than your contract rate is not a concept that easily applies here — it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges. All that should really matter in evaluating whatever offer the company may end up giving you is how that offer compares to your own salary expectations and requirements. If you think you can get more, it certainly can’t hurt to ask … but don’t price yourself out of the market. More importantly, know your own bottom line and be prepared to either settle or walk away. Hope that helps.
      Michael

      Reply
  • 27. Javie  |  June 7, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Hi,

    I was hired by a small company to do data entry. I didn’t sign any contract or anything and my paycheck is not deducted of tax. I was also informed that I’m only hired as a contractual, but no end time. Could I still use it as a work reference on my resume? It’s my first job since I graduated. Thanks!

    Reply
    • 28. Michael Spiro  |  June 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Javie:
      Yes … any job you do, whether it is a temporary contract, permanent, full-time or part-time, is worth listing on your resume and using as a reference. That is especially true for a recent graduate with little or no experience!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 29. kristinleeann  |  August 1, 2012 at 10:35 am

    What happens when you have that contact and then the client wants to change the contract mid-way without Notice. Example I was working 40-50 hours per week then my contract was supposed to be a minimum of 30 hours and they want to do 15 hours… But my original said minimum 30 hours. I also did not sign the new Work Authorization because I was give no notice and the other contract is still in place isn’t it?

    Reply
    • 30. Michael Spiro  |  August 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Kristin:
      I’m not sure what that “Work Authorization” you spoke of is (unless you are either under 16 years old, or not a U.S. Citizen) … but you need to understand that the very nature of contracting is that it is temporary, and there is certainly no enforceable guarantee in terms of the number of hours you are promised or the length of the engagement. It is not at all the same as a legal “contract” that you sign binding two parties to an agreement. Rather, it’s similar to an “at will” hiring situation. In a contract job your hours can be randomly increased or reduced, or you can be terminated at any time — with or without notice, with or without explanation. There’s really not much you can do (other than quit) if your employer decides to change your hours.
      Michael

      Reply
  • 31. Maryland C  |  August 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Michael,

    Excellent blog posting! I have a few questions regarding out-of-town consulting positions that are being offered on a contract basis.

    Background: I’m temporarily located in a market with few jobs matching my consulting experience but I have some flexibility in regards to where I can live/work now and in the future. Within the past few months, I’ve been contacted by recruiters regarding several 3, 6, and 12 month contracts for out-of-town consulting positions. Most recently, I interviewed for a 6 month contract (with the intention to hire) in a city that is a few timezones away from my (temporary) home and wife.

    I’ve never worked as a consultant/contractor in an out-of-town setting. This said, what questions are appropriate to ask RECRUITERS regarding relocation, housing stipends, per diems, travel/time off allowances & assistance, etc.? If I land an interview with the CONTRACTING COMPANY, what questions should I ask of them?

    I typically have been asking the recruiters if relocation is included. In the handful of positions mentioned above, it has never been included. I’ve also asked about per diems and they have also never been included. What has been included: Only an hourly wage.

    With your experience in contracting positions, should I drop the relocation and per diem questions when talking to recruiters? Can I ask the contracting companies about these incentives?

    I basically don’t want to sound like an amateur as I’m sure I’m competing with both local consultants and those that have worked out-of-town before. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply
    • 32. Michael Spiro  |  August 24, 2012 at 11:34 am

      In my experience with contract positions where someone is brought in from another location to perform temporary (contract) work at a client site, there is almost always some accommodation for covering travel and lodging expenses. Those expenses are either reimbursed by, or billed directly to the client company where the work is performed. Some companies even have special arrangements with local extended-stay hotels where they house their out-of-town contractors. Per diems (for meals) are also sometimes included — but not always. Those extra expenses are generally considered to be outside of the hourly wages paid to the contract workers.

      If the contract positions you are considering do not include travel or lodging, then obviously you’ll need to take pencil to paper and calculate how much it will cost you to travel back and forth to the work site, how often you’d be coming home, how many days per week/month you’d be there, and how much it will cost to stay there during those work times (airfares, apartment rent, extended-stay hotel, etc.) After subtracting whatever those costs would be from the hourly wages they are offering, you can then make an informed decision about whether or not it’s worth it based on what your actual take-home pay will be minus those expenses.

      In any case, yes you should absolutely ask any recruiter or potential hiring manager about covering those expenses for a contract job. One way or another, someone will incur those expenses. The only question is who will pay for them! If it’s you, the bottom line is that after you do the math — it may not be worth it for you to accept that job.

      Permanent positions, on the other hand, are a different story. When a company makes a direct offer to someone for a full-time permanent role, there could theoretically be a “relocation fee” that is thrown in to cover moving expenses for someone who lives in a different city and has to pick up and and permanently relocate … but those relocation packages are getting more and more rare in today’s world. Like “signing bonuses,” stock options, equity stakes and other hiring incentives, nowadays they tend to be reserved only for the highest positions in a company (CEO’s, etc.), or for extremely high-demand/low-supply skill sets. Again, it never hurts to ask … but it’s less likely to be a standard part of a company’s hiring package for full-time positions.

      Hope that is helpful. Good luck!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 33. EL  |  August 24, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Michael,
    I am currently working a salaried FTE position that’s outside of my field. I am being offered a Contract with the Possibility to Hire (with benefits through an agency) position in my field which would require me to relocation. The duration of the contract is a year. What questions can I ask to ensure that I am well compensated and to ensure taking the risk is worth it for me? Are sign-on bonuses normal for contract work? You mentioned leaving a FTE position is rare. But in this case, would you recommend considering it and possibly taking it for the right reasons? I would appreciate any advice you can offer.
    Thanks,
    EL

    Reply
    • 34. Michael Spiro  |  August 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

      EL:

      By definition, any contract job is less secure than a “permanent” FTE position. So naturally, yes there is a risk in leaving such a FTE position to take a contract job — even if it has the possibility of becoming permanent somewhere down the line. Needless to say, there is no guarantee that the contract will end with an offer for full-time employment … and you could end up out of work when the contract ends. However, having said that, if your main priority is to get back to a job that is “in your field,” then it’s a risk that may be worth taking in your case. And the fact that the agency is offering benefits certainly lowers that risk. Thinking “long-term” and focusing on your career goals instead of “short-term” expediency is a very good way to go!

