As I have written before in this blog, then I was fired from my job at ISS. Instead of finding a new job I decided that I wanted again to go down the road of Microsoft Dynamics NAV / Navision freelance projects, as that would allow me to also spend much more time on this website.
So where am I now after three months with no job. I’m at the same place – still no contracts. Yes I have had many requests my CV from the recruiters. But none of the many Dynamics recruiters I have been in touch with have so far turned up with anything concrete. They have not even taken their time to get back to me with a follow-up call or email.
Actually it shouldn’t come to me as a surprise. Last time I was a freelancer (1998-2003) it was exactly the same. Actually it was a little worse. This time I’m at least not receive sometimes 2-3 phone calls a week from a certain UK based recruiter, without ever receiving anything concrete.
And it can’t only be me a few friends of mine who say the same. Back in 2003 I know that many other freelancers had the same experience with especially that UK based recruiter (who by the way is no longer a recruiter).
My conclusion is that only 1 out of 5 recruiters should be in this industry. The rest are really only wasting our time.
The problem is just to figure out who are the serious ones and who to avoid. As a freelancer it’s hard to say know to spend five minutes with someone who might have a contract for you. He might actually have the contract. You don’t know it. And the problem is not really the five minutes. The problem is that he talks and talks and you really believe that he has this project for you. So instead of looking for other projects, you relaxes and end up getting no project.
It’s difficult as there are always coming new recruiters who thinks that the Microsoft Dynamics is a great industry where they can make a lot of money. But if you’re a Microsoft Dynamics freelancer (it must say so in your DUG bio or signature), then I suggest that you sign up as a member of the Microsoft Dynamics Freelancer group. Here you will be able to post recommendations on good recruiters and who we should stay away from.
On a longer term then it would be great if someone who actually is from the industry would take the lead create an alternative to the existing recruiters. An alternative that would be on our terms and know the people and the requirements. David Singleton was working on this a few years ago, but also that he gave up. The Dynamics Freelancing Community was simply not mature enough. In our quest for the most money as possible, they were not able to see the end of their noses and think ahead. I still think that it will be possible to “UNITE THE DYNAMICS FREELANCERS”. But it has to be done differently. And I might just have the way, which I will write about in my next blog post!
So if you know anyone who can use my services for a long or a short project, then please let me know. If your referral to me ends up in a project, then I will pay you a 10% referral commission of the revenue (as long as I’m invoicing the Navision customer directly – if you’re the customer, then I’ll give you 10% my regular rates). I’m very mobile, but of course the length of the project should be in contrast to the location. I’m not doing a 2 hour project if I have to fly 4 hours (unless the customer also pays the flight).
And I’m interested in basically all projects regarding Dynamics NAV / Navision ranging from reviewing the contract, doing or reviewing the system analysis and design, doing the project management, programming or checking the quality of the programming done by other developers. I can also do training, both of end-users and partners (in English or Danish, I’m a little rusty in German).
If you’re already live, but your project has gone a little of track and you are arguing with your partner on who’s fault it is and what needs to be done to get your project back on track, then you needs a new set of eyes from an expert, who knows both the end-user and the partner side of the business.
Contact me and I’ll give you a price.
Don't you think that customers are also wasting your time ? How many times you get question directly from customer, worked on quote, then got 'no thanks' response or no response at all ? And learn that customer had picked cheaper option (cheaper consultant) ?
Dow much does this differ from 'recruiters wasting our time' ?
Yes there are a lot of freelancers who are wasting the recruiters time as well. I absolutely agrees with you in that!
The difference is that it is here that the recruiters should prove their quality. It is here that they should start questioning other qualifications with the freelancer than their price. They would be happier to deliver 10 inexperienced freelancers to a client at 60 Euro's per hour, than 3 very experienced who can actually do a better job at 120 Euro's per hour. They often get either a "per head" or per cent fee, so they are going for what makes them more money.
freelance means not only job itself but the continuous search for it, too.
recruiters are just a part of this sales process and they as risk as you do on the same job market. if you count 1 good recruiter for 5 useless ones, imagine what numbers they use! 1 for 100?
if i may (i have never worked as a freelancer but found permanent or temporary jobs many times) suggest, the way is to contact to your eventual employers directly, if possible.
if you have the same task from time to time you could establish strong relationship with <i>one</i> good recruiter (agent) who searched a new contract while you do the current one.
anyway, keep searching!
