Discussions

News: How Long Does it Take To Get A Contractor a Computer and a Workspace?

  1. "When can you start?"
    In other words, your new employer needs you right now, if not yesterday, and the project is going to go off the rails if they don't get some skilled professionals in right away.

    So what do you do? You rearrange your schedule. You move around your appointments so that you can start 'post haste.' And you tell your new employer that your willing to start helping them out immediately.

    And then what happens? They can't get a contract to you for two weeks becuase it has to 'go through legal', and 'finance wants to put off hiring until the end of the quarter next week', and 'they did a background check and they have a problem with all the criminal convictions on your police record.'

    If you're a contractor, you've experienced it; that is, the pressing need to get you started, but the incessent delays in getting you what you need to start working on the project. And it's not just about getting the right documents signed. How often does a contractor get into an office where they actually have a desk ready for them? Or a computer? Or even better yet, a computer with the right software on it?

    Onboard your new hires properly. For some direction in that vein, here's some onboarding advice:

    Getting on top of the onboarding process



  2. Management smells[ Go to top ]

    The reason that they can't onboard people efficiently is probably the same reason that they couldn't hire a contractor on time:  the project (or the whole IT department) is poorly managed.

    We know what code smells are, and management smells are even easier to detect.  In my experience there's no hope of improving things.  Just turn in your timesheets and cash the checks.  It's maddening, but trying to reform this kind of problem is above a contractors pay grade.  The CEO probably can't do it.

  3. Most of the time it's lock the budget and deal with the details afterwards. If managers wait too long to onboard a resource, they might lose it.

    You forget Contractors are wiggly worms in the corporate structure. Don't expect special treatment.

  4. Did a gig at Philip Morris where I was issued a cube and an ashtray first day.  No joke.  Waited around for a couple months on-site for work.  The direction was to wait for direction.  The group of consultants I was with was scolded for blowing through the department's yearly printer paper budget in two months.  We would arrive in the morning, print out reams of technical papers, spend the day reading, repeat next day. My spouse complained that I wreaked of cigarettes and she wondered if I was really at a bar instead.

     

    In another gig, I bought a laptop after learning no computer would be available for a month and that maybe the gig was premature.  I convinced the manager that I would be productive although not on the company network, stayed, and was able to copy over a completed system to my company issued laptop after a month.  I lived off of trial versions of WebLogic and Oracle.

  5. Great Stories![ Go to top ]

    Great stories. I got a great laugh out of all of them.

    *thumbs*

  6. Some companies are starting fire up private or public cloud desktop instances for contractors, consultants and new staff.  But yep a majority of the time its a miracle to be up and running in the first week.

    Still I like a challenge and one of the things I always hope to achieve that by the time I leave a client that they've got this part of their IT department sorted.  Again its the case of presenting the $/£ damage that it's causing to the bean counters.

  7. This is normal stuff for contractors and also consultants. The bigger the company the more inefficient. I'd rather interface with these companies on the deploy level. Like send them an ear or something. They also suck at 3 year old 15' inch monitor (or max 1280x1024) setups like similar to what my kids have in kindergarden.