I currently work for a quite large company that is well known in the business, and has quite a good name. Before that, I only worked for small companies with highly specialized products, and therefore, they were not known to the general public. Now, ever since I work for the well know company, I get contacted by recruiters on an almost weekly basis. So that was new for me. The thing is, lately, the offers they present are more and more about "midlancing" positions. The salary range they quote with these offers are 3 to 4 times what I am making now. Since I think I already am on the right side of the Bell curve with my salary with respect to my age and level of expertise, I think these offers sound too good to be true. And experience teaches us: if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. So my question is: What exactly is midlancing? What is the risk involved that it warrants such high compensation? Are those salaries realistic?
Having Google translated a few Dutch websites, it seems the term covers consultants who are still technically employed by a company from which they are paid a monthly base salary. If more monthly hours are billed than some defined target, the 'midlancer' gets a percentage of the payment from the end client.
Whether a 'midlancer' is self-employed or an employee is a legal question. In Denmark, they would be regarded as employees and definitely not self-employed.
A 'midlancer' deal in Denmark typically involves having a monthly billable hours target, above which a bonus is paid out; e.g. the 'midlancer' gets 50% of all billable hours in excess of 100 hours. This also means failing to reach the target results in only the base pay for a given month - regardless of whether it's due to lack of work, sickness, vacation.
So - there's no reason to believe it's a scam. As long as you sign a contract that ONLY EVER sends money one way - from them to you - your only concerns should be:
- Is the base salary sufficient?
- Can they find you clients?
- Will you bill enough at the clients?
- Are they being truthful about the client rate?
Your reservations are understandable when the salary mentioned is so much higher than your current salary - but many people sell themselves short without realizing it. In addition, many companies refuse to deal with solitary freelancers, preferring providers of consultants - even though they command a higher rate. So, this is a legitimate way of making ends meet:
End client wants highly skilled, self-starting individuals - but don't know how to find them
Individual has the skills, but not the commercial contacts.
Consultancy has a relationship with the client, but needs someone to actually perform the work. At the end of the day, they are merely a mediator.
In practice, when working at the end client, you may not have anything to do with the consultancy that employs you for months at a time. You are on your own - like a freelancer - seemingly without the risks and legal obligations, but also without making 100% of the money yourself.