Lowball job posting for the week 20091207
Just in time for the holidays...
Job type: Contract / Consultant
Salary: per-project basis, starting at $30+ per hour
Before I point my finger and shout "lowball", I must give the poster credit for writing that all-important "starting at".
For this position, I'm well-qualified (probably still below "over-qualified") and I've been in the "Contract / Consultant" category off-and-on since 1988. I love my work, so I tend to work cheap; but, even as a full-time regular employee, I would expect to be paid more than twice that rate. As a contractor, I must charge a premium to cover my overhead (health and other insurances, the ~7.5% portion of payroll taxes normally paid by full-time employers, attorney fees, etc.). So, for long-term full-time work, I would expect to charge the client at least 2.5 times the "starting" rate offered.
However, seeing that the job is paid on a "per-project basis", I tend to infer that the work is discontinuous and/or short-term, for which us contractors must charge two to four times a full-time equivalent. (We typically have duty cycles of about 25-50%, which allows us to be available to work only when needed.) So, to do this work and maintain equity with market rates (and my own compensation history), I would expect to charge the client up to about ten times what's offered.
Seeing such a low rate makes me think that the client might wind up hiring someone relatively unexperienced and probably unqualified. This actually bothers very me little, because much of my work comes from companies that try to save money by hiring someone like this cheaply, then come to me to fix their problems. But, it becomes very costly for them, and many smaller clients simply can't survive their initial "low" expectations.