Odd experience with two IT Agencies for same IT Contract

Same IT Contract - Contractor Put Forward for Interview
Contractor not Put Forward for Interview by Dodgy agent

A reader sent us this about two agencies forwarding his CV for the same IT Contract.

Same IT Contract

I have had an odd experience recently, in that two IT agencies contacted me with positions that I was well qualified for.

I dutifully sent off my CV, and heard no more.

On another occasion, I had a call from a well-known agency about some work in London.

Held Fast on Contract Rate

As usual, we debated the rate, but I held fast.

So, the agency said it would submit my details.

Another agency rang me, and offered to check whether the first agency had submitted me.

No, I had not been.

The second agency submitted me, and I got the contract, at my preferred rate.

What do you think was going on there with the first agency?

Why waas the 2nd agency able to send me forward for the same IT Contract?

Dr McLaughlin’s Contractor Surgery

Well, that’s an odd one.

There’s two possibilities that spring to mind here.

Firstly, that the first agency was not on the preferred supplier list (PSL) at the company but had heard about the vacant contract position, possibly through the various nefarious means that agents used to get information from IT Contractors.

Preferred Suppliers List

Secondly, that they were on the preferred suppliers list but had already supplied their quota of IT Contractors for that position.

It sometimes happens that recruitment agents will tell IT Contrcators that they have submitted them for a contract when they have not.

This is simply to remove competition for this contract.

They see you as a good candidate for the contract and don’t want you put forward by another agency for this IT Contract.

Bigger Margin for Agency

Again, the reason may be not that they have already filled their quota but that they want to put forward other contractor candidates where they will ‘earn’ a bigger margin (you said that you held firm on your rate) – but want to knock out the competition.

The simplest way to do that would be to tell you that you have been put forward when you have not – so that you would tell other agencies that you had already been put frward for this contract.

Thinking about it, this would see the most likely scenario.

Luckily for you the second agent was wise to this particular agency dirty trick and checked to see if you had been put forward.

So, all’s well that ends well.

However, it is no wonder that Freelancers treat agents with such suspicion.

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