How to Negotiate Your Contract Rate

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My husband and I are afforded to live the contract life. We move from project to project making our own hours and rules. Yes, it was scary getting started but doing good work as a contract means that you will never really be out of a project. My husband, Greg has worked in healthcare IT for 15 plus years. He made the leap to go consultant four years ago and he has never looked back.

The freedom that contract positions in any field including IT is not something that is for everybody. It is scary, but I find it liberating in that I, we, really have control over our own careers. It’s a challenge getting started, and you are always scheming, plotting, planning and networking that next contract gig or opportunity.

When you do find a contract position or project you are interested in pursuing, there’s a salary negotiation dance that follows that can sometimes be a little unsettling. For me, it’s hard to talk money, but it’s your livelihood that’s why it’s key to have a clear strategy when negotiating your contract recruiting or sourcing hourly rate.

Step 1 – Length of Contract

My rate is a range and it first depends on the length of the contract. The longer the contract, the more comfortable I am. I have to hustle less and can relax a bit so I am willing to accept less per hour depending on what the length of the contract might be.

Often times short contracts extend which is why if you are comfortable, start with the short contract and aim for a higher hourly rate. It’s easier to negotiate down than up especially when they are talking about extending your contract for a future date.

Step 2 – Number of Hours Billed Weekly

Your hourly rate also depends on the number of hours billed weekly. If I’m working a part time gig at 20 hours a week, I go in at a higher hourly rate. If the contract calls for over 40 hours like 50-60, I tend to accept a lower amount. Ask about the number of hours work when beginning negotiation. You will want to see if the weekly hours are included within the contract. Later you can inquire about the approval process if you need to go over the weekly hours cap.

Step 3 – Range of Pay

As a recruiter myself, I always like to ask the pay range question up front. It keeps everyone from wasting their time. When I’m placing candidates, I work hard to get them what they deserve, but I’m working for both the candidate I’m presenting as well as the company I’m recruiting for. It’s a balance. I always ask for the rate up front, and as a recruiter I’m realistic. I don’t like to string prospects along.

Ask for the range of pay and be prepared to share when you are asked as well. Contracts that require travel or are on site usually are billed at a higher rate with the virtual ones coming in lower. There is less travel time, expenses and overhead. Plus, who doesn’t like working in their comfy home clothes.

Your contract rate of pay also depends on the position with very sought after skills or types of candidates you are recruiting or sourcing for to demand a higher hourly pay. If you are a wiz at finding purple squirrels in technical positions, you will be billing higher than someone who is filling management or call center workers that are easier to find.

And finally, when it comes to pay. I recommend talking to other contract recruiters and sourcers to get an average of their hourly rates. This is not always easy as many of us keep our hourly rate information under our hats and don’t often share. I recommend finding a mentor you have a long standing relationship with or someone at a corporation who hires contract recruiters to get a better idea of an hourly rate.

Step 4 – Exclusivity

I like to ask this question when I work on contract because there are times when I might be juggling multiple contracts. Maybe one is extending part time for a few weeks that I’m coming off of. I’m not going to say no to money. That’s part of the contract game we play. However, some companies might ask that you sign nondisclosure agreements or non-competes. I’m a recruiter not an attorney so I advise that you talk to your attorney and decide what’s best for you. Exclusivity is hard especially if you are coming in at a lower rate. You want to be able to cover your bills and expenses and make a living. Being exclusive keeps you from picking up side gigs and it’s definitely something to make you stop and think. Looking for some insights into how HR and attorneys feel about hiring contract recruiters, click here.

Step 5: Scaling

There are only so many hours in the day. Some weeks I work 90+ hours and other times it’s much less than that. I don’t want to be a slave to my work, but I am a professional business hustler for a living. The hours we work directly impact the number of hours that we bill which is why scaling is to critical. If the project or contract is a fit for me and my skill set, I don’t want to say no because this might be a great opportunity. Consider training, building relationships or outsourcing some of the project or find a way to make yourself available for that time. It could be hiring a personal assistant, housecleaner or looking at bringing on a junior member of the staff on board to work with. Train them to be you when you booked.

If you choose to do this, be upfront and let the company you are working with that you and your team will be working together to give them the best experience it will be. Be aware of privacy and HIPPA laws especially, but under no certain terms should you ever hide that you are having someone else manage the project for you. You want to grow and scale your business for the long term.

