Contract Work – Contractors do not appreciate us, says agent

Condemning Agents
Condemning Agents

Contract Work in Two Countries

‘Contract Work’ is a response to one of our articles, Advice to agencies – 10 ways to keep contractors happy.

As an IT recruiter with 7 years experience none of the points mentioned come as any surprise!

I have recruited in Australia and am currently in the UK and so have knowledge in both markets for contract work.

I agree with points 1, 3, 4, 6.

Being paid on time is obviously important and i agree that these terms should be agreed on commencement of the contract.

Unfortunately 3 is a moot point as this will be very difficult to stop. No fake jobs – fair enough.

Point 6, if my candidates want a beer or a lunch then I am happy to take them out, but I generally keep in touch by phone monthly and prefer to “Keep out of their hair” point 6.

Here are my comments on the others:


Name Fee Up Front for Contract Work

Terms of engagement between the client and the agency are between those particular parties and are of no relevance to the contractor. I am happy to advise my contractors of the rates, but only when requested.

Also due to the nature of the agreement and the fact that the contractor is being paid a rate they are happy with, I don‘t believe they need to know our rate.

If there is a problem with our rate it should be with the client who is actually paying for the service.


Have Client / Customer Relationship

An interesting read!

I find this very amusing as point 6 title is “Keep out of our Hair”.

All I will say is some contractors like to be taken out and others don‘t. I leave this to the contractor’s discretion.

I like catching up with my contractors, but will catch up if they want to.


Reduce Cut at Renewal for Contract Work

Don‘t be so silly!

The rate of an agency is fixed with the client in agreeance with the Terms of Engagement within their Preferred Supplier arrangements.

These arrangements factor in such areas as levels of recruitment, number of agencies on the PSL, consulting services provided to a client by an agency etc.

If the candidate was paying the agency for their services (which they are not) then this discussion could be held with the contractor.


Pay Commission

I believe this argument has been in circulation well prior to me starting in IT recruitment.

Whilst contractors believe they have been given a raw deal in not receiving incentives for providing information some forget that the role they are working in was only provided because an agency contacted them about it.

Without some form of agency structure how do they believe they would find their roles?

Some of the wiser contractors out there (particularly Technical Authors) network well when on site and ensure that they receive much of their contract work through word of mouth, rather than through an agency!

Hence then arranging fees directly with the client and without an agency.


IR35 Free Contracts

These clauses were introduced to stop contractors paying minimal tax on their income. This is not something which was introduced by agencies.

If the contracts are not to a level in which the contractor is happy, then it is the responsibility of the contractor to advise the agency of any changes they may wish to make.

Ultimately the agency is not aware of all the individual changes a contractor may wish to make, nor do we know what they want written.


Take Out Restrictive Clauses for Contract Work

If you look at any Consultative Agreement you will find a non solicitation clause.

This clause is in place to protect the agency as we are the party introducing services to a client.

This does not restrict the contractor from working with the client, it is in place to restrict other agencies representing the consultant on the client site within the agreed period, which is agreed by all agencies who are preferred suppliers to that client.

If you are not happy with the service provided by your agency whilst you are on site then take it up with your agency and the client.

IT Contractors Well Paid

Finally, i do agree that agencies do not do themselves any favours with some of the tactics our “wider” counterparts may take part in, however, IT contractors are paid, in the most part, quite handsomely.

Rather than looking to agencies to pay extra increments for referrals, lunches, dinners, birthday presents, Christmas parties etc. how about looking at it from a different perspective. Firstly, the rate we charge takes into account a few factors.

Recruitment Consultants Not Charities

1, We are not a charity.

2, Our rates assist in paying for the overdraft on funds we pay out before the client pays the invoice. Would you prefer for your agency to pay you when we receive the money?

Which in some cases can take 3 months if a client is slow in paying? OR would you prefer to be paid in a weekly or monthly cycle?

In 7 years of IT recruitment I have been given 1 gift for helping someone find work.

Do the contractors just take our services for granted?

Or do they not appreciate what we do for them?

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