Process after Consulting job confirmation? Background checks ? Drug test ? Reference checks ? PO ? Correct billing rates ?
Something that keeps rolling in mind after you get confirmation from client about job will be questions like, Should I get background check ? Will they call my previous employers in Resume ? How much was by billing rate exactly? What is the paper work involved ? This article will contain information about questions like these. This post is continuation of the series Everything you need to know about How to get a Job & face interviews in US . Make sure you read the previous article on “How to follow up client after Interview“ to understand the progression of the series.
All your hard work for job interview paid off and your interview went well. You get a call next day from prime vendor saying “The client was impressed by your interview and they are offering you the position, when can you join the client ?”. You have to be very careful here. There are couple of important things before you say Yes here.
Should I readily accept the job offer or ask for time?
The answer depends on the kind of position they are offering. Is it long term, short term, billing rate, etc. Irrespective of the type of offer, it is not a good idea to readily to Yes. You have to say, “Thanks for offering. Give me a day ( or at least couple hours) to decide on the offer.” Typically, you may not get a day and would have to decide in couple hours. What should you do in this couple hours ? Think about position again, check the billing rate and make sure no one is cheating you, talk to your friends about position, or think about other offers that are in your queue and take a wise decision. In my case, once I had two offers. Both were different in terms of billing rate and jobs. I talked to vendors and finalized the best option that worked out for me and said NO to others. The goal is not to make a hasty decision and look at the job offer in other perspectives. In reality, sometimes you may not get time and are forced to tell right away, you have to decide wisely. You can always have your decisions thought through and keep them back of your mind and go ahead based on decisions.
Procedures involved after the consulting position is offered to you :
Typically, the client sends a purchase order and other agreement forms to prime vendor and if you were a layer under prime vendor, you get a purchase order(PO) and other agreement forms from Prime vendor. Many call it by short form PO. It has your billing rate and length of contract. You will also be asked to sign agreement saying that, “you will not leave the prime vendor and work as a employee for the client for an year or 6 months”. This is to prevent the clients taking away the consultants from prime vendors. It will have clauses like if you join, then they can sue you or the company, etc or the client has to pay lumpsum amount, etc.
Background Check :
Depending upon the client, your profile will be submitted for background check. It can vary depending on the company and client. Some need just criminal background clearance and some might need more. Typically, the common type of background check the client or prime vendor requests is to check if you have any criminal records in the US. It may not involve regarding your experience. You will have to give all your details like original date of birth, name as appears in passport, visa status and Social security number. Make sure you give all the correct details. Otherwise you may be in trouble.
Drug tests :
Many companies have policies that they are a drug free environment work place. Most of the companies that work in health care, consumer products, pharmacy are very particular about this. You will have to go through a drug test for compliance according to policies. The vendor will give you information on where to go and give test. You will have to go that particular location for drug test. During drug test, they will tell you what they are going to test for and what they will do with process. It is law to tell the details, you can ask if they do not. They take a sample of urine and dip the sample in some strips and get the result instantly. They do it in front of you. If something is not clear, they will tell you and say, “we will have to send this for further testing to lab”. If you using some medication for any health condition, tell them and carry your prescription. It will help if there are any issues. The drug test results are sent to the client by the vendor in a sealed envelope or sometimes prime vendor retails those details.
References checks and other calls :
Usually, the vendors do the reference checks by calling your references. But, in case they have not, they will ask you to fill out the references of all the previous projects in last 3 to 4 years. They may call your references or email them. Make sure you give correct references. Also, inform your references about the calls that vendors might make. In consulting world, references are very very important. Handle them with care. If you do not have current info, tell the vendor truth. These calls are to check to your experience, skill level and work habits.
Important note about Billing and Personal details :
If you are working on a percentage basis, you might want to make sure you are working for the right billing and you are not being cheated. Most employers do not show PO. Some of them show the PO. If you think there is something wrong with billing ask your employer to show the PO and get the correct rate. Make sure you give all your original details of date of birth, SSN, etc everywhere. Do not worry about what you have on resume or anything. Everything after interview is important as it is tied legally by contracts and you will be liable.
Final Steps :
Typically all the process should be done within a week. Sometimes companies are in quick need and they do process even quicker and may be done in a day or two. Once everything is complete and you clear through all the checks, you will be sent email with details of official joining date, with details of who will meet you , where is the location, maps, etc. The vendor will call and tell you all these. Sometimes, they just send you the details too.
It is now your job to plan, book your travel, find place to stay, etc. I will write about the next steps and best ways to find deals, places to live, etc. what you should do to be prepared for first day at client site in the next article… stay tuned !
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