      Signing bonuses are another story. I’ve never heard of a signing bonus for a contract job. Hiring incentives like that are almost always reserved for full-time permanent positions … and even then, nowadays they tend to be reserved only for the highest positions in a company (CEO’s, etc.) or for extremely high-demand/low-supply skill sets.

      As far as what questions to ask … you should read the comment just before this one by Maryland C (and my response) regarding another situation where relocation is involved. Beyond that, it all boils down to what the hourly pay scale is for the contract, what the projected salary might be if the job became permanent (if that can be determined) and how those compare to your own personal salary requirements.

      Hope that is helpful. Good luck!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 35. Andrew  |  August 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Michael – I am currently in my 5th year of yearly contract work. The agreement I signed says I can’t go after a position within the company I am working for until I am done working with my contracting company for 1 year. Are you aware of any way around this? Do you know of any ramifications if I did? legal? fees? Can I or the company I work for buy out my contract? Is that usually a percentage?

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    Reply
    • 36. Michael Spiro  |  August 31, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Andrew:
      I’m not a lawyer, so I wouldn’t be able to comment on any potential legal ramifications of breaking the “non-compete” terms of the agreement you signed. (And without seeing the exact language, no one could.) I can tell you that it’s not unusual for a contract/consulting firm to build in a “buy-out” clause for their client companies who might want to directly hire one of their consultants. That usually involves the client paying a fee to the firm for the buy-out. That could be a percentage of the person’s full-time salary, or a flat fee. Those buy-out terms would be spelled out in the agreement that the client signed with the consulting firm … and most likely not in the agreement you signed. Therefore, you probably would not be privy to that buy-out information unless either someone at your contracting firm or at the client company volunteered to share it with you.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 37. Jordan  |  November 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Michael,

    Thank you for all the great information!

    I’m currently a FTE with a lower than desirable rate, but with full benefits. (a couple years working with them directly out of University)

    I am in the process of being picked up by a large company. During my interview, the Director informed me that he was told by the parent company they are going to relocate the entire department, and will be hiring this position as “Contracted” for a year or two, then re-hiring at another location. I can apply as an “internal” candidate for this (and, I assume, any other?) role when this transition occurs.

    My real question comes from the fact that I have developed rapport with the hiring manager at the company directly at this point. Now that person is trying to find out the “agency” information, and a “contact for me to apply for the position through the agency”. Does this mean I will have to go through another full interview process with some outside hiring agency? Or just a formality, and he/she will have the ultimate say in the hiring decision?

    Thank you in advance for your attention!

    Reply
    • 38. Michael Spiro  |  November 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Jordan:
      It’s hard for me to know for sure, since I don’t know all the details of your particular company and the relationship it has with the “agency” they are using to run their contract employees through. However, I have seen similar scenarios before where a company uses an outside contracting agency to basically “payroll” their temporary employees. That outside agency may or may not want to “interview” you, check your references, do criminal background checks, etc. However, typically the decisions of who to hire in those types of situations are made by the actual company you’d be working at and their internal managers — not the outside agency that is payrolling them. Also, those scenarios generally do not include the same benefits (health insurance, etc.) that a regular full-time employee would get. More importantly, the overall status of your employment will be far less secure as a contractor than it would be if you were a direct full-time hire. After all … that’s kind of the whole point of such an arrangement! The company can terminate a contractor’s employment at any time with no HR ramifications. It would be far more complicated to terminate a full-time employee. Those are all factors that you should ask about, and be aware of in making your decision.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 39. laura goldbach  |  January 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Michael,
    When the company you are hired for offers you a spiff for going over and above beyond quota and then decides that is not what they meant and offers you a new comp plan for the following year for less money, is ther any recourse? The original spiff was never in writing and I was realeased because I said it was “unacceptable and I would be discussing it with their H.R.
    For the last 5 months I was well over 100% of quota, and one month 198%..The spiff was for 3 months of over 100% with at least 20 opps, which I always attained and a large number of leads have moved upward to other levels and with some closing.
    Please help me understand this process…Thank you

    Reply
    • 40. Michael Spiro  |  January 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      Laura:
      I am not an attorney, nor am I an expert on employment law. I cannot even begin to guess whether or not your employer did anything illegal without at least seeing the language contained in whatever hiring paperwork you and they both signed. I will say that if, as you said, the exact terms of your comp plan were not in writing … well, you probably have little or no recourse. Sales organizations are notorious for changing the comp and incentive plans for their sales people when they actually start to attain the goals that were originally set forth. It’s an old story — constantly moving the goal posts to be just out of reach. It does seem illogical when a company dis-incentivizes their best sales people instead of simply rewarding them to keep them happy, but it happens all the time. Complaining about their “unacceptable” practices, and saying you would be “discussing it with H.R.” may indeed have been the reason you were fired. However, if you were hired “at will” then none of that matters. You can be fired any time, for any reason — or no reason at all. Sorry — I wish I had better advice, but it’s likely that there’s nothing you can do other than start looking for a better company to work for with your excellent sales talents.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 41. Sid  |  February 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Hi.. recently I got a mail from a consultant , giving me the requirements and asked me that” let me know what type or rate you are targeting (are you Incorporated?)” what does it mean..? Specifically “Incorporated”..? Thanks.

    Reply
    • 42. Michael Spiro  |  February 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Many self-employed consultants form their own legal “corporations” for the purpose of billing client companies for work they perform as independent 1099 contractors. Under such an arrangement, the company they work for would pay their “corporation” instead of them personally. One of the most common types of corporations is an “LLC” (Limited Liability Corporation.) There are various tax advantages to setting things up that way — for instance, being able to deduct certain business expenses like a home office, laptop, phone bills, travel expenses, etc. You should consult a tax specialist and/or an attorney for more advice and information on how this works, and whether or not it makes sense for you.

      Reply
      • 43. Sid  |  February 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Thank You for your response. So are they asking that my company shall complete the project and they will pay me on per hour basis or I have to work in premises of that company and complete the project..and they will pay me on per hour basis? Thanks.

      • 44. Michael Spiro  |  February 24, 2013 at 1:10 am

        I don’t really know for sure, but they seem to simply be asking if you have a company (“incorporated”) or not. Either way, you could probably still be paid per hour at whatever “rate” you agree upon — with or without being incorporated. You need to find out if they prefer to work with you as a “1099 contractor” or as a “W-2 contract employee.” As I explained in the blog above, 1099 contractors get paid by invoice with no taxes taken out, and W-2 employees get paid by regular payroll with standard deductions (taxes, etc.) already taken out.

