Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Salary Expectations’

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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Show me the money…

Posted by sweens on January 27, 2009

I would like to suggest that there are two key mistakes candidates can make when applying for a position they know nothing about.  The first mistake is asking what the job pays right away.  The second is telling the recruiter that they can submit your resume without ever speaking about the opportunity.  Both of these moves are likely to leave a sour taste in the recruiters’ mouth.




I would recommend that this is not the best way to go about trying to find your next contract or position.  This to me demonstrates that your motivation for this position and any subsequent positions are the money associated with each position rather then what the position can offer you.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my goal is to find the right person with the right position rather then someone who can simply do the job.



People who are motivated by money rather then the opportunity on the whole are likely to leave the position for a higher paying position down the road.  This will ultimately not benefit my client and will force me to find a replacement.  Considering the opportunity on the whole from career potential to staff size, company culture and advancement opportunity, can often reflect a better opportunity then one that simply comes with a large pay cheque.




This is also a bit of a ‘no-no’ when you have never spoken to the recruiter about the position.  There is a tone of information from rate to contract length that needs to be discussed before both sides agree that any given opportunity is right for both sides.  Someone who is willing to be presented to a client before they know any of the details –including who the client is – can represent someone who is desperate for any position and may not be in your clients’ best interest.


While I offer a bit of a warning for these two points, if you feel that opening your conversation with a recruiter based around these two points is necessary, you should consider how it will be perceived.   I for example received an email from someone I contacted that did express an interest in one of my positions but did also point out that they were happy where they currently were.  They then pointed out what their currently salary was and where their expectations lied.  This to me was beneficial as I can tell directly if this candidate is in my range.  What was good about this email was it was professional and the candidate took some time to write about his current employment situation and what it would take for them to make a move. 


Much better then opening up with “What is the salary for this position?”

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What’s my current market value….

Posted by sweens on January 21, 2009

Today’s blog entry is about the market value any position has in the IT market today and where that may or may not go.  With the recent layoffs by many Information Technology companies in Ottawa, the simple ‘supply and demand’ equation comes to the front to help us look at this issue.  Supply and demand states that in a competitive market, salary will function to equalize the quantity demanded by employers and the quantity of hires made by the market conditions.


So, with more and more people being let go as of late, we now enter a situation where the supply of candidates exceeds the demand employers have on the labour market.  Some people would have suggested prior to this economic downturn that current salary expectations were a bit higher then where they should have been and that new-grads were demanding too much coming out of school.  That situation was made possible by a lack of candidates to fill employers’ requirements – which allowed candidates to demand more from their new employers.



We are now entering a situation where there are too many candidates to fill a limited number of positions which MAY lead to people taking a salary cut in order to find employment.  This ultimately could lower the salary expectations once the Information Technology sector begins to grow again as people may begin to join companies at a lower salary range then they are currently in.




I think the suggestion I can make is that you should seriously consider what you are willing to accept in terms of compensation for any offer made from this point forward.  I say this for two main reasons.  The first, being that companies who are still going to hire people may be a little nervous about a big salary and would be more comfortable going with a moderate salary.  Secondly, with more people actively searching for a position at the moment, your competition for each position just got tougher, and if you won’t accept a position that pays lower then your last position did, someone else might.


And where would that leave you…

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