Contract positions are growing each year. It’s a common place to not look for a job but to look for recruiters and let them to do hard work of building a relationship with a future employer. Let’s run through what you can generally expect as well as some tips that you can use as you work with recruiting/staffing agencies.
If you’re a contractor or consultant, you must be aware of your rate based on your experience and the companies in your area. One company may pay $35/hour for a job while another may pay $53/hours for a person with the same experience for a equivalent position. This is not always that the recruiter wants to nickel and dime you because you don’t know any better and they want to get a bigger check. Some companies, even in the same industry and location will pay a significant amount less for the same type of employees. You have to step up and do your own research as you don’t want to feel cheated by the company or agency. Once you know what your rate is and what it should be. My suggestion is that once you pick a rate, stick with that rate, don’t budge any lower unless you’re just so desperate for a position that you have no choice. Wait it our. The job with the pay and benefits you want may just be right on the horizon.
Working with a permanent placement recruiter for a full-time position is like getting a professional negotiated for free. The recruiters work completely in your best interest to make sure that you have the highest rate possible. To be honest, it’s not totally in your best interest. It’s in the interest of the recruiter as well. You see, the recruiter’s commission is based off of your totally yearly salary. While this negotiation is happening, you could very well ask the recruiter to negotiate other benefits as well. Sometimes you’ll find that they’re not willing to do that, however more recruiters will work to get you additional perks if your position level is high (i.e. Senior Level Management). Keep in mind, you’re what the employer wants but don’t take too much advantage of having someone negotiate for you. If your skill set and experience comes a dime a dozen, you may not have the room to negotiate that car allowance or three extra weeks of vacation.
I hope that this general overview helps you navigate through the career market. I wrote this article because I’ve started realizing that people don’t understand how their rates are determined or that permanent placement staffing is just as big as contract/consulting. Most large agencies have a department of only people who staff for permanent positions. Feel free to ask if that’s all that you’re interested in. Happy hunting!