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I keep a form letter in Drafts that I pull the appropriate section.
Thanks for contacting me, I am currently working. Please contact me in __
Thanks for the offer for a ______ job, but I am a technical writer. Please
let me know if you have any technical writer openings in the future.
Thanks for contacting me about ____. Please send me the rates, start date,
expected duration, location, and client's name for this job, so I do not
double submit. If the rates are acceptable, I will contact you.
I don't automatically can them. They may just get a job for me in the
future. I respond so they don't think they have a dead email address, but I
keep all these on an address if it goes to spam too much, I'll dump it and
make a new one. Most of the time, they are just shotgunning it like the
robot spam phone calls that move on with the fourth ring, although the phone
is going through the connection phase still. If I am working, I usually save
them for a week and respond to a bunch at a time. Keeps me on their lists
and doesn't interfere with my life much.
As to negotiating, it is ALWAYS with the recruiter if you are contracting.
There is nothing with the client company.
Temp to hire is an attempt to get you working for a lower rate with the
"promise" of working direct. For many, working direct is the carrot they are
after, but really, it isn't any more secure. Too many places lay off direct
employees on a whim. Benefits in many are down. It was great once with 3
weeks starting PTO and full paid insurance, but today, $250 or more a week
for family insurance is the norm and that is $1000 per month, not that far
off getting it on your own. And two weeks is back to the norm on vacation.
And often, that temp to hire disappears at the end of that time.
Another is breaking out your salary as per diem. It is a great trick to pay
a lower rate that equates to the same take home pay due to not paying taxes.
But it also lowers what was paid into Social Security and recorded for
unemployment. It may not mean much now but if you get hit with an extended
time off, you could discover your unemployment benefits are really low. Or
your SS is really low because your were working for $8 per hour instead of
$30 ($8 regular + $22 per diem). In many places, if you get overtime, it is
paid 1-1/2 times $8 since that is your rate, not the $30.
Contracts are just that - contracts. So read it, change it as you see fit,
and then give it back to them. Nothing says you cannot change conditions. I
never leave the part in that they can end me immediately without notice but
I have to give them two weeks or more. At will means at will - both ways. If
I'm ever questioned on it, I tell them that professionally, I would never
just quit with giving a fair notice, since I would hope to be able to work
with them again, but I will not be bound contractually if they will not.
I don't change money, as that should have been agreed on before they ever
sent the contract to sign, but I check to be sure they are saying they pay
what they said verbally they would. Frequently, you find OT not mentioned or
mentioned as straight time. They usually cite that computer professionals
"can't" be paid time and a half by law. That isn't true, they just are not
required to be paid that if paid over a certain rate. But if it is in your
contract, you can be. Heck, the contract could say you get paid triple time
for all overtime if both sides agree. Or that you get paid straight time for
the first 5 hours of OT, double time for over 5 to 20 hours, and triple time
for any on Tuesday. It doesn't matter, if both agree, then that is what is
paid. The wage laws don't prevent that.
Read your contract BEFORE signing. Just because they wrote it doesn't mean
it is right or legal. I had one that had 4 paragraphs of conditions that
were illegal in the US. I think they were really based in India regardless
of the Virginia address and phone number. I think they were just a drop.
That contract I deleted and initialed almost half the contract. They
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2015 8:33 AM
Subject: Shotguns (was: I'm furious...)
On Sat, 10 Jan 2015 07:56:11 -0500, Daniel Friedman
<daniel -dot- friedman42 -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
I have to say, as someone who is relatively new to the industry (3 years
in the same full time role), this thread has been extremely educational.
Most importantly I've learned:
1. That you have to negotiate rates with the recruiter, not the client.
2. That the client pays the same rates no matter which candidate they
hire (so if they hire someone who's too desperate to negotiate, the
recruiter makes $$$).
3. Double submissions will get your resume binned.
4. Recruiting companies are just as sketchy as I imagined.
Has anyone ever had success using the "shotgun" recruiters who send out
requests asking to place us into slots for which we are not qualified?
For instance, suppose your resume mentions that you once documented an API
for C++ developers. Lo and behold, Clueless Recruitment, Ltd. wants to
submit you for a C++ dev position requiring seven years of experience.
They even include a personal-sounding letter that explains how impressed
they are by your qualifications. Is there any reason not to put Clueless,
Ltd on your spam list?
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