I'm about to start a contract-to-hire position at a new company. During the four-month contract period, I will technically be an employee of the recruiting agency who found me for the position at an hourly rate. Once the contract period is over, I will become a direct salaried employee of the company. My salary will most likely be $6000 less than what I'll be earning during the contract period, however I will receive additional benefits like discounted health care, life insurance, sick leave, etc. The recruiter did go to them with a salary range of +/- 5K but I'm pretty sure that unless I speak up, I will most likely receive the lower end of the range.

Is it acceptable for me to try to renegotiate my salary at the end of the contract period? Or would this be considered unprofessional? I'm hoping that the company may be willing to pay more once they see the caliber of work I do but I don't want to risk getting fired by coming across as double-crossing or dishonest.

I have no intention of leaving the company after the contract period because I don't want to have any short-term employment on my record but I'm considering looking for other offers that could be used as leverage.

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    Are you getting benefits as an employee versus a contractor? If so, those are typically worth some amount. You may want to add a location tag for a more precise answer.
    – Neo
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 14:58
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    @MisterPositive--You're right, I will be eligible for benefits at the end of the contract period and the lack of benefit-eligibility during the contract period is the reason they made the hourly rate so much higher. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:14
  • @JoeStrazzere Good point. I accepted the offer because it's a big improvement over where I am now and there's a lot of growth potential. I have no intention of quitting after the contract period. Chances are they'll call my bluff but I figure it can't hurt to try. :-) Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:16
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    Since accepting the offer, I've been telling every recruiter who contacts me that I'm locked into a four month contract but will be open to new opportunities when it's over, so I think there's a chance I may get another offer in the mean time. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


No it is not acceptable, but it may be possible. Most companies have extended an offer with the expectation that the offer of employment will be accepted as written should the consultant wish to be hired on. The time to negotiate for the hire on rate is before the contract is signed, or to agree to negotiate the hire on salary after the contract period ends.

That said it is not unheard of for the company to try to negotiate that figure down. If you provide enough of a benefit to the company they may be willing to negotiate with you. In my experience, most likely they are going to look at it as going back on your word. But I am suspect this varies in different areas.

Per the update that the original hire on rate was a range then yes some negotiation will be possible. However you are very unlikely to be able to negotiate above that range unless you can demonstrate the ability to produce in a way that has a lot of bang for their buck.

  • Well, the recruiting agency actually gave them a +/- $5K range for what my full-time salary would be so I think there is some wiggle room. I think they're inclined to go toward the lower end of the range but I'm hoping I can convince them to reconsider. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:30
  • I suppose I should add this to my original question. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:30
  • Facepam yeah that would be good... Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:32

Is it acceptable for me to try to renegotiate my salary at the end of the contract period?


Would this be considered unprofessional?

At the end of a contract is the best time to renegotiate a salary. As no formal agreement has yet been agreed to in terms of pay now is the best time to open a dialogue about salary. You may also want to consider talking about benefits and vacation time. A new contract is like turning over a new leaf in your job.

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    This is a contract-to-hire, not just a regular contract. It's very likely that there IS a formal agreement for pay, benefits, vacation, etc. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 15:55
  • @DanPichelman Actually, there isn't. The recruiter went to them with an estimated salary range but I think the actual agreement is very much dependent on how I perform during the contract period. There's nothing that says they even have to hire me at all if they don't like the work that I do. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:11
  • @JoeStrazzere Well, it's a plan. I don't know if you can call it a "formal agreement" since I haven't discussed anything with the company's internal HR department yet, let alone signed a contract. What I know for sure is that I'll be employed for four months at an hourly rate of $x and, assuming the company is happy with my performance, I will be brought on as a full-time employee with a salary range that will most likely by $y but could potentially be as high as $z. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:25
  • @AffableAmbler - Yes that part changes things. Its one thing to have a contract and an agreement to hire on at a set rate, its another to have a range. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:42

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