@Erik: Exactly! When people ask what I do, they talk to me like it must be glorious, but it is really hard work. It is difficult to find the customers and the recruiters adds a lot of noise to that picture, when contacting us without having the project. I am open to all kinds of collaboration between us freelancer to liberate us from the recruiters as much as possible.
Yes Søren. Being a freelancer is not to be free! Being a freelancer just means that you must always be looking for the next job! Always! Those who thinks that you can just relax and go on vacation in between your projects, they think wrong. Well unless you're already rich!
@Erik: Yes, I guess the next ones are easier. I still think it is hard work though. But that is typical in freelancing I guess. We do what we are good at (NAV etc.), but selling ourselves and being "out there" is not always what we are good at. But when the word spreads it is nice. We should be better to involve each other in our projects, perhaps commisioning the "finder" of the project some percentages. And vica versa. And it would be really nice with a shared office, so it could still feel like having colleagues :-)
@Søren: It was the same with my last period as a freelancer. Once you get your first contract, then it's like the next ones comes automatically. I had mine in a lucky mixture of shorter projects and longer contracts.
Erik, I can fully understand how you feel about the recruiters. I have felt (and still feel) the exact same way.
I started my freelancing career back in december (2008) and have been lucky about contracts though. At least most of the time.
But looking back over 2009 and all the calls from recruiters it strikes me that I have had a lot of these "I have a customer who wants a contract developer now..." type of calls. And as Connull Dunbar says, you just can't get your hopes up, but still have to take the call. You know... what if...?
But.. It would be great if we could make ourselves independent from these recruiters. "How" is, as you say, the right question.
First of all, Erik don't turn to the dark side (take a real job as you say). This should only be done in desperation!
As for recruiters, here in the UK I have had many 'initial' calls from recruiters who know absolutely 'sweet f$%£ all' about NAV (even so much as what type of software it is!!!). Yet these guys (and gals) are recruiting for this position. They then spend half an hour picking my brain about the package and then ask me about the market place for contractors/freelancers!
I also get the 'confident' recruiters that promise there is a position and that they want to send my CV (resume) across to their client TODAY and get an interview lined up ASAP. This is definite BS!
I have had so many of these different calls that I now have a definitive list of 'trusted' recruitment agents. These agents I know that when they call with a potential opportunity, I know it is a 'real' opportunity and not a waste of my time. As for the others, I still entertain the call from them (because you never know, they may have a position available), but I don't get my hopes up.
Anyway Erik, I wish you luck finding a new contract. Something will come up. I look forward to your next post regarding the idea of uniting freelancers/contractors (I was interested in David's ideas).
@Alex: I would say you're right. We are their inventory. But that doesn't mean that they should not treat us with respect.
I my previous job I were also using quite a lot of freelancers. And somehow a lot of recruiter heard that, so the resumes came in in huge numbers. The most fun thing here was that I sometime received anonymized copies of my own resume and other consultants already working for us (submitted to other recruiters more than 1-2 years before). So in fact the recruiters are not only wasting the time of the freelancers/contractors but also that of the companies they are pretending to work for.
But before everybody get me wrong, I'm not trying to make a crusade against the recruiters. I'm only trying to raise a problem. A lot of the recruiters do neither respect the companies nor the freelancers/contractors.
My question to you is what we can do about it?
Should we black list the bad or white list the good?
I think the opinions about headhunters are really unfair. They are doing their job for the client, not for you. To the headhunters, you are their inventory. The end user customer can pick and choose whatever items that best suit their needs.
I've been approached by a lot of headhunters. Most of the time, the headhunters will force resumes down my throat irregardless of whether I need it or not. Their hope is that I may find some interest and do business with them.
Headhunter's goals are always to please the employer, because that's who pays them for their services. So being upset that the end user client did not pick you is not all that fair to the people that worked hard to put your resume out there.
@David: I think we agree!
[quote]but in reality he already made the pick.[/quote] In which case there was never a job offer for you, so it was just bullsh!t
@David well I wouldn't really that far, unless it was really presented as an "offer" and not just "I have this job here and I need someone". I fell that the recruiter often just needs to present the client with a list of different names (options), but in reality he already made the pick.
@Modris, unless the potential employer flew you in for an interview, confirmed the promised salary and showed you a contract, then you can be fairly certain that the offer was just BS.