Unemployed IT professionals often turn to consulting to earn some income and flex their skills while looking for a permanent full-time job. Sometimes, IT consulting turns into a full-time gig. Whether an IT professional moves full steam into consulting or balances contract work with a job search, the challenge he is bound to encounter is maintaining a steady pipeline of work, and thus, income. Finding the time to prospect for new projects while completing existing ones isn’t easy. Independent IT consultants quickly find that both activities are full-time jobs.
Enter IQ Tech Pros. The IT services provider formerly known as Saga Consulting Services aims to help independent IT consultants find work faster and get paid more consistently, according to CEO Kashif Aftab. IQ Tech Pros, an H1-B visa sponsor/petitioner, works with a network of technology vendors and resellers from which it commissions IT projects. It then mines its network of more than 15,000 IT consultants to staff those projects, says Aftab. (A list of IT jobs currently available through IQ Tech Pros is available on Indeed.com.)
“[Independent IT] Consultants don’t have back office experience,” says Aftab. “When it comes time to collect money [from clients], it’s a frustrating experience, and it’s a time-consuming experience. It takes time away from what they do best. As a result, they don’t get paid consistently, which creates a whole new set of problems for them.”
IQ Tech Pros takes on the billing and collections process for its consultants, says Aftab. All consultants have to do is submit an invoice to IQ Tech Pros for their billable hours. For example, if a consultant bills for his first two weeks of work and sends an invoice to IQ Tech Pros for $1,000, the consultant will get paid every two weeks regardless of if and when IQ Tech Pros’ gets paid by its client, says Aftab.
(An anonymous reviewer who rated the company as Saga Consulting Services on Glassdoor.com claimed that the company didn’t always pay him on time.)
IQ Tech Pros also offers health insurance through a national PPO plan, access to a 401K plan, and general liability benefits to its consultants, adds Aftab. “A lot of organizations ask [consultants] if they have liability insurance, which is very expensive to buy,” he says. “Without this insurance, consultants can’t get certain projects.”
Independent IT consultants interested in joining IQ Tech Pros’ network can apply on the company’s website. Aftab says IQ Tech Pros’ career managers vet and test applicants’ skills and certifications, and conduct “a 20 point reference check” on each candidate. “Based on their [the applicant’s] rating, they’re either accepted or not accepted into our network,” he says.