  • 45. Tamara Tangney  |  February 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Michael,
    I have been working for a company on a contract-to hire position. The length of the contract was three months. The three months ended four weeks ago and I am still working there. My immediate manager told they are planning on hiring me FT. He said the paperwork was being pushed through two weeks ago. Although I have not gotten anything in writing yet. In that time period, I was contacted by another company for a FT position. I interviewed for and got the job. I am fearful that when I tell my current employer that I accepted an offer elsewhere, that I will be asked to leave the same day, thus lose two weeks worth of paychecks. Am I required to give my current employer two weeks notice, even though my contract ended?

    Reply
    • 46. Michael Spiro  |  February 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Taramra:
      In most cases where you are hired “at will,” giving two weeks notice (or any notice at all, for that matter) is purely a professional courtesy — not a legal requirement. Best of luck with that other job you accepted! One would hope that your current employer will learn the lesson that very few slow-moving companies seem to appreciate when it comes to in-demand talent: “You snooze, you lose!”
      Michael

      Reply
      • 47. Tamara Tangney  |  February 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm

        Thank you Michael!

  • 48. Edward in Texas  |  February 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Michael:

    Thank you so much for all of the information. I especially appreciate you taking the time to provide speculative answers or items to consider when all the details are not available.

    I am interviewing for a contract position (12-14 months) where I would be hired by the contracting company, and provided benefits. I was given the option of working for an hourly rate or a salary. The contracting firm told me the job would be “straight 40″. However, during a phone interview with the original hiring manager (which has since changed), the job would require some “heavy duty hours”. I had initially verbally agreed with the firm for a fixed salary that was equivalent to the billing rate for a 40 hr week. I will be confirming the hours with the new hiring manager today, but expect the same answer given by the previous hiring manager. This would be my first contract position, so I would like your thoughts. Could you also clarify how you typically “do the math” – salary vs. hourly? I understand there would be a certain percentage increase expected if there were no benefits. Thanks again for your time and such a very useful website.

    Reply
    • 49. Michael Spiro  |  February 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Edward:

      First of all, thanks for the kind words about the blog and my attempts at helping people through these comments. It’s always good to know people benefit from my articles and follow-up comments.

      Your question is quite interesting. If I were in your shoes, I’d try to go back to the recruiter at the agency that is hiring you with the new information about the longer hours that you uncovered, and try to renegotiate the deal you initially made. Obviously, if you are on a fixed salary and end up working way more than 40 hours per week, your effective hourly rate will be much lower in the end. Some things to consider: whatever you get paid, the agency will then “mark it up” to a much higher number and then bill the client company. That’s how they make money on the deal! If you switch from salaried to hourly (and work more than 40 hours) then you’ll get paid more, and the agency will also get paid more — so for them it’s a win-win. However, the client company will then have to pay more for your services! That may or may not be a problem for them. Keeping you on a fixed salary is better for the client because they can then expect you to work longer hours without paying extra for your time.

      Medical benefits are a separate issue. Yes, in general you’d probably expect to get paid less if they are also covering some or all of your health benefits. If you get no benefits, you should get paid a higher rate. None of that matters to the client company. They only care what they are paying the agency for your services, and have nothing to do with the benefits issue.

      Hope that is helpful.

      Michael

      Reply
      • 50. Edward in Texas  |  February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        Thank you very much for the quick reply! I did mention it to the recruiter following the onsite interviews. It was again clear it would be “heavy duty hours.” We agreed they would verify it with the hiring manager. He was traveling and I was unable to meet with him. Thanks!

  • 51. David  |  March 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I was working as a contractor a company in which it ended yesterday. Today on the company career website three positions came open in the faculty. My question is this,
    Should I apply for some of them as I would be external candidate?

    Before the assignment ended I was set up and was tested on how good my repairing skills were, unfortunately I by accident broke a piece of the equipment because of my lack of experience in this area.

    The feedback from the client supervisor as told by staffing firm was that I was laid off and they would bring me back full-time if the work picked up. Those jobs that I saw listed on the career website required at least some special skill set

    Reply
    • 52. Michael Spiro  |  March 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      David:
      I’m not sure I understand your question. If you are qualified for any of those new jobs you saw listed online, then why would you not apply?! (If, on the other hand, you are NOT qualified and do not have those special skill sets they listed as requirements — then do not apply!) Are you worried that the staffing company you contracted through would feel they should represent you instead of you applying directly? That’s a different question altogether, and would depend on what type of agreement (if any) you signed with that staffing company.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 53. David  |  March 22, 2013 at 10:07 am

    The jobs don’t require years experience just knowledge and understanding.. Don’t know if I should apply because when I was working as a contractor, I applied for position for which I was qualified and received a notice that selected another person.. Should I just move on from this company?? Clearly if they wanted to hire me on after six months they would have done so by now. Am I right by this assumption?

    Reply
    • 54. Michael Spiro  |  March 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

      If you feel you have that knowledge and understanding … then apply! If not, then don’t waste your and their time. This is pretty basic stuff. Only you know if you are really a fit for these advertised positions. Since you are already known by the people at this company from your contract work there, I would advise you to reach out directly to the supervisor who said he would bring you back full-time if the work picked up and ask if you could be considered for these new openings. What’s the worst that will happen? He’ll say no. At least then you will know and move on to other things. He might just say yes and help you get back in. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If your prior work there was well regarded, that should help you. The fact that you were not selected for another position at that same company may or may not be a sign that you are not wanted there. Until you ask, you’ll never know.

      Reply
      • 55. David pena  |  March 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

        I don’t have the supervisor phone number, basically I was never given a warm reception there meaning I was left out of dept meetings,no communication etc..

      • 56. Michael Spiro  |  March 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        Wow … more negatives! Between this, your being passed over for another job there, and your story about breaking equipment during a test — it sounds like you should just move on and find another place to pursue work.

      • 57. David  |  March 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        I try to be positive but in this case, I think your right. I looked on Glassdoor for this company and it reaffirms my decision to move on as of today including from the staffing firm. Besides if the company wanted to hire me they would have done it by now.. Their loss not mine..

  • 58. Zero Traffic Income Bonus  |  April 11, 2013 at 12:44 am

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.
    can you offer guest writers to write content for you?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome blog!

    Reply
    • 59. Michael Spiro  |  April 12, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words of praise. It’s always great to know my blog is helping people! I don’t really use “guest writers” … but I’d welcome any suggestions on subjects that you’d like to have me explore in future articles.

