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Contracting to Perm

#1 Contracting to Perm
20/03/2012 12:29


Hi all,

After being a permanent consultant with over 8yrs exprience, I decided to try contracting 3 yrs ago. Unfortunately this was 6 months before the economic crisis hit and the UK along with most of the world went into recession.

Contracts have been few and far between with rates plumeting, I am looking to get back into a permanent consulting role.

I find it infuriating to be told that as I am now classed as a "career contractor" most consultancies will not look at my CV as they want someone who has stayed in permanent employment.

How can I best put myself forward in gaining a role with a consultancy firm again who will look at my skills and experience over the last 11 - 12 years rather than the last 3 years where I have been contracting. Any advice or similar experiences and how you have turned things around would be appreciated.

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#2 RE: Contracting to Perm
20/03/2012 16:07

Mr Cool to Bartino (#1)


Moving from contract back to perm is not easy. Consultancies will understandably assume that you cared more about money than your career and that you are interested in returning simply because you have found it hard to get work. Considering your skills as a contractor are the same as those that you will be offering prospective employers, they need to worry about you being on the bench. Are you positive that the issue is your decision to leave? Are your skills in demand?

There are two reasonable things you can do.

One - approach smaller consultancies. Stress that you left consultancy because the big firm culture did not suit you, and although you've enjoyed the freedom of contracting, you miss the team/firm ethic and personal development that goes with being in a firm. You've realised a small niche firm is right for you.

Two - approach larger firms on an associate (contractor) basis. Its widespread at the moment. Once in the firm and billing they might be more prepared to take a risk in moving you permanent again.

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#3 RE: Contracting to Perm
20/03/2012 16:44

marsday to Bartino (#1)


There are just too many cases of contractors accepting a permanent role then when a lucrative contract arrives they either fail to take the position they accepted, or jump ship without so much as a by your leave. Understandably MCs are very sceptical of taking contractors into perm roles and take a lot of convincing that they intend to take on a perm role and remain in it for a reasonable tenure.

One thing you can do is show some restraint on salary expectations. Almost without fail the contractor ends up using their day rate as leverage to start demanding escalating salaries on the basis they can earn x amount in a year as a contractor therefore they want y from the perm role.

The smart ones realise it simply doesnt work like that, but if there is an intermediary involved (not just a recruiter/HH but also hiring managers who have pulled strings to get you over the career contractor hurdle) this sudden about face can be embarrassing and damaging.

If you really DO want to return to perm, prepare to take a (possibly significant) financial hit for the security and be sure you really do want to return to a permanent role. Once you are sure on all this, then having a good rationale about why the move into contracting and now the return to permanent, as Mr Cool advised, should be enough.

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#4 RE: Contracting to Perm
21/03/2012 11:42

Bartino to marsday (#3)

Thanks for the replies guys, food for thought.

I have been looking at both small and large consultancies. As I have not been contracting for long and have been in industry for over 12 years in 1 consultancy (8+yrs ) as a consultant in the past I did not think it would be this bad to get back into perm work.

As for the Salary and rates, I am not demanding any crazy amounts based on my day rates as some do. I just want to get back into some form of stability as I have a young family.

I still find that alot of the agencies who tend to work on behalf of the firms tend to make the decision before I can get to speak to hiring managers directly. I was thinking of cold calling or walking into the head offices, but as reality is different from films I probably would not get past reception.

I will look at going in through the associate route, as a lot of the clients I have contracted for also use Deloitte / Acn etc..

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#5 RE: Contracting to Perm
21/03/2012 13:03

marsday to Bartino (#4)

wanting some stability because you have a young family is a very good reason for wanting to return to permanent employment - and one which will go some way to removing the hesitancy both agents and hiring managers will have about you. You need to make sure you explain this either in a covering letter or a paragraph about yourself at the top of your CV.

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