IT consulting can offer greater flexibility, opportunities for growth, and more choices than direct hire positions. The trade-off for tech professionals has always been the need to search regularly for that next contract. Though finding open contracts is less of a challenge in this market, sifting through incompatible offers in search of the right IT consultant jobs takes time. Knowledge of IT contractor rate trends, client’s contract needs, and the right environment for your career are important considerations.
Thankfully, your IT consulting career can prosper without all that extra effort. IT contractors who work with information technology staffing firms are able to cut down on their own exertion and benefit from the knowledge of recruiters immersed in the IT industry. Working with the right company can also provide access to medical and dental insurance as well as retirement saving options. Here’s how:
Making Your Search Work for You
IT professionals often open their inboxes to find opportunities that are as personalized as the value pack coupons you get in the mail. There might be a good offer in the mix, but most are little more than spam. The primary problem is that these recruiters have failed to do the upfront work to understand what is important in your IT consulting career. Fortunately, not all staffing firms function that way.
The right tech staffing agency will set up a consultation to identify your career objectives, top skills, experience, and desired on-the-job challenges. Recruiters who take the time to create this connection early in the relationship will bring better contracts to your attention, allowing you to focus on just your work and personal life without trying to juggle a cyclical job search as well.
Keeping Aware of Competitive IT Contract Rates
Setting IT contract rates can be a challenge. More than just picking an arbitrary number, IT consultants need to survey the demand for their skills and what their local peers charge. Though certain salary reports have the potential to identify rates for IT consulting jobs, their data is often limited to a few metropolitan areas or broad IT skillsets. At best, they give you a ballpark figure.
An IT staffing firm can help take that figure from general to precise. Recruiters work with a range of companies and IT consultants throughout your region. They see which offers are accepted and which skillsets routinely elevate an IT consultant’s pay rate. By working together at the beginning of your partnership to determine the right pay rate for you, a recruiter can better justify your compensation to companies and increase the number of dream jobs within your reach.
Getting Access to a Benefits Plan
IT contractors traditionally need to cover their own insurance expenses. Medical, dental, short term disability, life, and AD&D are all costs that the contractor typically covers. Additionally, any retirement savings plan they choose will only receive their own contributions. However, some IT staffing firms are willing to cover those costs for their IT consultants, ensuring that contractors take home more of their pay.
For example, TriCom offers free medical and dental coverage for our IT contractors through United Healthcare. There is no out-of-pocket cost to IT contractors for disability, life, or AD&D insurance and they receive contributions to their 401k plan which is 100% vested from day one. Our contractors even accrue vacation time, a perk most people who take consultant jobs miss.
Trusting Your IT Consulting Career to the Right Staffing Partner
Though your career as an IT consultant can benefit through the guidance and support of an IT staffing company, not all firms will present the same advantage. The right partner will get to know your skills and preference, how to leverage your IT contractor rate, and provide benefits that lower the overall cost of being an IT consultant.