      Reply
  • 60. BD  |  May 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Hi, Michael. First off, this was a very informative post for me as I’m just entering the ‘real work field.’ I’m applying for a job with a large government organization and it’s overseas in a country I’ve been volunteering in for the past three and a half years. From the job description, it doesn’t look like they cover any relocation expenses, there’s obviously no healthcare or retirement benefits either and the contract only lasts 90 work days (about 4 months). Now, I have a pretty good feeling I will be getting this job because of my contacts and proven work record alongside this organization, but I’m not sure what going rates for these contractor/consultant positions are with my lack of work record. I looked up some average salaries and the annual average was around 70k, but that’s for much longer contracts. I’m a great candidate and know I will excel at the job, so I don’t want to shortchange myself, but I also don’t want to scare the employers off with my proposed salary (daily rate, the max is $400). Do you have any rules of thumb for what to expect pay-wise when doing these short-term/overseas contracts in comparison to the long-term salaries? Thank you!

    Reply
    • 61. Michael Spiro  |  May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      BD:
      Sorry, but I really don’t have much experience with short-term/overseas contracts. I can tell you that in general, when I help candidates determine what their hourly rate should be for a contract job, I advise them to simply take their targeted annual salary and divide by 2. For example, if you are targeting $70K annually, that would translate to about $35 per hour for a contract job — give or take a couple of dollars. That usually does not include health benefits, and is separate from travel expenses, per diem for meals, or any other perks. In your case, with the additional factors of having to travel overseas, living away from home for 4 months, etc. … your guess is as good as mine for what that’s worth.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 62. Cheryl  |  May 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Hi Michael,

    Wish I found your blog 3 years ago when I started contract work. Been with 3 agencies so far, and have had great recruiter experiences. They seem to work hard and go out of their way to keep experienced IT relationships, even after you leave their agencies.

    I have 2 questions for you:

    Have you ever heard of a client company asking their contractors to take week(s) off unpaid? aka a rolling layoff. I just left a 2 year contract after 9 months when they asked us to do that, just as they’ve required from their FTE’s. I was the only contractor who thought they were nuts to ask. We were told we could file unemployment – so basically, the taxpayers foot the bill for this time-management style.

    Also, can you spend some time discussing a typical scenario for contractors vis-a-vis feeling/being treated as an outsider? My new contract has been like all the others I’ve had … the FTE’s are friendly and helpful with the 1st 1 or 2 days introductions, but afterwards, they give minimal help if I ask for assistance. I don’t think I come off as unfriendly or a know-it-all, but most of the time I feel isolated. Guess its human nature for employees not to get close and personal when you know someone will be gone in a few months. Took me a while to figure that out and not take it personally. When I was an FTE, I made sure to go out of my way to help and even befriend contractors. Made some nice relationships for my network that way. But as a contractor, I feel like I’m forcing things if people want to keep their distance – which most do. Do you agree this is common, or am I being overly-sensitive? Maybe it is common and I need to develop thicker skin.

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • 63. Michael Spiro  |  May 28, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Cheryl:
      Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m glad my blog has been helpful to you. As to your questions:
      1) Asking contractors to stop working for a period of time, and then bringing them back later is not uncommon. There is no requirement or obligation on the client’s part that they keep you working continuously — that’s part of the attraction of using contract resources in the first place. From the company’s point of view, you represent a totally flexible work force. As to you filing for unemployment during your off weeks — it seems to me that deciding if it’s worth it would depend on how long you will be out of work, and when they plan to bring you back. There’s usually a 1-week waiting period for unemployment benefits, and then you’d only get paid until you start working again. If the company plans to have those “rolling layoffs” more than once, getting those benefits to stop and re-start over and over may be problematic. You should contact your local Unemployment Office and discuss the particulars of your situation with a representative there for better advice.
      2) As to the issue of contractors feeling like outsiders … it sounds like you’ve pretty much answered your own question fairly well! As I said in the blog article, contractors rarely have the same feeling of “ownership” of their work that permanent employees usually have, nor do they enjoy the same feeling of camaraderie with their co-workers that permanent employees usually feel. It’s just one of the common aspects of that type of work arrangement, and basically just human nature. Not much you can do to change that, other than what you have already articulated.
      Michael

      Reply
      • 64. Cheryl  |  May 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

        Thanks – now I feel a bit less isolated, knowing others encounter similar circumstances. Appreciate your speedy reply :)

  • 65. Paula  |  July 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I am unfamiliar with the etiquette of temp/contract jobs. I was offered and accepted a temp position through a 3rd party state contractor. I have not started the position yet. Today, I was contacted by the state, directly, and offered a permanent position at a different location.

    The permanent position is my goal as I would like to have state benefits and paid vacation. Would it be inappropriate for me to now take the permanent position, instead of the contract job (which I have not started)?

    Thanks,
    Paula

    Reply
    • 66. Michael Spiro  |  July 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Paula:
      It’s usually not a good idea (although technically NOT illegal) to back out of a contract to accept another position elsewhere — especially once you start that contract. However, in your case since you haven’t actually started the contract, I would IMMEDIATELY contact the person you dealt with for that contracting position and explain the situation — and tell them you are withdrawing from the contract to accept the full-time offer. That is an obvious and better choice.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 67. Elizabeht  |  July 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Michael, similar to a previous post, glad that I found your blog about this important and growing trends on consulting/contracting. Similar to many, I was impacted with a reorg and ended up being for the first time in my working life of over 19 years “in transition”. I was approached for a consulting job and after some regular interviews I was offered this contract position for 1 year with the opportunity to become permanent. Similar to these readers, the contract was intended to become a permanent role. I started and after many attempts and lot of work, the project is not approved, project team was assembled but all are now engaged in other projects, senior leadership is not warmed to the idea and the total investment after being reduced from mid double digits of millions of dollar now sits with low double digits and still not approved and skepticism at the leadership level. Today the agency contacted to tell me that b/c of the project status – unknown and no consensus to be approved yet – my contract is now extended month by month with the hope that the projects gets interim funded for additional work until formal business case is approved. This puts me in a difficult position as the client can tell me in 2 weeks that my contract is over…but I still need to be fully committed to the work. Having just one year as a independent consultant, does this mean that most likely this will not proceed? there is no discussion about long-term and sometimes it seems that the project will move with internal resources (full time) based on the work, impact and strategic roadmap I delivered so far. I have not discussed this with the VP but over the past 3 weeks, I am working and passing a lot of information to a director who most likely will take over when I leave…Your comments on how to handle this situation is appreciated, I have lots of work in front of me but a great deal of uncertainty….the company has no hiring freeze and is currently actively hiring but outside the area that I was hired for. I am afraid that the writing is on the wall and have some optimism that will never come forward.

