Good outstuff, bad outstuff

    I am a full-stack developer from Ukraine, I live and work in France, the region of Brittany. I already wrote about my relocate here . In this article I want to tell you how the hiring system works in France in the field of IT, and how I tried to hack this system.


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    From the author

    All that I know about companies from the Dnieper, my hometown in Ukraine - many are outsourcing. Outstaffing (staff leasing) has become new to me in Europe (yes, I am still young).




    What is outstaffing?


    In France, the law spawned a business. If the states can fire you for a day (correct if I made a mistake), then the law protects the employee: after a trial period (3-4 months, updated at the request of any of the parties), you have the right to get 3 months odds on dismissal (you can ask , but more on that later).


    This handicap depends on who and how wants to terminate the contract. If an employee decides to find a new adventure for him, then the company has the right to demand a delay of 3 months to find a replacement for this person. If this company dismisses you (and you are not guilty of this), then the company is affixed: you need to indicate the reason (for example, a quick bankruptcy or restructuring), the terms of your care may increase (or compensation depending on the number of years worked in the company).


    Otherwise, if you are guilty (swear at your colleagues, do not adhere to the rules, do not drink coffee with them at the break), then you can either be warned once, twice, and then fired, or fired right away (well, here you have to fly hard). Dismissal due to an employee’s fault is a very rare practice, because an employee can go and appeal this decision to the appropriate employee protection agency (they will most likely be harassed by uninteresting projects, so you will leave yourself).


    This is described in great detail on the course of management at the university, different regional cases are very controversial. What is important to understand is that employees are well protected. Dismiss cheaply and quickly is almost impossible. SFR company is an example: two years ago in my city they laid off 120 employees in a few weeks, but I’m afraid to know how much money they paid in concessions.


    As a result, it is more interesting for big companies to hire consultants from outstaffing firms (well, just like in football!), And if anything happens, throw them out quickly and painlessly.


    Such consulting firms are called SSII (Société des Services en Ingénierie Informatique), or, in a new way, ESN (Entreprise des Services Numériques), in France there are more than 50,000, and they feel that they make up 90% of the market. You can work both with their client on the spot (you are sent on missions) and on a contract basis in your officeslave owner the employer.




    Having worked for two years in one such company on the spot, I decided to leave there. There were many reasons, ranging from hiring "everyone in a row" to the position of engineers, ending with personal development and simply the desire to change the entourage.


    Honestly, I was afraid for a long time to quit, because I did not understand the time frame I would find a replacement for, what I would find, and where.


    How I decided

    Offtop, but I want to share my thoughts.


    We were on vacation in the winter and I got into a snow storm on a snowboard. The snowboarder from me was five days on the board in total, and therefore I was afraid to accelerate - it only went to my head how painful it was to fall.


    And in a storm I did not see further than a meter ahead, everything was white, the speed was not felt. Turned sideways and flew forward. Unforgettable feeling.


    At that moment I decided to quit.


    Finally, after the ski vacation, I decided that I needed to move. On the very first day after arrival, I wrote a letter of resignation and the director and I "peacefully" agreed that tomorrow I would be free.




    Change entourage


    Find a new job was not difficult. The next day, I wrote a couple of companies, telling me how unique they are. A week later I had 4 offers on the table, but none of the final clients (only outstaffing).


    Consulting firms lie. They all say: "We will hire you according to your skills." I passed four interviews with their technical validators - everything was super, but I would be offered a contract with an exact date only after an interview with a client. My current employer, for example, postponed my contract for two weeks simply because I did not have time to agree with the client about my price.


    But I did not calm down. We (I and the girl) decided to move to the south, to warmth and dryness (those who live / work in London or nearby, understand why), and to ride while young, do not settle in the gray rainy weather.


    We began to be served in various offices in Nice, Marseilles, Montpellier, Toulouse ... Lyon and Grenoble. Filed as best they could: Linked, local platforms like Monster, Webjobs, etc. If you ever happen to roll out job offers, please remove the ugliness in the form of registration on your site. Thank.


    Personally, I threw 4 easy apply in Linked, and wrote that I am looking for a job in status. I started writing.


    I had to spend a lot of time on stories for the thirtieth time, "who are you," "what do you want," "what can you." During this period, I began to suspect that in addition to common patterns / chips of companies, they use a common platform (not linkedin): I received project proposals from different companies, the letter contained the same table to the right.


    We went to Nice to see the city, and it turned out that we had three interviews. My two companies were nothing inconspicuous middling - they work for one big client, they don’t really strain themselves by staff development. They are paid, they are satisfied.


    The third was more interesting. They called me a few weeks before, and offered a salary that was lower than mine. I was indignant, and I was sent to Nice, where the "wages are higher." Upon arrival, I went to the director of the office, and our conversation was in the style of the godfather (godfather was, of course, not me).


    After my story about who I am and what I want, he defiantly calculated my salary in his Excel sheet, and then wrote everything down on a whiteboard: he added 600 euros to the original proposed amount of annual income. He said that the basic dirty part may change after a technical interview, and that they will hire me right away, according to my skills (spoiler: he lied).


    The company was presented as a combat vehicle, but the next day their technical validator did not call me, they were not aware that he was on vacation (and they told me that everything was OK).


    Funny and sad.


    It was noteworthy that other companies that underestimate my requirements, having learned that I have offers, began to raise the salary bar. For example, when I received the offer (which I eventually chose), and informed the others, the dudes started pamping their offers by 3-4 thousand per annum more in the hope that I would change the decision (what prevented them from starting up their Excel earlier?)


    It was interesting to see how your value is assessed in the Excel plate, and then, as if in a panic, they are trying to interrupt the rest of the sentences, going beyond all the limits of their formulas.


    One of the first dudes first offered 55 fixed / 45 variable (like for an interconnect - when I am out of work - I get paid less), then 95% fixed, and the last sentence completely interrupted everyone - 8k higher. I, of course, politely refused it.


    Advice to recruiters

    Dear Recruiters!


    В последнее время в линкеде очень многие жалуются на качество собеседований/понимания требований и желаний программиста относительно вашего предложения. Если написано "не хочу ангуляр", пожалуйста, не звоните его предлагать. Не копипастите сотню раз одно и то же сообщение — как только меня не называли!


    Поверьте — несколько хорошо отработанных собеседований лучше двадцати "лишь бы как".




    What makes you think


    Many companies want to make a quick profit without hitting their fingers. Also, outstaffing is a bit like the slave trade, but in a new way. Write in the comments what you think about it.


    What I learned from all this


    I will not return to outstaffing as long as possible. In France, there are charms of social security, but sometimes you stop feeling something significant and become a pawn that is moved from company to company, although you could do it yourself (the French say: "marché de la viande" - meat market) .


    The only big plus of outstaffing is the dynamics. You can change projects and companies quite often, but — honestly — who prevents you from doing this without third parties?




    As an afterword I will say only - do not be afraid to accelerate on a snowboard.


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