The hidden IT contract market

hidden IT contract market
hidden IT contract market

Hidden IT Contract Market

The Hidden IT Contract Market is from Aussie IT contractor site

In his book, ‘What color is your parachute’, contract-hunting guru Richard Nelson Bolles lists methods which clients typically use to fill empty positions.

Bolles notes that contract hunters preferred methods of finding a contract are in the reverse order of how clients like to fill a position. He says that there is a hidden IT Contract market.

Understanding this presents out-of-work IT contractors with an edge over their competitors.

The methods that clients use, in order of preference are:

1. Fill the position from within

This usually involves promoting or transferring an existing employee, or transferring a contract or temp employee who is already working at the company.

The advantages of this method to the client are obvious.

They are getting a resourcethey know who already understands the company and the project.

2. Get someone from outside who the client knows, or at least comes highly recommended by someone the client trusts

This may be someone the client has already met and been impressed with.

The person will usually be a highly-experienced candidate who has a proven track record and portfolio of work.

It may also include a candidate who a colleague, friend or respected staff member refers.

The advantages of this method are obvious.

The only disadvantage is that the client has never actually managed the person before.

3. Use a recruitment agency and/or the HR department

Project Manager clients use agencies and HR departments as a kind of filter.

They rely on their database of candidates and the agency’s supposed ability to only put forward the best candidates.

This takes some of the work out of finding a decent candidate.

However, agencies can be an expensive option.

There is also the problem that, even if an agency doesn’t have a decent candidate, they’ll almost certainly send through some CVs on spec.

If a client is looking for someone with rare skills, they will most likely have to approach a lot of agencies, which means a lot of CVs and a lot of filtering work.

Using this method also means the client has to rely on unknown or relatively untrusted sources for guarantees of candidate quality.

4. Search through the unsolicited CVs that arrive over time

These CVs usually arrive with little explanation or pre-screening. They are often poor quality.

This option requires a lot of work.

At least the candidate has shown some level of initiative.

There is also the disadvantage that, if the CV arrived more than a week or two ago, the client doesn’t know if the contractor is still available.

5. Post the contract in the newspaper or on the internet

The client can expect to get flooded with CVs.

Many of those applying will have a negligible claim on qualification for the contract.

The client can look forward to boring days of sifting through CVs and interviewing.

No pre-screening is done, so the client is likely to have to deal with many candidates who’ve obviously embellished their CVs.

Experienced clients hate this option.

Other Way Round for Hidden IT Contract Market

You will notice that as you move down the list, the amount of work the client has to do increases with each option.

You will also notice that the likelihood of finding a decent contractor candidate decreases.

So it makes sense that the higher up the list you can move with your method of applying for a contract, the more likely you are to be offered the position.

This is the hidden IT Contract market.

Unless you are currently working for a company with a position you wish to move in to, option 2 is your best bet.

It may be only one option up from the typical method of using a recruitment agency, but the gap in preference for clients is vast.

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