    Reply
    • 68. Michael Spiro  |  July 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Elizabeht:
      I have no way of predicting what the future may bring in your situation. I will tell you that all contract work, by definition, is temporary … and there are certainly never any guarantees of future permanent employment — even if you were told that it has “the opportunity to become permanent.” Good luck!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 69. steeil  |  July 17, 2013 at 4:59 am

    If someone signs a three month contract with an employment agency and they later find their own full time permanent job unrelated to the temp agency job are they legally bound to complete the temp job? Will they or the new company have any issues?

    Reply
    • 70. Michael Spiro  |  July 17, 2013 at 11:15 am

      “Legally bound” … no. (Generally speaking, contract jobs are “at will” hires – a legal term which means that you can quit anytime for any reason — or no reason at all — without giving advanced notice.) However, it is considered very unprofessional to give a commitment to complete a 3-month project and then abandon it early because you received a better offer for another job. On the other hand, I do understand that a permanent job trumps a contract. Have you discussed the possibility of pushing back your start date with the new company so you can complete your 3-month contract job? Most employers would respect the fact that you are at least trying to honor your commitments.

      Reply
  • 71. Nita  |  July 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Michael,
    Your blog is very informative. Thank you very much for providing this information.
    My current full-time job is being eliminated and I am searching for new opportunities. I have been contacted for consulting opportunities. These are short term opportunities (2-3 months) on W2 and the contract with the consulting company says that once the assignment with the client is complete, I cannot apply for another position with the same client for a full year. Is this legal? Is it a standard clause in every contract?

    Reply
    • 72. Michael Spiro  |  July 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Nita:

      First of all, my disclaimer: I am not a lawyer … so anything I say is merely an unofficial opinion. You should consult an attorney who specializes in employment law for a more informed opinion.

      That said, my opinion is that a consulting company cannot prevent you from applying for a job directly with their client once your contract period ends. Any restrictions like that are usually written into the agreement between the client and the consulting company. It is customary for such an agreement to include a conversion fee if the client decides to hire a consultant after a contract period. That fee would be paid by the client — not you, the consultant! I doubt they can legally restrict your ability to apply for a job. If they ask you to sign something that restricts your future ability to apply for a job, it’s probably not enforceable — although that may vary from state to state.

      Michael

      Reply
  • 73. Nadine  |  September 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I have a permanent contract with the company I work for, and have recently changed from full-time 40 hours, to part-time due to my attending a college course.
    I was informed I would be guaranteed only 20.5 hours per week due to availability, which I was happy to agree to and requested a copy in writing.
    I still have not received a copy of the change in contracted hours, and I am now also only being given 19 hours a week as opposed to the agreed 20.5
    They have now agreed to an extra 2 hour shift per week, resolving the pay issue in the future, however I have still lost a lot of money due to the prior rota’d hours.
    My question is whether my employer is obliged to pay me the missing 6 hours wage for the previous months? Whilst it does not seem like much, it’s nearly a full days pay per month when money is already tight, and I am missing these hours through no fault of my own. I’m just concerned that they will dispute it due to not having the paperwork as proof.

    Many thanks for your time,
    Nadine

    Reply
    • 74. Michael Spiro  |  October 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Nadine:

      I suggest you consult with an attorney who is familiar with employment law for better advice on your situation. My own lay opinion is that there is no such thing as a “guarantee” of hours from a company to a contract worker that can be enforced. You were most likely hired “at will.” Their only obligation is to pay you for the hours you actually work. Your hours can be increased, reduced, or eliminated any time by the company with or without notice or explanation. Expecting to get paid for extra hours you think you were promised, but didn’t actually work, sounds unreasonable to me.

      Michael

      Reply
  • 75. Nicole  |  October 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Hello Michael,

    My boyfriend was recently contacted by a recruiter and decided to go to the scheduled interview because it has been so long since he interviewed. (he has been in the same ft position for 7 or 8 years) He was not actively looking for a new job per say but was not closed to the idea either. Long story short…he went to the interview and got the job with a considerable increase in pay. He is confused by a few things though, He was told by the recruiter that the recruiting agency would be supplying him with healthcare benefits and that he would be on a 4 month contract with the agency. Does that mean that the position is a contract position or is that just the duration of time that the agency is involved with the hiring process (in order to get their cut). I guess I am asking if this is normal or should he be asking certain clarifying questions and what would some of them be?

    Nicole

    Reply
    • 76. Michael Spiro  |  October 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Nicole:

      If your boyfriend was told he would be on a 4-month contract with the agency, and also be getting healthcare benefits from that agency, then this is clearly a temporary contract position! He is being hired by the agency — NOT the client company he interviewed with. (If this were a standard full-time placement by the agency, they would collect a one-time placement fee directly from the client company — not by starting out with a 4-month contract period.) Quitting a full-time job to go to such a temporary contract situation is not smart, and is very risky. Unless there is an iron-clad guarantee that the client company will absolutely hire him at the end of that 4-month contract — and he has that in writing — I would NEVER advise making such a move. So-called “Temp-to-Perm” jobs are almost never given such guarantees. The obvious risk is that the contract might end in 4 months, and he’ll end up unemployed. That “considerable increase in pay” could easily become a big fat zero after the 4 month period ends! In most cases, the only reason for a full-time employee to quit one job to go to another is when that other job is also a full-time permanent job.

      -Michael

      Reply
  • 77. Rachel  |  November 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hello Michael,

    This is a really useful blog. I have a unique (maybe?) situation. I have two contract offers at once, one could take up 20 hours a week, and the other perhaps more. The first offer pays more, but may not be as many hours, the second less, with more hours. On top of that, I have applied for a FT position I really want, but of course I have no guarantee of getting (and I won’t know until Mid-month if I have an interview). My question is: Should I take both contract jobs (one is two-months with a possible extension to six and one is six months) and risk being overworked and then having to drop both if I get the FT job, or should I take the shorter term one to leave myself more open for the possible FT job? Life is complex, isn’t it? Thanks, Rachel

    Reply
    • 78. Michael Spiro  |  November 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Rachel:
      It’s difficult to advise you on which one (or both) of your contract job options is the best choice, mostly because each situation is unique and I’m sure each of the jobs you are describing has other pros and cons that factor in. If either one has the possibility of converting to perm, and/or is in your chosen career field, those would certainly be attracting factors. Two jobs at once is obviously a bigger time commitment, but also more money in your pocket … so if you are in a situation where income is critical, then two part-time jobs that add up to full-time hours could be a good option. The perm job you “applied to” sounds like a total long shot, since you don’t know if they will even interview you. I certainly would NOT advise you to hold off on accepting any other contract jobs based on waiting for that one!
      Michael

      Reply
  • 79. Mary H.  |  November 10, 2013 at 7:34 am

    Hi there. Is it possible for consulting jobs that are non-w2 to show up on an “Employment History Verification” background check?

