Contract Recruitment Agency Trick – Is Agency Playing Dirty Trick on me?

Contract Recruitment Agency Trick he played
Contract Recruitment Agency Trick he played

Contract Recruitment Agency Trick Played on Contractor

We received this, about a contract recruitment agency trick, from a contractor asking for our advice.

See what you think and whether you agree with us.

Contractor‘s Email


You‘ve been round the block more than once in terms of negotiating with agencies and I wonder if I could ask for some advice.

An IT agency wants me to commit to a short term 6 week role. They want a verbal commitment from me that I won‘t bugger off if a better role comes along. However, they don‘t seem to be offering any reciprocal security for me.

Am I being reasonable in expecting the agency to sign a contract for the length of the role if they expect me to commit myself?



IT Contractor Reply

Fair play says that if you are prepared to commit then they should commit too. It makes one suspicious as to why they won’t sign a contract.

So, what do they know that you don’t? What have they promised to the client?

A lot depends on your own circumstances. If you can afford to stand firm, stand firm. If you can’t, then don’t.

My advice is to give the verbal commitment.

If, however, you get to the site and find that things are a little different to the way the agency said they would be, e.g. they have promised something different to the client, then I would tell them that you made the verbal agreement based on what they told you.

Verbal Agreement Invalidated

As the circumstances were different, this invalidated the verbal agreement. That’s if you get another better offer, of course.

It’s best to be earning than not earning.

My guess is that the client hasn’t committed to six weeks. Suspect that the agency hasn’t got a 6 weeks agreement with the client. They don’t want to be off the cliff financially if the client dumps you after a week.

I suspect that the agreement they have with the client is more open ended than that.

One bonus, therefore, is that a contract like this would certainly help you to stay outside IR35.

Just watch out for the next contract recruitment agency trick, though. They have a lot of them.

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