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Thread: Anyone here ever worked for a recruiting firm as a contractor?

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    Par 3 Net Zero gmiller598's Avatar
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    Anyone here ever worked for a recruiting firm as a contractor?

    Just curious to know what your experience was with the process. I was laid off from my corporate job in March after my position was moved offshore. I've had lots of hits from recruiters and I accepted a position a couple of weeks ago through a recruiter at a large company. I have filled out all of the onboarding paperwork and passed all of the background checks. The last thing I am waiting for is a start date for the position which I was told would be provided upon completion of the background check.

    Is this normal? I feel like I'm making myself paranoid waiting to be told when to start. I've been told the manager was out of the office. Maybe he's on vacation the entire week but the recruiting company can't seem to get an answer from the company and I haven't been given an ETA as to when I will get one. I'm sort of going crazy having been unemployed for the last 2 months and anxious to get back to work so I'm trying to be patient. I would just assume that getting a start date and planning to onboard a new employee/contractor would be something that should be able to be easily provided from my past experience. Anyway, I'm really just venting and feel like I needed to get it off my chest since the anxiety is really getting to me.
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    I was a contractor for a while and working with recruiters tends to be a little slower than coming in full time with the company you’re being placed with.

    My advice is check in twice a week to make sure you’ve not missed anything. I looked at it like it’s my job, I’ve passed the background so while patience is hard, you have to be in this case
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    I worked as a contractor, until I was hired full time at the company I work for now. The staffing/contracting company was very slow in response and I always had to push the issue of getting answers. You already got the background check in so I would think you are good to go, but be persistent with following up with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeg_74 View Post
    I was a contractor for a while and working with recruiters tends to be a little slower than coming in full time with the company you’re being placed with.

    My advice is check in twice a week to make sure you’ve not missed anything. I looked at it like it’s my job, I’ve passed the background so while patience is hard, you have to be in this case
    Quote Originally Posted by pumbaa View Post
    I worked as a contractor, until I was hired full time at the company I work for now. The staffing/contracting company was very slow in response and I always had to push the issue of getting answers. You already got the background check in so I would think you are good to go, but be persistent with following up with them.
    Cool, thanks for the heads up. I know the recruiting firm probably wants me to get started soon as well too since they won't get paid until I start. This is a contract to hire position so I'm hoping that my time working as a contractor will be brief. I would just like to believe the company wants me to get started soon as well so I think that is where my sense of frustration is coming from getting started. I've actually hired contractors in my prior job so being on this side is different for me actually being one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmiller598 View Post
    Just curious to know what your experience was with the process. I was laid off from my corporate job in March after my position was moved offshore. I've had lots of hits from recruiters and I accepted a position a couple of weeks ago through a recruiter at a large company. I have filled out all of the onboarding paperwork and passed all of the background checks. The last thing I am waiting for is a start date for the position which I was told would be provided upon completion of the background check.

    Is this normal? I feel like I'm making myself paranoid waiting to be told when to start. I've been told the manager was out of the office. Maybe he's on vacation the entire week but the recruiting company can't seem to get an answer from the company and I haven't been given an ETA as to when I will get one. I'm sort of going crazy having been unemployed for the last 2 months and anxious to get back to work so I'm trying to be patient. I would just assume that getting a start date and planning to onboard a new employee/contractor would be something that should be able to be easily provided from my past experience. Anyway, I'm really just venting and feel like I needed to get it off my chest since the anxiety is really getting to me.
    I was a recruiter for a staffing firm and we always had a start date pending the background. Most of the time the client, i.e., the employer is hounding at starting them unless it's a government job then on the other hand there are other factors. I don't say all this to worry you, but it sounds like something is not being told to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ttucliffhanger View Post
    I was a recruiter for a staffing firm and we always had a start date pending the background. Most of the time the client, i.e., the employer is hounding at starting them unless it's a government job then on the other hand there are other factors. I don't say all this to worry you, but it sounds like something is not being told to you.

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    I went through an itnial phone interview, then a week later an in person interview. The following week I was contacted and offered the position and was told then we could establish a start date once all of the background check were completed. I wasn't sure how other companies handled this type of situation. I told them I was available to start the position immediately so I'm just now waiting to hear back from the company in regards to starting. It is bothering me that the company I would be working for seems to be dragging their feet on getting back to me with a date for whatever reason. The background check was a 2 step process. The recruiting firm does a background check and then I had to fill out a couple of more forms and get fingerprinted by the company last week for their own check. I was told Friday afternoon I received clearance on all of the checks so I just need them to tell me when to show up and start. I'm finding this all personally frustrating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmiller598 View Post
    I went through an itnial phone interview, then a week later an in person interview. The following week I was contacted and offered the position and was told then we could establish a start date once all of the background check were completed. I wasn't sure how other companies handled this type of situation. I told them I was available to start the position immediately so I'm just now waiting to hear back from the company in regards to starting. It is bothering me that the company I would be working for seems to be dragging their feet on getting back to me with a date for whatever reason. The background check was a 2 step process. The recruiting firm does a background check and then I had to fill out a couple of more forms and get fingerprinted by the company last week for their own check. I was told Friday afternoon I received clearance on all of the checks so I just need them to tell me when to show up and start. I'm finding this all personally frustrating.
    I would be in the same boat as you. I would push the staffing firm because if you have met the requirements and the company agreed to hire you it should have been in your contract/new hire paperwork as far as a start date.

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    I know a few companies in your area. May be a long shot, but if you feel comfortable, PM me and I'll tell you whether I know anything

    Congrats on landing the new job! Now on to a start date!

    I would be as concerned as you. Lots of good advice here. A few comments/questions.

