RE: Obtaining contracts

Subject: RE: Obtaining contracts
From: "James Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 06:37:27 -0700

>Robotti, Anne (Carlin) wrote:
>>James Barrow wrote:

>>The only downside to this being that when I negotiate my
>>contract, I know that the recruiter is getting a cut of the
>>money that the client company is offering.

>I see that as an upside. The recruiter gets a percentage (sometimes as
>high as 25%) of the negotiated salary.

Seriously, I don't see giving away money as a benefit to me.

>They know the company, they know what the market will bear, and they have a
>vested interest in the outcome.

They know the company as far as they know the quirks of the manager that the
writer will be reporting to. Anyone can figure out what the market will
bear by reading 10-15 ads posted on Dice. After that, the recruiter simply
wants the candidate to show up every day - that's it.

>Plus, I think a company is *way* more likely to take advice like "You're
>not going to get that for less than $50 an hour," from a recruiter than
>from me.

I think you're looking at this as if the recruiter is some altruistic broker
of good and the commonwealth of man. They're not. In the scenario above,
the recruiter is most likely thinking, "For this job the writer will
probably ask for $50 an hour. Since the pay range is $55-$65, I'm not going
to make any money on this."

>I'm not sure why you think that's a downside, unless you meant something

The explanation is simple: If a company is willing to pay $65 per hour for
my services, why should I pay a middle-man $20 per hour, for the life of the
contract, for putting me in front of the company for an interview?

>Also, I think a recruiter weeds out *so* many companies who have no idea
>what they want. "We need a tech writer. They have to do system docs and
>there's some QA testing too. Knowledge of API documentation a plus. We
>can pay up to $15 an hour."

This is where the recruiter accepts the task of finding a tech writer, but
in this case he just puts the word "junior" before the words "tech writer".

>>How do tech writers find and submit themselves to
>>companies/contracts directly?

>I don't. I used to, but I kept getting scooped up by recruiters before
>my own efforts got me anywhere, and except for AT&T all the companies
>I've worked for have been companies I never would have known existed if
>the recruiter hadn't called.

This sort of leads back to my original question: How do I get notified of
these positions as quickly as a tier-1 recruiter? From previous posts, it
seems that it might be as simple as building up my reputation by calling
these companies directly, submitting myself through my corporation, and then
fulfilling the contract with stellar results.


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