Stung By Agency
I’ll never forget the time I was well and truly stung by a dodgy agency.
I thought they would get me a contract. Instead they took mine.
A few years back I had a contract as a Project Manager. It was nine months in length.
Also operating there was a company who supplied contractors. They called themselves a software house, but it was all bodies that they supplied at our site anyway. I think that it was just a grand name for a bodyshop, so that they could charge a little extra.
The guy that ran the software house / agency used to come for regular meetings with my boss.
Asked for Any Jobs?
I met him in the pub after work one of the times that he was there. As my contract was coming to an end (with a possible renewal), I mentioned this to him and asked him to keep me in mind if he had anything.
His eyes lit up when I said that I was becoming available. I was a little surprised as to why he would get so excited.
‘Ah! So your contract is almost up’, he said. ‘I didn‘t realise that. I‘ll certainly keep an eye out for something for you’.
I had heard, from people who worked for him, that he was a bit of a ruthless b*****d, but I‘d got on quite well with him socially.
No Renewal at End of Contract
When my contract came to an end I didn‘t end up getting a renewal.
I was very surprised to hear, from someone I knew still at the site, that the person who they put in my place was from none other than the software house / agency.
He didn‘t actually have any interest in me at all, it seems. That wasn‘t why he had perked up. He had only perked up because I had told him that my POSITION was now available.
He must have got in touch with my boss to tell him he had someone to replace me.
I suppose if I had made myself irreplaceable it wouldn‘t have happened.
However, it made me realise that when you are coming up for renewal, some of those agencies who you tell that you are coming near the end of your contract will use the opportunity to contact your boss to try and sell him a replacement for you.
It‘s a funny old ‘dog eat dog‘ world out and one has to be on ones guard all the time. Agents are very wily people, and contractors are no match for them in the dodges and dirty tricks that they get up to.
Perhaps the lesson is that it is better to ascertain whether you are going to get a renewal or not, before contacting agencies to tell them that you might be available in just over a month‘s time.
That just tells the agencies that there is an opportunity for them – to try to replace you that is, and not to get you a contract.
Don’t get stung by them as I did.