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In the last 10 years, I've never interviewed anywhere on the east coast that wasn't 3-month contract-to-hire. Then again, that was all through recruiters. I don't work as an employee anymore, and I don't deal with recruiters, so I'm not sure what it's like now. However, there doesn't seem to have been any sea-changes in the market around here, so I suspect everyone is still doing it.

Really? I'm in the Boston market, and we don't use contract to hire as a strategy, and to my knowledge, none of our primary direct competitors for engineering talent do either.

(We will occasionally hire an ex-contractor, but that's the exception and they were genuinely a contactor first. No one comes through the front do applying for a full-time position and gets offered a contract-to-hire.)

Well, to be fair, I hadn't ever applied for anything in Boston. Also, I acknowledge that not all places may do this, just that I've never encountered one that didn't. Which could say more about the quality of the recruiters I was using than anything else.

Basically, in a 300 mile radius around Washington D.C. there is apparently a shit ton of little, bullshit consulting agencies. There are at least two in even the small towns. Bullshit consulting agencies are the type I'd expect to do contract-for-hire.

It's also, for no reason I understand, the only types of places that would ever look at my resume. Perhaps that is because the alternatives to the consultoware places are health insurance companies (which I patently refused to apply to) and financial services companies (also not terribly appealing). Those sorts of places always looked like they were exactly the same sort of poorly managed shit-show as the consultoware places, just that the client was in-house. Not much consumer-facing software being made out here, I guess.

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