The Locals Only Scam
If you work in IT, even if you aren’t currently looking for a new gig, you get email spam about openings (both contract and FTE.) Many of them will even be for work using products you’ve never touched. You’ve probably noticed the new scam. Most of this spam has either in the subject or the first paragraph of the message “Locals Only.” Do you know why it is there?
They want to pay dramatically below market rate.
I have had many posts on this over the years. At first a good many companies tried to take issue with the formula I use to calculate a minimum billing rate. Now it seems to be the formula traveling consultants are using. The bottom line is your first 40 hours has to cover an entire month in corporate housing. Now that corporate housing is at or well above $4K/month in most major locations that means bill rates must be north of $100/hr no matter what skill.
We aren’t talking about staying at a Hilton or higher. We aren’t talking about a penthouse suite. We are talking about month by month or 3 months then month by month regular old apartments and condos in decent establishments. You show up with your clothes and netbook. Everything else is there. Unpack and go get groceries.
The Great Recession with its associated massive foreclosure rate put a major squeeze on apartments. Builders weren’t building new apartment complexes or condos during the bottom, or even right now. Complexes in many markets have learned they can charge whatever they want, and, sadly, so have the corporate housing companies.
We contractors aren’t looking to “live like a king” while on the road, but we also will not stay in a crack house. You cannot survive at a hotel for projects longer than one month. Yes, when you are twenty-something you can push it to a bit over a month, but, some time after 30 it will begin to destroy you. The long hours and strange location really require being able to come back to the same place where you can cook your own meals in a real oven and do your own laundry while stretched out on the couch watching television. In short, a tiny bit of “normalcy.”
Over the past couple of years a great many consultants and consulting firms, possibly even some government agencies, have woken up and smelled the tea brewing. Those firms claiming to pay “market rate” have been getting taken to task over the fact their “market rate” won’t cover corporate housing. The new scam for companies looking to pay illegal alien wages is to put “locals only” in the posting.
Free advice. Learn how to set up kill filters with whatever email client you prefer. To avoid a lot of pain route messages containing any of the following phrases straight to the bit bucket.
local candidate only
local candidates only
only local candidates
Your life will improve dramatically.