    1. It could be as innocuous as a short-term cost cutting move to help make the quarterly numbers. Edicts often come down like, "No off-site meetings, no business travel (except for senior management), no catered lunch meetings, and no new hires/contractors until July 1. They will tell you none of that. It could be longer, and they SHOULD tell you that. If they don't that's a red flag.

    2. Possible Innocent Mistake No. 1 - Do you know what kind of recruiter you were working with? That is, was it a retained search - the recruiter gets paid to conduct the search, and his/her future business with your prospective new company depends on performance in this and other searches, or was it a contingency search - the recruiter is a sort of bounty hunter: (s)he gets paid when (s)he presents a condidate (you) who gets hired. If it's the latter, it could be OK - there are many fine contingency recruiters who work ethically and have ongoing relationships with companies. But to know going forward, there are also unethical contingency recruiters, some of whom go so far as to construct a synthetic job posting that doesn't exist, using that to get resumes. Then that recruiter carpet bombs every firm within a 100 mile radius with your resume, and when you're hired for the job you applied for, the recruiter finds out and demands a fee payment from your new employer, showing them the email (it used to be a fax cover sheet) they sent 60 days ago with a copy of your resume. As a coach told me when I was in job search, when a retained recruiter contacts you, the job is real and the fee has already been paid. When a contingency recruiter contacts you, the prospective company sees you as having a price on your head. Note: some recruiters operate in both retained and contingency modes, so it's always a good idea to ask: Are you on retainer for this search? That way, you will know. Full disclosure: unless a contingency recruiter comes highly and personally recommended by someone I would trust with my family and my life, I have worked exclusively with retained search firms. I haven't read his newest version, but the best description of how recruiters really work (and an essential book for every profesional's job search resources) is in

    https://www.amazon.com/Rites-Passage.../dp/0942785339 or its predecessor.

    3. Possible Innocent Mistake No. 2 - Not running through the tape. Don't stop your job search until you have collected your first paycheck. Not when you accept the offer. Not on your first day. The first day you get paid. I've seen too many things happen out of the applicant's control, including being lied to massively about the job, culture, the new hire committing the cultural equivalent of a fart in church, etc.
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    Ok, update for those of you that have replied.

    There was an issue with the position as I had feared. I got a call from the recruiter today who indicated they finally heard back from them regarding my start date. It turns out that they were intending to restructure the position into a more junior level role due to some budget cuts. I'm really disheartened by this whole process as the full time position that this would be converted to will now essentially be an entry level job at a much lower salary and the contract position would be at a lower hourly wage. I told them I'd let them know by Monday morning if I'm still interested in the role but it would be a step down for me. I'm sort of tempted to take the contract position for a few months just for the additional work experience and to make some extra money since they told me that was an option but I just can't see myself accepting a full time position at the salary they told me over the phone. The contract rate wasn't terrible but still a few dollars lower than what I was initially told.

    I know in the long run it is probably better for me to walk away and keep looking for something new. This is the first time I've had to search for a job in 19 years so I guess I've got a few things to learn about this process along the way. I'm just sad because I really thought this was a great fit before they pulled it all away and restructured it.
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    Even in today's market, employers seem to be dragging their feet and delaying excessively. I'd keep in touch with the recruiter on a semi-daily basis, politely asking for updates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmiller598 View Post
    Ok, update for those of you that have replied.

    There was an issue with the position as I had feared. I got a call from the recruiter today who indicated they finally heard back from them regarding my start date. It turns out that they intended to restructure the position into a more junior level role due to some budget cuts. I'm really disheartened by this whole process as the full time position that this would be converted to will now essentially be an entry level job at a much lower salary and the contract position would be at a lower hourly wage. I told them I'd let them know by Monday morning if I'm still interested in the role but it would be a step down for me. I'm sort of tempted to take the contract position for a few months just for the additional work experience and to make some extra money since they told me that was an option but I just can't see myself accepting a full-time position at the salary they told me over the phone. The contract rate wasn't terrible but still a few dollars lower than what I was initially told.

    I know in the long run it is probably better for me to walk away and keep looking for something new. This is the first time I've had to search for a job in 19 years so I guess I've got a few things to learn about this process along the way. I'm just sad because I really thought this was a great fit before they pulled it all away and restructured it.
    Sorry to hear that. It may be better to take the contract position for a few months while looking for other employment. My wife has worked in HR for over 30 years and always says more than a month or two of unemployment doesn't look good, you are more attractive to prospective employers if you're currently employed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebum View Post
    Sorry to hear that. It may be better to take the contract position for a few months while looking for other employment. My wife has worked in HR for over 30 years and always says more than a month or two of unemployment doesn't look good, you are more attractive to prospective employers if you're currently employed.
    Great wisdom here. I've taken a "lifeboat" job or two in my career.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebum View Post
    Sorry to hear that. It may be better to take the contract position for a few months while looking for other employment. My wife has worked in HR for over 30 years and always says more than a month or two of unemployment doesn't look good, you are more attractive to prospective employers if you're currently employed.
    Even if it is only for around 3 months on a contract? As I understand it, the intent is to transition to permanent within a few months. This was my understanding before they changed the job on me and my belief for the newly restructured role as I understand it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by gmiller598 View Post
    Even if it is only for around 3 months on a contract? As I understand it, the intent is to transition to permanent within a few months. This was my understanding before they changed the job on me and my belief for the newly restructured role as I understand it.


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    Yes. Even though the stigma of being unemployed isn't what it used to be, the stigma still exists to a lesser degree. Put another way, being employed is always a plus when looking for a job, contract basis or otherwise. And a lot could happen in three months. If asked about it, you could say you discussed a contract to permanent transition but business conditions changed. True statement, and you have credibility because you are not dissing the employer. That is the kiss of death in any interview unless the employer is maybe Enron, and even then, I would make neutral comments at worst.
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