    Reply
    • 80. Michael Spiro  |  November 11, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Mary:
      I’m not sure what you mean by “non-w2″ jobs. Are you referring to 1099 independent contract jobs that you perform directly for client companies? Either way, my understanding of how background checking companies verify your work history is that they individually contact each of the companies that you list on your application form and verify the information you provided (dates of employment, salary, reason for leaving, etc.) As far as I know, there is no master “database of employment” that would reveal a job you might have had that was not listed on your application. Of course, it is always possible that such a “hidden job” could be uncovered through a look at your tax records, or some other more intense investigative method. Police Detectives or Private Investigators would probably have no trouble uncovering such information. However, standard background checking companies would not go to that depth in verifying your employment.
      Michael

      Reply
  • 81. homepage  |  November 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    “Contract / Consulting Jobs Explained … Available in Three Different Flavors” on Recruiter Musings ended up being quite enjoyable and educational! Within modern society honestly, that is very hard to deliver.
    Thanks, Hermelinda

    Reply
  • 82. Sona  |  January 4, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I want to know that if i m hiring 1 person as a consultant on contract basis .If the person name entered in the attendance sheet & all the policies are applicable to him as a common employees in the organisation.Is he comes under employee or under consultant ?

    Reply
    • 83. Michael Spiro  |  January 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I’m not sure I understand your question the way it was written. However, if you are hiring an independent contractor (someone who is NOT on your regular payroll, and for whom you are NOT withholding taxes, etc.) then that person is not your “employee.” They are self-employed, and must pay their own taxes. If you are hiring a contractor through a consulting firm, then that person is most likely employed by that firm and not by you.

      Reply
  • 84. Darrell Hambley  |  January 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Michael and other readers: Question about out-of-state income taxes: I have changed my employment from W2 contracting (through contracting agencies) to my own consulting LLC. I have worked in 3 different states but, mostly work in my home office from which I deliver my services to the clients via email. Approximately 1/3 of the year was spent on-site in these other states, sometimes for as much as 3 weeks at a time.
    My question – Do most states require that an outside consultant pay state income tax for the time he was physically in that state?
    D.Hambley

    Reply
    • 85. Michael Spiro  |  January 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Darrell:
      You’ve posed an excellent and very complicated tax question. It not only involves state taxes, but also applies to local city taxes for consultants and other professionals who travel and work in multiple locations and live in another. Is your tax burden tied to the site where the work is performed? To the location of the client company’s headquarters? To the location of the home office of a self-employed consultant? To all of the above? The tax laws might vary from state to state and city to city. I am certainly no expert in this area. I suggest you consult with a qualified tax accountant who has experience in matters like this. I wouldn’t want to guess on this one!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 86. Emily Edwards  |  February 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Good morning Michael,

    I was employed as a contractor through an employment agency. I left that contract position when I was hired by another company full-time simply because the pay and benefits were better. I found out after leaving that the company was giving my employment agency around $36 per hour for my position, and I was only receiving less than a 1/3rd of that. My old company would like to hire me back and I would love to return; however I signed a contract with the employment agency that I would not work for the company without their representation. I feel vulnerable and misled after taking a position I desperately needed at the time, and finding out how poorly I was treated. The employment agency also offered no other compensation such as paid days off when the office was closed, etc. I was certainly not expecting Holidays. Is this common place? Is there anyway I can return to this company without seeking a position through the job placement agency?

    Thanks,
    Emily

    Reply
    • 87. Michael Spiro  |  February 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Emily:

      I’m not a lawyer. You should consult an attorney who specializes in employment law to find out if that “contract” you signed with the agency is actually legally binding or not. My own unofficial opinion is that it seems wrong that an agency can prevent you from accepting a full-time position offered to you by one of their client companies after you ended your assignment with them and took another job somewhere else in between. I think that if such a thing occurred, at most that client company might owe the agency a fee for “converting” you from a contract to a permanent employee. Such conversion fees are usually built in to the agreement that client company signed with the agency before they hired you as a contractor. In any case, a lawyer should review your contract to determine its enforceability. It may not be legal at all — but right or wrong, anyone can sue anyone else for anything! If you accepted that job offer from their client and the agency wanted to be vindictive, they could drag you into court just to prove a point and force you to defend yourself at your expense! I’ve seen that happen more than once. In the end you might win, but who needs that headache!

      As to the fee issue — it is pretty standard for contractors to be paid a much lower rate than the hourly bill rate charged to the client company for your services. Such “mark-ups” are exactly how the agency makes their money! Typically, the bill rate could be 1.5 to 2 times the pay rate. In your case, if the bill rate was actually 3 times the pay rate … well, that is excessive by most industry standards, but certainly not illegal. And agencies almost never pay contract consultants for days off, vacations or holidays. Those are perks usually only given to full-time employees. Typically, contractors only get paid for the days they actually work. To conclude that you were “misled” or “treated poorly” based only on those facts may be an overreaction. There may be other things they promised and didn’t deliver on — but you didn’t mention anything else.

      -Michael

      Reply
  • 88. Kimberly Howards  |  April 8, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I’m in a temp-to-hire with a large company. The thing is my agency told me that their contract period with me will be in 6 months, while the company is saying 90 days I will become their permanent employee. Notice that there is not any provisions stated like that in the contract between the agency and me. Which one is correct? Is it possible for me to become permanent employee and still get paid hourly from the agency? Is it illegal for them to keep me work under their agency for 3 more months?

