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How in the **** do you do it?

By mdigiuseppe ·
Recently, I've tried to work with a number of reputable IT Contract Recruiters who called me because of my reputation for accepting really short-term contracts at a very reasonable hourly rate. In most cases they were desperate because few professionals are willing to take on short-term contracts (<30 to <90 days). Most of the work described could have been done telecommuting with the client, particularly Tier 1 help desk support and some analysis & research jobs.

In every case, the recruiter would start out telling me that telecommuting would be fine or that I might have to visit the client on site two or three times. With most of the clients within 250 miles of my location, I didn't think that an issue. They were insisting on W-2 employement and were trying to avoid per diem.

But then, when the interviewing got serious, the client would insist that 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on-site attendance was necessary. As soon as they discovered that I was experienced, they wanted me on site. Although flattering, such an arrangement would mean that, in most cases, I would have to spend nearly $800 a week on hotel accommodations to take a job that only paid $900 to $1000 per week after taxes.

There were never any intentions to hire on permanent or raise the income to reflect the demands. I always got the feeling that because I was willing to do contract work, they felt that I was desparate enough to take their assignment under any terms which, of course, I am not. It has to make sense and it has to pay. After all, my skillset and labor is the only thing that I have to negotiate. If you grovel for work, your labor won't be looked at as very valuable.

Naturally, the recruiter would go nuts because of the difficulty in finding someone as accommodating as I was and would struggle to convince the client that a 9-to-5 routine wasn't necessary, practical, or cost/effective. But, most of the time, it never worked. I've even been thoroughly frustrated by clients who want remote desktop help desk support under a W-2 Contract paying less than $20/hour then change their mind and insist that you move to their location at your own expense. Often, they're not even aware of products like Citrix Go-to-assist!

So, my question to the forum is: How in the **** do you market yourself for such work? How can clients be made to understand how ridiculous their demands are? In several cases, these jobs remain posted for months! Recently, recruiters have contacted me for the same "remote" assignment over a half-dozen times. Is there an industry effort out there to help clients get real or are most companies just that naive about short-term contract work.

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I don't know the answer...

by master3bs In reply to How in the **** do you do ...

...but one possible solution would be a counter offer, where they pay for your hotel and food accomedations.

That's still not the most beneficial though, as it prevents you from doing other work.

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Short Term Contracts

by BFilmFan In reply to How in the **** do you do ...

My advice is to avoid any contract under 90 days where the client is not paying travel expenses to and from their location and a per diem.

If they just want a body to answer the phone, then they can hire someone local to do this.

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Important to spell it out up front

by zaferus In reply to Short Term Contracts

Expenses for any travel should always be clearly defined up front:

- .xx cents per mile/km
- Reciepts will be provided for full reimbursement of standard accomodations and flights.
- $xx per day average meals (make sure you know how much food costs where you are going!) The "average" is important in case you go cheap for one meal to go get a steak for another.

After this tell the client that they can call the shot on your onsite time. But only a fool would eat their travel costs.

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