Why Wait?

You have an IT project to get done. You know it has to get done. It can’t wait any longer…or can it? You’ll need to figure out who in the department can get it done and still do the regular day-to-day tasks. You’ll have to figure out the time line for completing the project. Will your current staff have the expertise it takes to get ‘er done while adhering to the aforementioned time line? Upper management might tell you to hold off. Times are tough, right? Sales is down and money is not easy to come by. How do you justify getting the project done now? Let the boss know that you can get well-qualified help and save money on bill rates if you get it done now versus waiting.

Variable cost is one solution to the problem. You spend money now and make up the savings over time.

a contractor costs $65/hr x 3months (480hrs) = $31200.00 (total burden).
permanent hire, same qualifications – $77k plus benefits per year, don’t forget unemployment insurance, taxes, cost of posting ad, sifting through 25-50 resumes, 10-15 phone screens, 5-10 first interviews, 3-5 second interviews and the cost of the staff, from HR to the IT Team, taking time out to do that screening.

All you’re trying to do is get a project done, will you need the person long-term? How do you justify that to the boss? Contract-to-hire may be a good way to assess the need.

Another cost-saving consideration is the economy. Consider the scenario above. A 3month project, and people are willing to take less pay. Does that mean the person has depreciated or lost skills? No way.

a contractor costs $65 60/hr (saving $5/hr) x 3months (480hrs) = $31200.00 $28800.00(total burden). That’s almost $3000.00, and they’re better qualified because not everyone is hiring great people right now!

That’s almost 10% savings if you do it now rather than wait, AND the better qualified person is available now. In one year that person may not only be at a higher cost, but they may not even be available for project/contract work. In a year you’ll end up settling for someone at a higher rate and less experience. That’s no good.

Yes, it’s tough. Everyone knows it, but save the money now when it comes to IT projects. It will benefit you and your organization. We’re in business to earn money, and sometimes we don’t know how to take advantage in a down economy. This is just one way.

Show Your Enthusiasm

I have actually had job interviews and the manager said they passed on hiring me because I didn’t seem interested in the job. Can you believe that? Well, that’s what they told me. So what are you supposed to do? How about performing a cart wheel when you enter the room. Holy cow, look out, here comes the legs, BAM! That won’t work.

You go out on the Internet, do a search for interview questions, and all that comes up are examples of what questions you should be aware of when being the interviewee. Helpful? Yes. Why do I bring this up? Well, one way to show your interest in a job is to ask questions! How many times have you left an interview, gone home and had your spouse or friend ask, “how did the interview go”? Shouldn’t you be able to tell them a lot of details? Shouldn’t you be aware of the details so you can be sure that you are not only qualified for the position, but also want the position?

I tell people to have at least 10 questions prepared for the interview. Many line managers will summarize many things about the company and the position so at the end of the interview, when they ask if you have any questions, you’ll actually have some questions that have not already been answered.

Here are some example questions you can use when you go in to an interview. Some are 101 level. Some may be answered by viewing the company website, but it’s ok to elaborate. So if you notice on the corporate website that there are 3 addresses/locations for the company, you may want to ask what departments are at each location or how it’s dispersed.

How long has the position been open?
Why is the position open?
What is a normal day like?
How big is the department or team of people I’d be working with on a daily basis?
What has been the year over year growth of the company?
Who are the two biggest competitors of the company?
Who would I be answering to on a daily basis?
What type of training is involved for the role?
How many locations does the company have?
How many employees does the company have?
What is the day to day dress code?
What is the daily start and end times for work?
How is the department organized?
What is the biggest challenge within the department? ie meeting goals, things change so maybe its adaptability, etc
What is the biggest challenge that will be or has been encountered for this role?
Who has been there the longest in the department?
Who has been there the shortest amount of time in the department?
Who is the all-star in the department and what makes them stand out? This will tell you who you should seek out as a mentor.
Does the company have any company staff events? Bowling team, etc.
How often is feedback given, ie reviews, performance evals, etc?
What initiatives would you like to accomplish within the department in the next year, 5 years, etc?
Are any new department-level initiatives underway?
How many applicants have you had for the position?
How many applicants have you interviewed for the position?
When do you hope to have someone actually working in the position?
Based on our interaction, do you find me a viable candidate for the role?

Mileage may vary. Feel free to share questions you have found valuable, add it via a comment!

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