    Thanks,

    Kimberly

    Reply
    • 89. Michael Spiro  |  April 8, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Kimberly:
      First of all, you cannot work at a company as both a permanent employee and also as a contractor at the same time — that would make no sense. You are either one or the other. Secondly, it is certainly not illegal for a contract to last more than 3 months. I’ve seen contract jobs last for a year or more. It all depends on if or when the client company decides to either end the contract and/or hire a contract worker as a permanent employee. If the company you are working for now wants to hire you directly after 3 months, and the agency you are working through expected the contract period to last 6 months, then the company and the agency will have to work that out. There is typically some sort of “conversion fee” that the company has agreed in advance to pay to the agency when they hire one of their contractors. What you need to understand is that agencies usually make more money from contractors than from those conversion fees. It’s more profitable for them to extend your contract period as long as they can. The bottom line is that the company and the agency need to come to terms before you can be hired.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 90. Kimberly Howards  |  April 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you Michael. It helps a lot.

    Reply
  • 91. Cindy Berg  |  April 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I am new to the engineering consultant world and am paid good hourly rate. Are there unwritten rules related to number of hours to enter on time cards for contract employees? I typically work much longer hours than I record on my timecards, but enter 40 hours. I do keep track of the extra hours. What do Contractors/Consultants generally do? I would like to get paid for the extra hours but don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

    Reply
    • 92. Michael Spiro  |  April 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Cindy:
      There are no “unwritten rules” regarding work hours. Quite the opposite: labor laws spell out quite specifically what your pay should be paid for the hours you work. If you are working directly for a client company as a 1099 independent contractor, then you should have a written contract that specifies how many work hours your client is willing and able to pay for each week (and what rate they’ll pay you), and then you bill them accordingly. If you choose to work extra hours over and above what they agreed to pay for, that’s up to you … but you’ll be working for free! On the other hand, if you are working through (and being paid by) an agency as a W-2 employee, and then being billed by that agency to their client as a contract/consultant — in those situations the typical arrangement is for a “straight time” hourly pay rate for up to 40 hours each week, and then “overtime” pay for any hours you work past 40. Generally, overtime pay is 1.5 times the straight-time rate … and almost always has to be approved in advance by the client company. The bottom line is that whoever pays you should be made aware of how many hours you are working, and you should be compensated for those hours. Otherwise, if you work overtime hours without being paid — then someone is taking advantage of you!
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 93. Amanda  |  July 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I am currently working as an independent contractor with a 12 month agreement. In the agreement, it says a 90 day notice needs to be given to terminate. The company knew my ultimate goal was a permanent position, which they could not offer at that time, but said possibly in the future. I interviewed for a perm position but they said they would not move forward with an offer without me being able to start in what they consider a reasonable timeframe (2-3 weeks). Do you know what can happen if I do not give the 90 days notice? Thanks!

    Reply
    • 94. Michael Spiro  |  July 16, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Amanda:
      I’m not qualified to give legal advice. Plus, local employment laws may vary. I would advise you to consult with an attorney who can review the “agreement” that you signed to see if it is legally binding, and what the possible consequences might be if you do not give 90-days notice. I will say that in my experience in the staffing industry, demanding a 3-month notice period sounds excessive and unreasonable. Naturally, it’s in that agency’s best interest for them to keep you on the job and billing for them as long as possible … so they can write anything they want into that “agreement” they gave you. However, if you were hired “at will,” then there is no legal obligation at all to give any notice — you can quit at any time, without giving any notice. (And that works both ways — you can also be terminated at any time without notice!) The custom of giving 2-weeks notice is merely a professional courtesy for an at-will employee, and not a legal obligation. Hope that helps.
      -Michael

      Reply
  • 95. Edward Salwit  |  July 20, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Hi Michael
    My wife is currently waiting for an offer letter for a permanent position that she should have tomorrow. She was also offered a 12 month contract position on the same day and they are telling her she needs to complete the paperwork by tomorrow for the offer to stand. Obviously she would prefer the full time position as we are both currently unemployed and we need medical benefits. If she completes the paperwork for the contract position on Monday and receives the offer letter for the permanent position a day or 2 later and accepts , is she obligated in any way to keep the contract position? I think you mentioned something about “at will” in previous posts, but I don’t want her to go from 2 job offers to nothing at all by not signing the contract because of the possibility of an offer letter for a full time position. You insight would be great if you can provide.

    Reply
    • 96. Michael Spiro  |  July 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Edward:
      Without seeing the language of the paperwork your wife would be signing for the contracting situation, it would be impossible to comment on how legally binding such an agreement might or might not be. (And anyway, I’m not a lawyer!) However, in my experience — almost every contracting situation is an “at-will” hire, meaning that either party can terminate the agreement with or without notice no matter what that paperwork says. While quitting the contract after signing on would certainly not make the client or the staffing firm happy … withdrawing a day or two after completing the paperwork would be a lot less harmful than doing so after starting a project that a client would then be depending on her to complete. My advice would be to play it safe and complete that contracting paperwork — and then withdraw immediately if the permanent offer comes through. And, of course, if that perm job doesn’t come through … at least she will still have the contract to fall back on.
      -Michael

      Reply
      • 97. Edward Salwit  |  July 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

        Michael,
        We currently live in Florida which I believe as an “at will” state. We definitely do not want to do anything that would possibly burn any bridges, but we also do not want to be in a situation where she ends up still being unemployed. I am hoping she has that offer letter for the perm job first thing tomorrow morning but that may not be the case.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Michael Spiro

About the Author:

Michael Spiro has been a 3rd-Party Recruiter and Account Executive for over 15 years. He is currently the Director of Recruiting / NE Ohio Region for Experis Finance, a dedicated business unit of ManpowerGroup. Other recent positions include President of Midas Recruiting, a boutique head-hunting firm, and Director of Talent at Patina Solutions, a professional services firm that deploys professionals with at least 25 or more years of experience. Prior to that, he worked for two of the largest search firms in North America. Before his career in the staffing industry, Michael was a manager in a large non-profit social-services organization. And in a former life, Michael was active in the entertainment industry, with extensive road-warrior experience as a touring performer (singer-songwriter / guitarist / comedian) and as a recording artist, producer and booking agent.  [More...]

Index (by Topic):

Résumés & Cover Letters:
 The "T" Cover Letter - The
         Only Type Worth Sending

 The Brutal Truth on How
         Résumés Get Eliminated

 Explaining Short Job Stints
         and Employment Gaps

 The Résumé Test &
         Checklist: Does Yours
         Pass?

 Beating the Résumé-
         Elimination Game: Where
         Do Recruiters' Eyes Go?

