Hi. I have been working as a contractor in the industry for 3 years since graduating from college. During this time I have also been applying to opportunities as an employee and interviewed at a few places, but have had no offers. I am applying to formulation product development roles and would like to formulate either surfactant based products or lotion/creams. I believe the main reason why I am not getting offers is the fact that during these interviews I am either asked directly if I am a contractor and why I was not hired full time at my current company and judged immediately or asked about my current pay (which is very low) and why I am asking for a higher pay. In one case the company I interviewed at wanted to pay much less than what I was making. I have always asked only for what I find to be a normal starting salary for today's standards between $50,000 and $55,000. Although I tell the interviewer that I would be willing to negotiate, they are noticeably annoyed and I don't get called back.
After being a contractor for a few years and meeting many people in the industry, it is very obvious that there is a lot of discrimination in the industry with contractors and I'm not sure what my chances of getting hired are especially within my own group. My direct manager wants to hire me, but the upper management especially the director of our department is not very supportive of contractors and openly talks about getting rid of us to hire full timers. I work for a large well known company and when there are opportunities open, all of the contractors apply and very few get in mainly due to the fact that the company has a recruiting program which is for co-ops/interns that currently work at the company. Even though the contractors have more experience and actually help train the interns, the intern will always be considered first. Most of my friends that got jobs as an employee were hired outside of the company and we're not asked the same questions as I have during the interview process. I have been talking to more people within the company I currently work for and have been told that my chances of getting a full time offer depends more on who I know.
Has anyone else been a contractor and experienced the same? Does anyone have any advice on trying to get a full time role? How would you answer questions in an interview about why you are a still a contractor or want to be payed more than what you are currently making? Thanks in advance and sorry if this sounds a little bit like a rant.