 

Mobile Recruiting is Here to Stay #mobilerecruit [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Over on Blogging4Jobs we’re wrapping up Mobile Recruiting Week where every blog is focused on different aspects of mobile recruiting. Our friends over at @MREC presenting this great inforgraphic on Mobile Recruiting. Come check out all the blogs on Blogging4Jobs if you missed the week and be sure to join us for our Mobile Recruiting Webinar, How Mobile is Shaping the Future or Recruitment Marketing & Employer Branding, on 5/22 at 11am EST.

6 Security Concerns for Use of #HRTech & #Sourcing Technologies

ADV: New Book: "Resume Forensics" is a quick and easy guide to finding free resumes and passive candidates on the web.

...

hr-technology-data-security

I’m all for rogue recruiting. I live for budgets and finding creative ways to source, engage and reach qualified candidates in unique ways. It’s the reason in 2001, that I began using dating websites as a database to source and engage job seekers for literally no cost. Traditionally recruiting methods like newspapers weren’t working in the town I was hiring for. It was attracting the wrong kind of people to my job openings either those that weren’t qualified or eligible to work in the US. One of the challenges of working in a meatpacking town in the Midwest.

Back in those days, I didn’t read the fine print. Still often times I forget. We quickly download the latest app for our phones, browser extension or sign up for the latest beta program without reading the details. Instead we are hoping for a quick recruiting fix. Plus, we’re kinda addicted to tech and what I call SOS, shiny object syndrome. I’m always looking to talk about the next big and fun thing.

One my favorite books of recent that discusses the current underground cyber data marketplace is Cypherpunks (affiliate link). The Wikileak founders discuss how data is being bought and sold for marketing, sales and monitoring purposes either by businesses, governments and other big brothers. It’s quite fascinating and extremely terrifying. In fact, while in mid book, I considered going dark altogether eliminating my reliance of electronics but that would be the end of my career in the HR and recruiting industry.

Heather Bussing tells us we don’t own our own data. It’s public information and the more we share electronically, the easier it is to find and be found online. When it comes to HR technologies particularly those of the recruiting and free variety, it’s important to consider how the tools you are using may impact your, your business or the company you represent activities online.

For example, last week I mentioned my love of Connectifier. Currently in beta, it is an amazing sourcing tool. The challenge is that when I source candidates and social profiles, I don’t own the data. It is being shared with others, possibly my competition and more importantly all my activities on that web browser are likely being collected for purposes unknown as it’s stated in Connectifier’s TOS.

Here’s my workaround when specifically with Connectifier.

  • Open & Use Multiple Browsers. I always keep multiple browsers open and limit my use on Chrome which is where Connectifier is housed and make it my secondary browser while I’m searching and sourcing.
  • Delete Your Extension When Not In Use. The extension shouldn’t be collecting data after it is deleted so remove the extension when not in use. I’m a huge Chrome fan so this is an option for me.
  • Limit Your Sourcing or Extension Activity to a Different Computer. Also another good security option. I don’t want big brother gaining access to my data so I’m keeping my activities and limiting them to one computer. Again, I’m a Chrome fan girl and deleting and adding that extension is a big waste of time and money.

Aside from these free or low cost extensions, security is very real especially when it comes to corporate and enterprise HR Technology.

  • Who Owns the Data. This is key question to ask. Does the HR technology you are using like Connectifier own the data and candidate information contained within your ATS? What happens to your data when you cut ties with the HR technology organization? These are questions to be asking your HR Tech before you sign. Click here for more pre-qualify questions when selecting HR Technology.
  • Is My Data Being Shared. This is also important. Who has access to my company data? Does the organization have a partnership where data, information and resources are being shared? Is it just analytics, resources or just numbers like the eQuest and their data on job board results and activity?  
  • How Secure is My Data. In light of the recent data breach with Target and other retailers, it’s important to consider what steps HR technology companies have taken to keep your data secure. What are their protocols and steps if there is a breach? When and how will you be notified?

Security of your company, data and as an individual is important. Was there anything that I might be missing?

