Contractors' Questions How to tell good agencies from bad?
Contractor’s Question: How are IT contractors meant to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to IT recruitment agencies?
Expert’s Answer: Poor agencies are characterised by:
- high staff turnover
- inexperienced consultants
- visibly being under pressure from their manager
- overselling the opportunities they have
- shamelessly plugging you for leads
- ringing you every five minutes if you have received an offer
- offering you poorly written or clearly ‘inside IR35’ contracts
- rule-breaking, such as by inserting ‘pay when paid’ clauses.
By contrast, a good agency will be able to give you independent data on the current market; have a working knowledge of relevant employment law, give good advice on your CV and be honest with you throughout the hiring process. They will also:
- acknowledge applications from all candidates
- tell you who the client is if they are putting you forward
- confirm in writing they are putting you forward
- have a decent/comprehensive job description or contract spec
- have visited the client so they can describe to you the working environment including how you can travel to or access the site
- let you decide if you want the contract / job in an unpressured way
- offer impartial advice on contracting options for the future (and to first-timers)
- resolve any pay issues quickly and keep you informed at all times.
The expert was Les Berridge of IT & Telecommunications jobs specialist Networkers.
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