Contractor snobbery towards agents is outrageous

Contractor Snobbery towards recruiters
Contractor Snobbery towards recruiters

Contractor Snobbery

Does contractor snobbery towards recruiters exist?

An agent wrote this in response to our article Confessions of an Agent which appeared on Brainbox.

From Aussie contractor site

Alan, in his first article In Defence of Agencies argued that contractors need agents. Now he continues.

Snobby Contractors

There is more still to this unhappy relationship between IT contractors and recruitment agents than mere money.

When I see what contractors are saying, both here and in other forums, I notice something all too human – the taint of snobbery.

Because a recruitment agent’s role involves an above-average level of saleswork, the professional contractor feels that the agent is somehow beneath him.

‘Sales people belong to an underclass‘ is the sub-current, and are undeserving of our respect.

Noble Profession

But sales is a noble profession!

As the old saying goes “nothing happens until somebody sells something”. Without salespeople our economy would grind to a halt. The role of bringing buyers and sellers together is probably the most important one in the entire economy.

Someone once said (I forget who and I’m paraphrasing): “Even the most oppressive dictatorship has doctors, lawyers, engineers and scientists. Such people exist everywhere. But only the free democracies have salespeople. Wherever you see salespeople, you see wealth and freedom. They are the symbol of a free society.”

The snobbery against sales people is completely unjustified. I’ve programmed before and I’ve sold, and I can tell you which is harder. For all their disdain (or even disgust) with the role recruitment consultants play, most contractors are unwilling to do without them.

Your Choice

If you hate them so much, don’t use them. Nobody’s forcing you.

Some contractors huff and puff about how the agencies have all the work tied up when challenged with this assertion. But the truth is they’ve never tried.

They have no idea of how to sell themselves to an end-client. Even worse, they are unwilling to try.

I wish contractors and other IT professionals would not be so quick to disparage recruitment agents. Together, we often make a great team.


So, is there contractor snobbery towards recruiters?