IT Agencies Tricks and other nefarious deeds

IT Agencies Tricks
IT Agencies Tricks

IT Agencies Tricks

To anyone who has not experienced IT agencies tricks, my antagonism towards them might seem unreasonable.

Ask any agency and they will tell you, with tears rolling down their cheeks, of the beastliness and duplicity of IT contractors.

However, the perfidiousness and greed of agencies is a topic of conversation that seems to unite all experienced programmers. IT agencies tricks on contractors are legion.

IT Contractor

I once worked for six years as an on-site IT contractor.

The agency took 22% of my salary.

They contacted me once in all that time, and that was to complain that I hadn’t sent my timesheets in quickly enough.

When I left the job it was as though I had never existed. I never heard from them again.

Morals of Ferrets

I have encountered several agencies whose staff appear to have the morals of ferrets.

Several times, I have had agents try to persuade me to alter my CV to incorporate skills and experience that I don’t possess.

“It’s just to bring out those aspects of your CV that are important to the client”, they explain soothingly.

In a couple of cases, they actually altered my CV themselves before passing it on to the client. Unfortunately, I only discovered this when the interviewer homed in on a golden nugget of my fictional IT experience.

IT Agencies Tricks – In it Together

However, it‘s not all “mutual loathing”: on occasion, the relationship between IT agency and job seeker can be surprisingly synergistic.

I once did an IT contract job for a company that involved building a complex SQL Server reporting system for a Telecoms Switch.

After a year had passed, I’d done everything necessary, and arranged with the IT department to recruit a permanent member of staff to maintain the system.

Although I favoured a rather boring candidate who had the required skills, an alternative candidate was suddenly presented by one of the agencies.

Flash Candidate

He was bright, talked the talk, polished his shoes, a suit and good hair.

He had everything, in essence, to attract the typical IT manager. To me, he seemed too good to be true. I couldn’t work out why the job would attract him.

In real life one doesn’t get candidates like that. However, the suit and the good hair won the day and they over-ruled me.

Day One

Once this splendid fellow had settled in, I started the handover process.

Although he was amiable, he showed no more than a polite interest in the technology or application.

He would often sneak off to do deals on his mobile. It was all very hard work.

Eventually, just before I left, I challenged him as to what he was really up to.

IT Agencies Tricks – All Revealed

Surprisingly, he offered to tell me on condition that he swor me to secrecy. For every candidate the agency placed, they got a percentage of his or her first year salary as a “finding fee”, on condition that the candidate stayed in the post for at least three months.

Having discovered this, along with his own talent for interviews and for impressing IT managers, he had negotiated an arrangement with the agency whereby, over and over again, they submitted him as a candidate.

He stayed in each job for exactly three months, at which point the agency split the finding fee with him.


This was amazing.

I ran the calculations through a spreadsheet: it was a good living. Furthermore, the lack of communication between IT departments is such that he could happily go on working the scam for years and years without detection.

Naturally, he left the company a month after I did.

I don’t know if there is a name within the industry for these agencies tricks, but I suspect it ought to be termed “the tethered goat”, were it not for the fact that the original goat was often sacrificed.

One could write  a book just on IT agencies tricks.