We have had a lot of feedback from our Ten Dirty Tricks that Contractors Get Up To by an agent. Here are some of the comments that they have made.
This is rich coming from an agent. They create this situation by their own devious and underhand methods. In some respects I am new to the contracting game, I’ve just completed over 6 years at it having been in IT for 30!
However I’ve been lucky and never needed to get an agency to find me a contract as I’ve always known the client before hand and they’ve just used agencies as intermediaries. Even though they’ve done nothing to get me the contract they have always tried to include that ridiculous “”not within 6/12 months”” clause in their contracts. The margin that I was fleeced for before I got wind of what was happening was something like 15%!
15% just to process an invoice!!!
I’ve also agreed rates with clients before and then when speaking to the agency they’ve tried to imply that it was something different. In recent times I’ve sent my CV to agencies to try and find new work and I’ve been appalled at their lack of understanding of the technical skills required.
They know all the buzzwords but that’s about as far as it goes. Also when contacted about a particular position for which my skills are tailor made, I don’t even get the courtesy of being told that it’s a permanent position for which contractors will not be considered.
It‘s like any walk of life there are good and bad on both sides but most of the contractors I’ve worked with over the last few years have shown themselves to good at their jobs and have taken pride in what they do.
Never Done Any of This
I recognise that people will undertake the actions taken in the article but painting all contractors as being this way is a wee bit much and unprofessional in its own right.
I have been contracting for over 20 years and have never employed the actions illustrated – nor have I met anyone who has with the exception of lying about rate, this I believe is done as the agent will rarely indicate what he is willing to pay. Some might call this negotiation.
Need More Understanding and Co-operation
‘Obviously you will get a lot of reaction on this article. Obviously the agents want to get back after the article about the agency tricks. Obviously some contractors have done things that can be considered being unprofessional. But let’s face it: the contractors are those directly hit by any trick they play. They are simply the most vulnerable party, if we omit the client.
If agencies state that ‘the cowboy agencies give their business a bad name’, this is certainly true for contractors. On top of that, a lot of the agents, or I prefer to call them ‘representatives’ are employed. They do not always see the different viewpoints, simply because there is no time to do so. I am certain that most of the contractors have a good working relationship with the agencies they choose to work with and vice versa.
On the other hand I suspect that the author of this article is employed by the agency he/she works for. The generalisations, the insults are proof of the same unprofessional attitude as he/she blames the contractors to have. The author demonstrates that nobody in this business has a monopoly on unprofessionalism and he surely does not help to create an understanding and promote professional behaviour.
Just come to think of it: this article is meant ironically, right? :-)’
Contractors Do Fit Profile
As both a contractor and employer of contractors on behalf of clients I agree there are many contractors who fit this profile – far too many.
I now make it a rule to:-
1) Never employee contractors under the age of 25 preferably 30
2) Never employ anyone on a visitor‘s visa or just visiting the home country
3) If they turn up late for the interview they don’t get the job its too good an indicator of future performance
4) If they can not give me the name of a manager at a previous employer who I can contact there and then I drop them