Networking:
 How to Network: A
         Step-by-Step Guide for
         Job Searching

 Looking for Networking in
         All the Wrong Places

 Targeted Networking: How
         to Effectively Reach Out

 The Art of Giving: the Key to
         Effective Networking

Interviewing:
 Face-to-Face Interviews:
         Secrets, Tricks and Tips

 Phone Interviews: Secrets,
         Tricks and Tips

 Skype Interview Tips ...
         Welcome to the Future!

 Nuggets: A Secret
         Interviewing Technique

 Answering the Dreaded
         Salary Question

 20 Surefire Ways to Blow
         an Interview

 "So, Do You Have Any
         Questions?" Nailing the
         Interview Closer

 Cool InfoGraphic: "What
         You Wish You'd Known
         Before Your Job
         Interview"

Age Discrimination:
 Age Discrimination: Secret
         Conversations Revealed

 Age Discrimination:
         Exposing Inconvenient
         Truths

 Are You "Overqualified?"
         Handling the Age Issue

 Baby Boomers to the
         Rescue! An Idea Whose
         Time Has Come ...

 Overcoming Job-Search
         Obstacles and
         Redefining Your Career
         After 50

Switching Jobs:
 The Proper Way to
         Quit a Job

 Counteroffers: Just Say No!

General Job-Seeking Info:
►  Let the Jobs Find You:
         Making Yourself More
         "Searchable"

 "Help ... I Need a Job!" A
         9-Step Guide for Newly
         Minted Job-Seekers

 Contract/Consulting Jobs
         Explained ... Available in
         3 Different Flavors

 The Real Truth About
         Working with Recruiters

 Avoiding the "Black Hole
         of HR"

 Is Your Elevator Pitch
         Taking You UP
         or DOWN?

 Advice for Recent Grads
         and Career-Changers

 Time Management: Recipe          for a Well-Balanced Job          Search
 Getting Un-Stuck from your
         Rut!

 The Double-Whammy of
         Rejection and Isolation

 "Unemployed Need Not
         Apply" - Working Around
         This Scary Message

 Using Social Media to
         Enhance Job-Searching

 Warning: That Rant You
         Posted Just Went Viral!

 The Golden Rule: Never
         Burn Bridges

 The Power of a Positive
         Attitude

 Why Job Hunting is a
         Consultative Sales
         Position

 Top 10 Most Helpful Things
         for Job Seekers

 Top 10 Most Annoying
         Things for Job Seekers

 New Year's Resolutions for
         Unemployed Job-
         Seekers

Job-Seeking Humor:
 Comic Relief: Volume 1
 Comic Relief: Volume 2
 Comic Relief: Volume 3
 Comic Relief: Volume 4
 Comic Relief: Volume 5
 Comic Relief: Volume 6
 "In Transition" and Other
         Awkward Euphemisms

 Candidates Gone Wild:
         Recruiter Horror Stories

Share This Blog:

Click the button below to share “Recruiter Musings” on any of nearly 300 social media sites:

Share this blog with any of your favorite Social Networks, email or bookmark it.

Enter your email address below to subscribe to “Recruiter Musings” and receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Join 678 other followers

Job Opportunities:

Click below to see job opportunities listed through the author’s company, Midas Recruiting:

Blog Visitor Count:

  • 437,188 hits

Recent Posts:

Previous Posts (by Date):

►  Comic Relief: Job-Seeking
      Humor - Volume 4

------------------------------------------
►  "Unemployed Need Not Apply" -
      Working Around This Scary
      Message

------------------------------------------
►  Explaining Short Stints and
      Employment Gaps

------------------------------------------
►  The Lost Art of Customer
      Service: Unreturned Phone
      Calls & Emails

------------------------------------------
►  Comic Relief: Job-Seeking
      Humor - Volume 3

------------------------------------------
►  The Résumé Test & Checklist:
      Does Yours Pass?

------------------------------------------
►  The "T" Cover Letter -
      The Only Type Worth Sending

------------------------------------------
►  The Brutal Truth on how
      Résumés Get Eliminated

------------------------------------------
►  Comic Relief: Job-Seeking
      Humor - Volume 2

------------------------------------------
►  Age Discrimination: Exposing
      Inconvenient Truths

------------------------------------------
►  The Double-Whammy of
      Rejection and Isolation

------------------------------------------
►  Is Your “Elevator Pitch” Taking
      You UP or DOWN?

------------------------------------------
►  Comic Relief: Job-Seeking
      Humor - Volume 1

------------------------------------------
►  Warning: That Rant You
      Posted Just Went Viral!

------------------------------------------
►  Using Social Media to Enhance
      Job-Searching

------------------------------------------
►  Avoiding the “Black Hole
      of HR”

------------------------------------------
►  “In Transition” and Other
      Awkward Euphemisms

------------------------------------------
►  Getting Un-Stuck from
      your Rut!

------------------------------------------
►  Time Management: Recipe for a
      Well-Balanced Job Search

------------------------------------------
►  Face-to-Face Interviews:
      Secrets, Tips and Tricks

------------------------------------------
►  Counteroffers: Just Say No!
------------------------------------------
►  The Proper Way to Quit a Job
------------------------------------------
►  The Real Truth About Working
      with Recruiters

------------------------------------------
►  Phone Interviews:
      Secrets, Tricks and Tips

------------------------------------------
►  The Golden Rule: Never Burn
      Bridges

------------------------------------------
►  Candidates Gone Wild:
      Recruiter Horror Stories

------------------------------------------
►  Following-Up: An Essential
      Key to Success

------------------------------------------
►  Nuggets: A Secret Interviewing
      Technique

------------------------------------------
►  New Year’s Resolutions for
      Unemployed Job-Seekers

------------------------------------------
►  How to Network: A Step-by-
      Step Guide for Job-Searching

------------------------------------------
►  Top 10 Most Helpful Things for
      Job-Seekers

------------------------------------------
►  Top 10 Most Annoying Things
      for Job-Seekers

------------------------------------------
►  Age Discrimination: Secret
      Conversations Revealed!

------------------------------------------
►  The Art of Giving: The Key to
      Effective Networking

------------------------------------------
►  Targeted Networking: How to
      Effectively Reach Out

------------------------------------------
►  Why Job Hunting is a
      Consultative Sales Position

------------------------------------------
►  The Power of a Positive
      Attitude

------------------------------------------
►  Looking for Networking in
      All the Wrong Places

------------------------------------------
►  Answering the Dreaded Salary
      Question

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 678 other followers