Professional Engineering Consultant contract employment 101

Contract Employment 101

Tips for agencies seeking to hire an American HP Openview Professional Contract Consultant who can actually do the job

No rate, no response:   I do not respond to job inquiries unless you are willing to disclose the rate being offered. No exceptions. Note that the rate must be stated in U.S. Dollars, on a per hours worked basis. Stating that the rate is "open" or "negotiable" is unresponsive.

Terms of employment:   I do not work for companies in India (or anywhere outside the USA) on anything but a W2 basis. If your company will only work 1099, I will require a SUBSTANTIAL non-refundable deposit to cover my out of pocket travel and living expenses should my work for you become a collections issue.

My resume:   I have a very detailed on-line resume at I can provide a MS Word format resume after an agreement has been made regarding the rate and conditions of employment.

HP Openview rates:   Hewlett Packard charges $250 per hour for it's HP Openview Professional Services people. VARs typically charge in the $200 per hour range for their professional services. Although I have been doing this type of work for 20 years, I am probably not as skilled with Openview as the HP Engineers are. Based on my past experience, most of the VAR Openview guys I have met generally know how to install Openview and do basic configuration work, but very few know anything about building or maintaining a production NOC. Also, VAR Techs and especially Vendor Engineers tend to know very little about products other than the ones that they represent. And even the HP guys who usually know Openview quite well typically have very little experience building NOCs.

A big advantage to hiring me to build or work on your NOC is that I have a great deal of experience with other monitoring products such as BMC Patrol, CA Unicenter, Microsoft MOM, etc., various trouble ticket system software, job control software and so on, as compared to someone who is solely focused on HP Openview. I am also significantly less expensive than those other options.

HP Openview rates:   While I am less expensive than some of the other options out there, I do not do work that's worth $250 per hour at give away rates. If you think I am going to be willing to travel 3,000 miles (at my own expense), live in a hotel for 6 months (at my own expense) and do $250 per hour HP Openview Architect work for $60 per hour, you need to lay off the drugs. Please don't even waste my time with offers like this!

Just in case your math skills need some work, my out of pocket travel and living expenses for an out-of-Town job would be around $7,000 or more per month, depending on the costs in the job site's City. Amortized over a 40 hour work week, that comes to about $35 per hour. Even at a rate of $80 per hour, after expenses my net income on a project like that would be less than $50 pr hour... hardly even close to the value of the work I would be performing and not much incentive for living in a hotel, away from home for 6 months.

Phone conversations:   I do not return phone calls until an acceptable compensation rate for my work has been established. To be honest, most people in India are almost impossible to understand over the phone. I would strongly prefer to handle most/all of the transaction over e-mail.

If any of this offends you:   I receive quite a few e-mails from Consultants and others who have been contacted by "Recruiters" representing agencies that are apparently home based in India. I am frequently thanked for putting this information out there after they read and consider what I've had to say. To be clear... I am not saying that agencies based in India are "bad". I am simply saying that it is wise to be cautious of any agency that contacts you about 1099 work where you will have substantial out of pocket travel and living expenses up front. My personal experience with "recruiters" from India has been consistently negative to the point where it is highly unlikely that I would allow one of these guys to represent me for any consulting situation. If you have a problem, your legal remedy options to recover your losses from someone who is in a third world country are pretty limited. Be careful!

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