Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Contract’

It’s tough being a recruiter…

Posted by sweens on October 30, 2009

I find it tough being a recruiter sometimes! I do not mean because the job is demanding or the stress is insurmountable; but rather that sometimes, it is easy to be torn between the needs of your company and the needs of your candidates. As a recruiter I feel a direct tie to my candidates and that essentially I am their agent. I take on the responsibility of marketing them in a way that best represents their own needs as well as protects the needs of my company.

I recently spoke to a candidate who is displeased in their contract. The rate was not overly generous and I think the work environment might have been a little mundane at times. When they called me to explain why they were leaving prematurely, I could not help but agree with them. Every reason they came up with was accurate from their point of view and I could not help but think that if I was in that position, I would be doing the same.

Is this a normal feeling for recruiters?

I certainly did not put my company in a vulnerable position and suggest that the candidate was misrepresented – because they were not. The candidate was given all the facts before they signed up but it just was not a win-win situation for everyone involved.

I also found myself in a situation where I was working off limited information about the project and the client. This has ultimately comes around and proven to be a problem. As I mentioned before, sometimes when a recruiter recruits a positions for a system integrator, all the facts just are not there.

Very frustrating! Anyone else in the same boat??

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Summertime: Not so hot for contracting

Posted by sweens on April 3, 2009

If you speak to enough people who contract into the Federal Government, they will tell you that coming off a contract in the middle of the summer is not the most ideal situation. ‘Government’ has a tendency to shut down or seriously slow down during the summer months as employees cash in lengthy weeks of vacation.

As such, contracting into the Federal Government presents less opportunity during the summer months then at other points in the year. Candidates should be aware that Government contracting typically has spending cycles:

  • After the fiscal year once new budgets are released
  • After the Summer
  • Before fiscal year end

Coming off contract during these times will likely give you the best opportunity of finding another contract quickly.

Candidates who are looking into contracts now should pay attention to the duration of the contracts, as 3-4 month contracts being issued now will leave you coming off contract in the lull time of the summer months. Just something else to think about in the always fun game of Government contracting!

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Contract VS Permanent: Can I make the switch?

Posted by sweens on February 5, 2009

Many people switch career paths between contract and permanent opportunities and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Everyone has different motivations for this move from opportunity to work environment to the lifestyle associated with contracting.  I would like to discuss candidates who have been a long time contractor who are interested in permanent opportunities.


This is a trend I have seen more commonly as of late.  Most candidates are alluding to the recent economic change we are experience as a motivating factor for long time contractors suddenly seeking permanent opportunities.   This is great for a recruiter as it increases the candidacy pool for permanent opportunities and contractors often have a very strong technical toolset that many companies would be interested in.  However it is not all good.


Candidates who have been contracting for a long time (or their entire professional career) should be aware of the ‘image’ associated with contracting.  This ‘image’ I refer to is that long-time contractors do not want to remain with the same company for a lengthy period of time.  That they like variety.  And as I mentioned earlier this is not an issue but it is going to be a topic you are going to have to be prepared to talk about should you be looking at making a move from contracting into a permanent role.




The reason candidates should prepare to answer this question is that companies who are hiring (especially these days) are looking for employee retention.  They are going to be looking for a candidate that wants to grow with the organization rather then fill a hole until the economy turns around.  If you have been contracting for years and going from company to company, your resume may not demonstrate your desire to ‘settle down’ with one organization for a while.  Add that to the fact that if you are using an agency to get placed, the company who is going to hire you is going to pay a premium fee to hire you – so any organization is going to make sure you want to join their team for the long haul.


The other big change between contracting and permanent opportunities that candidates need to consider is the difference in pay.  Contracting obviously pays more then a permanent opportunity, however permanent opportunities can offer RRSP options, benefits, pensions, etc.  These options are not available to you during normal contracts and as such they aim to offset the difference in pay.


Candidates who are switching from contracting to permanent should look to set realistic salary expectations when making this move.  While demanding fair market value for your skill set is in your best interest, be aware that it is a different market and the market is currently dropping.  Happy hunting!

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