Some advice to IT agents from an IT contractor

Some Advice for agencies
Some Advice for agencies

Some Advice to Agents

This reader wants to give some advice to agents.

He posted it as comments after our article ‘Advice to agencies – 10 ways to keep IT workers happy’.

Contractor’s Advice

Some advice for agencies to keep contractors happy, or at least, to prevent them hating you:

1. Pay without making a song and dance about it, such as, ‘It‘s too difficult to write a check. You‘ll have to settle for Direct Debits just like every other one of our fifty thousand contractors.’

2. Stick to the figure. No more of this ‘Around the fifty frame’, or, ‘We could be talking about the high forties!’.

3. Pay for leads, and agree on a fee beforehand.

4. Recognise the fact that you are not the only agency in the world, that other agencies have been calling the contractor that you‘ve had working for you and ignoring, and when you finally do get in touch, he‘ll have forgotten your name, and will certainly not feel good and cosy about working for such a wonderful, caring agency. You‘re just another agency.

5. Speak proper English, and do not use semi-literate school leavers to irritate people with their slovenly pronunciation and poor grammar.

Canny Businessmen

6. Recognise the fact that despite rumours, quite a few contractors are not ugly, boring, techie nerds, but canny businessmen with investment portfolios and other interests that may be quite surprising.

I can think of several for whom contracting was just a way of making some money to support other things, such as music, antiques, life assurance sales, car racing. Other contractors have seen extensive service with military reserve units.

Try and understand that there is life outside of your client‘s premises, and that some of it may be none of your business!

Unworkable Contract Clauses

7. Bear in mind the possibility that if the contract contains unworkable clauses, people will probably end up just ignoring them. If you try and invoke the law, you may end up getting badly burned, and, even worse, getting a lot of adverse publicity. It‘s really not worth it for the sake of a couple of week‘s money.

8. Understand that the universe does not revolve around you. You function is to recruit, to locate people to do work, to find vacancies, to supply clients with staff. What you do is broker contracts. You fulfil a useful function in commerce, but you are not the answer to everything or constantly in everyone‘s fond thoughts.

Readers, if you want to give some advice to agents, just stick it in the Comments section below.