The Idiot Agents article was sent to us in response to our article ‘˜Why Clients are Complete Idiots‘.
When you say that Clients are complete idiots, well you should take a look at agents. They are the biggest idiots in the business and here are some reasons why.
1. No Technical Ability
Idiot agents are not able to tell the difference between a good IT person and a bad one. They have no technical knowledge, and wouldn‘t be able to tell a good Java developer if they found one in their cheese and pickle sandwiches
2. Can‘t tell difference
Idiot Agents don‘t know the difference in importance between the skills. One skill may need many years to become proficient in, while another could be picked up in half a day. To agents, those two skills are of equal importance when a client asks for them
3. Contractors Can See Through them
Idiot Agents don‘t realise that when they phone up contractors asking them for references, that contractors know that they are just spamming contacts from them
4. No Win-Wins
Idiot Agents don‘t understand that when they put a clause in the contract saying that contractors cannot approach clients about new work, while they are under contract to the agency, that this will mean that both they and the contractors will miss out on potential opportunities, and that they should consider contractors as on site allies in getting new work from clients.
Contractors are on hand to know what work and opportunities are available, but their hands are tied by the agency contract, and they sure as hell won‘t tell their agent about them
5. Illegal Clauses
Everyone in the industry knows that those clauses that they put on contracts which state that the contractors can‘t approach the client for up to a year after they have ended their contract is illegal, as it is a restraint of trade. No one wants any hassle, so they do it anyway and don‘t tell the agency
6. Telling Porkies
Although agents, or anybody else, can get away with telling porkies to contractors once or twice, they can‘t get away with it all the time. In the end contractors will twig that their supposed friendly agent is a serial liar
7. Advertising Jobs That Don‘t Exist
Many agencies advertise jobs on job boards like Jobserve or CWJobs that simply don‘t exist in order to get CVs for a particular skill. Many of them are dumb enough (or lazy enough) to put in the exactly the same advert week after week. Don‘t they think that those looking for jobs with those skills will twig after a while what they are doing, and will put their agencies in their bad books?
8. Lying about rates
When agencies tell contractors that they are taking a 15% mark up for them when they are actually getting 35%, don‘t they realise that the contractor will twig in the end and become furious? The contractor will realise, from talking to other contractors at the site, that he or she is getting a much lower rate than anyone else, because the agency are taking a bigger cut.
The agency‘s name will go down the pan with that contractor, with the other contractors on the site and with the client. What goes around comes around, but sheer greed makes them do it. The contractor will get the rate down at the next renewal, or depart for pastures new, so there is very little gain in the end for the agency
9. We‘ll get back to you when there‘s any news
Idiot agents get annoyed when contractors phone them up and ask them if there‘s any news about the client to whom their CV has been sent, or where they‘ve been for an interview. ‘We‘ll call you when there‘s been any news’ they say, a trifle irritatedly.
They don‘t, though. They only call if there‘s good news for them. They don‘t get back to those who aren‘t wanted for, or have failed, an interview. Are they too dumb to work out a system that keeps their customers happy and informed?
10. The rate is a little less than expected
When an agent phones a contractor to tell him or her that they passed the interview and have got the job, but that the rate is a little less than the client originally said it was, don‘t they realise that contractors know that they are lying through their teeth and are just trying to get extra margin?
Over time, agencies are the sum total of their credibility amongst contractor and clients.
Those that use underhand methods may make short-term gains, but they soar like rockets in the sky and then fizzle out, leaving behind the better agencies who don‘t get up to all this nonsense (or not so much of it anyway).
However, idiot agents appear to be the norm