What Candidates Should Expect From IT Staffing Firms – Part 1

Originally, my plan for this post was to do a short piece on what to look for in an IT staffing / consulting company. However, when I asked people for their thoughts and experiences, I received way more questions and and anecdotes than I ever anticipated!

In today’s market, many folks are finding themselves working for IT staffing / consulting companies for the first time in their careers. Unfortunately, many are also getting surprised by what they find.

For example:

  • The compensation discussed during the interview is not the compensation presented at time of offer.
  • The consultant is not paid in a timely manner or at all.
  • The consultant is not eligible for health insurance and other benefits that were previously discussed.
  • The position is actually a subcontracted position.
  • Travel and other expenses are not reimbursed.
  • When the consultant comes off assignment, their employment with the consulting company ends.
  • They are offered an independent contractor (1099) position rather than a W2 employee position.

And so on. It is understandable that miscommunication happens from time to time, but there is no excuse for a lack of clarity on the key aspects of an engagement and working with a company. It reflects poorly on the Recruiter and Account Manager as well as the industry as a whole.

I had coffee this morning with an individual who worked in the IT consulting industry in the 1990’s, and recently relo’d back to central Ohio after working as a staff employee for a leading firm in the IT sector. She was quite surprised – actually, shocked – with practices today compared to ten years ago. For those of us who have been in the industry for awhile, perhaps we have been desensitized to the amount of change that has occurred. For candidates who are just getting acquainted with the industry, it can be an unpleasant experience should they fall prey to an disreputable firm.

If you have questions or observations on working with IT staffing and consulting firms, I would like to hear from you as I am preparing a series of blog posts on this topic. My goal is to coach and advise folks on how to mitigate their risk and align with the higher caliber firms like mine. Please respond via comments on this post or email at rich@acsconsults.dnsuk.net.

I appreciate your thoughts.