I'm a software engineer of above 10 years of experience. I've been working as engineer for a large industrial company A for more than five years. However, my contract is through a small local subcontractor B.
In the day-by-day, I work directly for A and report to A. The only reporting to B is how many hours I do every day by filling a form. I may see my employers at B maybe twice a year, once when I ask them a rise, and my arguments for that rise are probably all they know about what do I do at A, other than the requirements A recruiting department sends to B.
I'd like to work employed by A. My boss at A wants me on A but even if has name and position, is still fighting A recruiting policies (which basically stand to no recruiting). I could get employed by A in the next few months, or maybe in a year or two, or maybe never. Some time before, passing from a subcontractor to A was common, to the point that substituted a regular career in subcontractors. But nowadays it is almost exceptional.
I feel underpaid by B. In the same city I've rejected an offer for 20% higher than my current salary (that's what I think I could do in A but with worse conditions; they were in a hurry, and I wanted to wait for advances from A). I don't want to relocate, but if I did, even in the same country, salaries as reported by employment portals could be around 50% higher.
At B, even latecomers with less experience have got better salaries, boss at B slipped. I've tried to negotiate with B, but they refuse other than symbolic yearly rises (like 1%) by saying A contract with B doesn't demand experienced workers, and must compete for the contract with subcontractor C, D...
The problem at hand
I have found a job offer from B for an undisclosed company in the same city, that raised several flags. Demands my particular skillset (and I'm the only one in my company in this site; although its somewhat common outside), and other basic general requirements that match those of company A. Other coworkers that saw the offer also seem to agree that the offer is for A. And it was published a pair of weeks after a conversation with B regarding the salary issue.
This offer is for a lower salary than mine (even 30% less). They are now requiring no previous working experience (but still ask for expert proficiency on my skillset -lol).
I doubt my boss at A would accept someone other than me, though, even with the skillset as I have proven myself, but it doesn't entirely depend on him.
What is happening?
- Is B looking for a replacement?
- Is B preparing an alternative in case I move?
What could be a sensible course of action?
My goal would be to enter A this year or maybe next given a sensible rise from B. Otherwise, get better conditions elsewhere. I cannot accept a relocation at this moment.
- Bring this offer to my boss at A? Could use this offer to leverage the boss chain upwards? To get in A or at least make them push B?
- Bring the issue to B without mentioning the offer? Maybe this time I get a salary proposition, or an invitation to move. This will make me gain time, probably.
- Try my luck with subcontractor C or D? But the subcontractors may have policies against switching employees.