 

Recruiters Spend 54 Days A Year on the Phone [Infographic]

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Recruiters are constantly being connected to potential candidates over the phone, through email, social media, and every other means possible. The year in the life of a recruiter can range from promotions to connecting with thousands of candidates.

This infographic is one of our favorites because it shows the recruiter’s life in a year snapshot. One thing the infographic didn’t include which I would like to see is how much time recruiters actually spending on social media? Is it more or less than the average person and more importantly does it lead to actually filling positions? I guess the use case really depends on the focus on measurement and the recruiter’s goal when it comes to social at the end of the day.

Do you agree with the portrayal? What does a year in YOUR life as a recruiter look like?

How to Negotiate Your Contract Recruiting Hourly Rate

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Are you a contract recruiter, sourcer or HR professional? Join our contract talent community. We’ll share our latest contract job openings & announcements with you. Click here

I love working on contract. It’s mostly because I have perpetual career ADHD. I love a challenge and when I exceed expectations and get into a point where things get comfortable, I like to move on to the next big thing. This is why contract recruiting and career positions suit me.

The freedom that contract positions in any field HR, recruiting or wherever give you is not something that is for everybody. It’s a challenge getting started, and you are always scheming, plotting, planning and networking that next contract gig or opportunity.

When you do find a contract position or project you are interested in pursuing, there’s a salary negotiation dance that follows that can sometimes be a little unsettling. For me, it’s hard to talk money, but it’s your livelihood that’s why it’s key to have a clear strategy when negotiating your contract recruiting or sourcing hourly rate.

Step 1 – Length of Contract

My rate is a range and it first depends on the length of the contract. The longer the contract, the more comfortable I am. I have to hustle less and can relax a bit so I am willing to accept less per hour depending on what the length of the contract might be.

Often times short contracts extend which is why if you are comfortable, start with the short contract and aim for a higher hourly rate. It’s easier to negotiate down than up especially when they are talking about extending your contract for a future date.

Step 2 – Number of Hours Billed Weekly

Your hourly rate also depends on the number of hours billed weekly. If I’m working a part time gig at 20 hours a week, I go in at a higher hourly rate. If the contract calls for over 40 hours like 50-60, I tend to accept a lower amount. Ask about the number of hours work when beginning negotiation. You will want to see if the weekly hours are included within the contract. Later you can inquire about the approval process if you need to go over the weekly hours cap.

Step 3 – Range of Pay

As a recruiter myself, I always like to ask the pay range question up front. It keeps everyone from wasting their time. When I’m placing candidates, I work hard to get them what they deserve, but I’m working for both the candidate I’m presenting as well as the company I’m recruiting for. It’s a balance. I always ask for the rate up front, and as a recruiter I’m realistic. I don’t like to string prospects along.

Ask for the range of pay and be prepared to share when you are asked as well. Contracts that require travel or are on site usually are billed at a higher rate with the virtual ones coming in lower. There is less travel time, expenses and overhead. Plus, who doesn’t like working in their comfy home clothes.

Your contract rate of pay also depends on the position with very sought after skills or types of candidates you are recruiting or sourcing for to demand a higher hourly pay. If you are a wiz at finding purple squirrels in technical positions, you will be billing higher than someone who is filling management or call center workers that are easier to find.

And finally, when it comes to pay. I recommend talking to other contract recruiters and sourcers to get an average of their hourly rates. This is not always easy as many of us keep our hourly rate information under our hats and don’t often share. I recommend finding a mentor you have a long standing relationship with or someone at a corporation who hires contract recruiters to get a better idea of an hourly rate.

Step 4 – Exclusivity

I like to ask this question when I work on contract because there are times when I might be juggling multiple contracts. Maybe one is extending part time for a few weeks that I’m coming off of. I’m not going to say no to money. That’s part of the contract game we play. However, some companies might ask that you sign nondisclosure agreements or non-competes. I’m a recruiter not an attorney so I advise that you talk to your attorney and decide what’s best for you. Exclusivity is hard especially if you are coming in at a lower rate. You want to be able to cover your bills and expenses and make a living. Being exclusive keeps you from picking up side gigs and it’s definitely something to make you stop and think. Looking for some insights into how HR and attorneys feel about hiring contract recruiters, click here.

Join our contract talent community in partnership with Blogging4Jobs. We’ll share our latest contract job openings & announcements with you. Click here