Monday, June 15, 2015

What the hell is going on out there?

The market is an unhappy place right now. There are projects, but most are explicitly no-overtime, and most of the rest refuse to say they'll have overtime while hinting that it will happen in hopes of getting suckers to sign on for a 40-hour project thinking it will have overtime. That's a common tactic, and comes as no surprise.

What comes somewhat as a surprise is some of the projects we're seeing that are breaking from the norms, bad as the norms might be. Like this one in a recent Posse List email:
Hello –
I am staffing a new project at [a local agency] starting next Monday, June 15th (time TBA). It is expected to last two weeks and the pay rate is $26/hr. You are expected to work 40 hour per week and OT is not anticipated. To be eligible you must be barred anywhere. Please let me know if you are available.

[The recruiting agent for a local agency]
The added emphasis is mine. Really -- $26 per hour? That is $4 per hour less than the going rate 10 years ago. Unfortunately, ever since Emperor Barry took office, the going rate today is the same as it was 10 years ago. But I digress. This project offers a crap rate with crap hours. Yeah, they'll be able to staff it. But I wouldn't want the temps who will take this project working for (or with) me. At least they don't require D.C. Bar membership.

This one does, though:
[A major law firm]'s DC Office is currently hiring Temporary Document Review Attorneys for several document review projects. Reviews are expected to last 1-6 months (depending on individual project review requirements).
You must meet the following to be considered:
Must possess a JD
DC Bar admission or "DC Bar pending" Status
Must be eligible to work in the US
Have document review/electronic discovery experience
Experience with kCura Relativity
Must be available 40 hours / week within business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.)
Must be available to work OT (when needed) to meet project expectations
Hourly Rate is $30.00/hour
Health Insurance Benefits, Paid Sick Leave (after 90 days of employment), and 401(k) Offered
* Reasonable possibility, but no guarantee of overtime
* Fluency in a foreign language is a plus
Attorneys must be cleared through both conflicts check and criminal background check prior to assignment.
OK, blah blah blah. Most of this is routine. But direct hire by the firms is a means of bypassing the temp agencies, which saves the firms a ton of money while enabling them to use the temps as a profit center when billing their client for the temps' work. Because of that, they routinely pay the temps they hire a premium -- more than 20 percent more than these cheap bastards are offering. There is no advantage to a temp to this arrangement. If you think benefits after 90 days is a draw, guess when you'll be let go? Yeah, dipshit, day 89. Toss in the criminal background check (isn't that what Bar membership is for?) and this is actually insulting. Nonetheless, they'll probably find plenty of takers. Temps are, after all, their own worst enemies.

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