IT Contractors must be aware of these type of call from IT Recruiters

IT Contractors must be aware
IT Contractors must be aware of agencies spamming contacts

IT Contractors Must be Aware

This article will explain why IT Contractors must be aware of certain calls from Agencies.

Most IT Contractors have those calls, you know the ones I mean, where IT Agencies say that they can get them work but ask for an astonishing amount of information.

In fact they seem desperate for the information.

IT Contractors don’t like to say no as they think that they might lose out on some precious work if they don’t.

The information that that these agents ask for includes:-

1. Wanting to know the names of companies that your CV has been sent to.

They say that this is so that your CV doesn’t get sent twice to the one company. They say that if this happens potential clients will disqualify you.

Cheating IT Agencies
Cheating IT Agencies- how to get your own back

Of course, clients won’t disqualify you. They’ll simply select the first CV they got of yours and dump the rest.

The real reason that the IT Recruiter wants this information is to obtain a lead so that they can contact the company involved and send in CVs of their own in competition to yours meaning that you may well miss out.

2. Wanting to know what interviews that you have attended.

Again they say that this is so that they don’t send your CV out to those companies where you have already attended an interview.

Many inexperienced contractors then reel off a list of companies where they have been for interviews.

This is a huge mistake when dealing with agencies.

The IT Recruiter then has a list of companies that are currently looking for people with your skills.

They also know the level of skill that you have and so they know what they have to beat.

Contractors are the Goose
Contractors are the Goose that lays the golden egg

Once they have this information they will be working furiously to find and put up candidates who are better and more experienced with those particular skills than you.

They may even send in your CV along with the others and then call up to say that they are withdrawing yours as they have had bad references about you.

3. Wanting to know the name of people who will give you references.

Some of these IT recruiters say that they need these references before they can send your CV out to any potential client.

That’s just ridiculous as there are few clients who need references before they will even see a candidate.

If they take references at all is usually late stage, i.e. after they have interviewed a candidate and decided that this is the one they want.

The real reason these IT recruiters want this information is that they want to know the names of people at companies who hire IT contractors.

Stung by an Agency
IT Contractor Stung by an Agency

They will usually ask more information about these people like what position they hold at the company and maybe even contact details.

It’s called Spamming References.


In my early years of IT Contracting I got done a lot by these agents and gave them the information.

However, I never got a single contract through any of them.

IT Freelancers, although they might feel a bit queasy about supplying the information being asked for, don’t like to bite the hand of someone who will potentially feed them.

However, IT recruiters who make these calls are never going to feed them.

Often they are just lead generators for a company.

IT Contractors must be aware of them.

Their role is just to cold call contractors on the database to find out leads and then they just hand the leads over to the frontline recruiters so that they can out their own candidates up in opposition to you.

Agency Dirty Tricks
Agency Dirty Tricks played on IT Contractors

Even if they are generating leads for themselves, this is their only concern when doing it – not getting work for you.

The genuine recruiters will contact you about a specific role – if you haven’t contacted them about a specific role that they have advertised.

So beware of the lead generators.

It is like Aesop’s fable of the Fox and the Crow.

Their sole purpose is to get you to sing loud and clear so that you drop your cheese.

That’s why IT Contractors must be aware of these agency calls.

Put the phone down on these frauds.

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    1. the very first comment isn’t right at all: “Of course, clients won’t disqualify you. They’ll simply select the first CV they got of yours and dump the rest.”

      I’ve worked with a number of clients (and still do) who will often ban spam applicants (those who apply with multiple agencies), this happened to me yesterday.

      Granted I only deal with clients who have a strict PSL is place but to say of course clients don’t disqualify you isn’t ridiculous. As long as the agency you are working with is on the PSL of the company you are discussing with them there is no reason to apply via another agency it will only cause you issues further down the line, I’ve seen this happen time and time again.

    2. Great and very relevant article, however, you omitted a very important safeguard against the above.

      I have it on good authority that if you wear a conical shaped hat made of tinfoil before answering any incoming calls from recruiters, this blocks out any potential lead generating capabilities from said recruiter.

      It sounds a little far fetched, but I think it’s worth a try.

    3. Contractors are not perfect people. They really on Agencies to look after their interests, not to be fleeced by them. From the other prospective, we expect agencies to look after customers with the right level of candidates and not to charge unrealistic rates, or provide untenable contract restrictions. In between this is a whole range of issues and grey situations. Primarily the nature of just how much agencies put on top of the rate that a contract gets is driving down rates, and unrealistic requirements are making contractors fight over smaller and smaller scraps. The reason that clients need contractors is to perform a role that they do not have the resource for, do not understand or have the time line to complete – its not done as an amateur venture, but it is supposed to be established by professional people. So lets have all parties to be aware of there positions so that we can all ‘win’, and not feel like being ‘screwed-over’!

    4. Yep i worked at an IT recruitment agency for a few months and this is exactly what they got me to do with the same reasoning. I didnt last long there as i wasnt slimey enough..

    5. Where do you think agencies will get jobs from if you don’t give them any information? The answer is to give recruiters ‘leads’ for jobs you have had run past you that you decided you didn’t want. If everyone does this, the world keeps turning.

      If you don’t give anything away, you won’t get anything back. It’s give and take – remember that you don’t pay these guys for their time.


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