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WKnight
15th August 2006, 07:39
Do you or anyone you know use a Jerry McGuire type agent?

Apparently there is a breed of agents that actually take an interest in contractors; an agent that takes on a handful of career contractors and manages their careers over the long term, moving them for the best rates, upping the rates at every opportunity, selling the contractor into high-paid positions? And of course, they take a cut of the total pot.

Where would you get such an agent? Is such a beast myth or reality?

Andyw
15th August 2006, 07:44
Don't be silly !

All agencies are soley in it for the money and dont give a stuff about you !

Once you are signed up and earning them 'money for nothing' they couldnt care less about you ! until it's contract renewel time !

JonnoWeb
15th August 2006, 07:57
For me agents are simply a means of introducing me to clients, and an invoice factoring service. I have just renewed with my current client (4th contract), and the agencies involvement was nil. The renewal process was simply the client asking if I was going to stay on the same terms I am currently on, me saying yes, then both of us informing the agent what was to happen. Having said that I would not have met this client without the agents involvement, they only get a 10% margin, so I am happy. Their involvement also means that when I work Mon-Thurs, the money for this is in the company account by the following Wednesday.

Outside of this call when I let them know I am extending the contract, I never hear from the agent during the contract - I prefer it that way.

I have been contracting now for 12 years, and aside from extensions have never worked for the same agency twice.

Finally you must remember that the agent is paid by, and therefore works for, the client. They are not your agent as you do not pay them.

wonderwaif
15th August 2006, 07:58
About three years ago I did work with someone who told me whenever he came to the end of a contract he always phoned the same agent who got him further work. He seemed genuinely surprised to hear that most contractors have to endure the 'phantom jobs' on jobserve, the fishing calls and the 'I'm sorry <insert name here> is out of the office at the moment' response when you call them.

BlasterBates
15th August 2006, 08:01
Its quite simple, footballers and Formula one drivers can't be recruited on Jobserve but we can. The answer is to all sit at home refusing to answer adverts and playing hard to get.

Are we all agreed ?

:cool:

DimPrawn
15th August 2006, 08:05
Do you or anyone you know use a Jerry McGuire type agent?



Show me the money!!!


No. :(

WKnight
15th August 2006, 08:21
Its quite simple, footballers and Formula one drivers can't be recruited on Jobserve but we can. The answer is to all sit at home refusing to answer adverts and playing hard to get.

So is it all about money? If rates pushed 150 per hour, as they have done for some in particular industries with bleeding edge skills, could a niche for jerry exist?

DimPrawn
15th August 2006, 08:35
It's supply and demand.

In sport there is great demand for a few very talented individuals.

In IT there is a large scale steady demand for lots of average people.

The business dynamics are very different. One is where clients compete for that very small telent pool. The other is where IT people compete for a small job pool.

Not the same at all.

Churchill
15th August 2006, 08:37
So is it all about money? If rates pushed 150 per hour, as they have done for some in particular industries with bleeding edge skills, could a niche for jerry exist?

You're not really a contractor, are you?

DimPrawn
15th August 2006, 08:47
The closest analogy is that clients are the supermarkets, agents are the slaughterhouses and we are the cattle.

HTH

Andyw
15th August 2006, 08:48
:rolleyes:

WKnight
15th August 2006, 08:48
You're not really a contractor, are you?

Not these days. I got out in 2002 when rates got so low it wasn't worth getting out of bed. Now I write about IT and tech, including writing for Contractor UK.

This question is tied to CUK's front page for tomorrow. I'll be writing a piece on the idea, perhaps using some of your comments. I'm trying to find an agent that does this - if he/she exists.

It all started with http://www.recruitermagazine.co.uk/Articles/331464/Filmstar+service.html
in Recruiter magazine.

DimPrawn
15th August 2006, 08:50
Threaded shagged Renee Zellweger if that's any help.

BlasterBates
15th August 2006, 08:57
DP has a good analogy....contractors are like farm animals, though contractors remind me more of sheep, whereas footballers are like thorough bred race horses or greyhounds. You wouldn't think of eating horses or dogs !!!

AtW
15th August 2006, 09:02
Threaded shagged Renee Zellweger if that's any help.

No, he made her clone with adjusted personality to suit him better.

hth

Asterix
15th August 2006, 09:20
WKnight: like someone said, agents work (and get paid) by the clients, so your question is irrelevant. Actors and maybe other professions have agents who find them work and take a cut from their fees.
You sound very similar to NFP (NamesFaecesPlaces), another ex-contractor do-gooder character we had here a few years ago.

Francko
15th August 2006, 09:20
I think WK has a point. The empathy element is often missing in the agent-contractor relationship. We are all used as commodities. That's not a very useful approach in the long run for companies and contractors both. What they fail to see is the human character and how you fit in the environment. Surely, we are not as rare as athletes but then the market is much larger and the reward less so I don't see the point why contractors have to be considered like meat in a meat-market. Just put a label on it with a list of skills and voila' make a choice. Perhaps the root of the problems is the managers' approach to contractors which is very predjudiced from a human point of view. Permies are human beings, contractors are disposable commodities. However, put the same individual in two different environments and his productivity can vary very much. I used to have a good agent, a bit like Jerry, but unfortunately he didn't have enough clients to guarantee me a constant sequence of contracts so I had to call others too (oh well, at least, in the recession years). I wished that companies would pay more attention to the human factor which is as important as pure technical skills. And the only way to understand which character is the best match for an agent can only be down to the agent being close to you and understand your personality, your needs and your problems. Things that an agent (hopefull who has a good grasp of human sciences like psychology or sociology) who just talks to you once or twice on a phone would never be able to understand.

DimPrawn
15th August 2006, 09:24
Francko, you have permie written all over you.

Cowboy Bob
15th August 2006, 09:28
There are a couple I've come across that I'd consider "good guys/gals", but if you think I'm going to let slip who they are, you're very much mistaken ;)

Churchill
15th August 2006, 09:50
Not these days. I got out in 2002 when rates got so low it wasn't worth getting out of bed. Now I write about IT and tech, including writing for Contractor UK.

This question is tied to CUK's front page for tomorrow. I'll be writing a piece on the idea, perhaps using some of your comments. I'm trying to find an agent that does this - if he/she exists.

It all started with http://www.recruitermagazine.co.uk/Articles/331464/Filmstar+service.html
in Recruiter magazine.

Couldn't cut the mustard then, eh?

Pressure got too much for you?

Maybe had a little breakdown too, eh?

Lucifer Box
15th August 2006, 10:05
When I use agents, which is increasingly less the case nowadays, I can't be bothered with all the faffing around so I usually phone up a handful of agents (four or five) I've had dealings with before, tell them what I'm looking for and tell them there's a £1000 cash bonus for whoever gets me the job, to be paid after my first invoice is settled. Naturally I tell them all it is a competitive situation.

It's amazing how much the level of service improves and it works every time. From then on you nearly always have a hold over that agent as well, because invariably the seem to forget to tell their boss or the taxman about the bonus.

The Lone Gunman
15th August 2006, 10:08
Not these days. I got out in 2002 when rates got so low it wasn't worth getting out of bed. Now I write about IT and tech, including writing for Contractor UK.

This question is tied to CUK's front page for tomorrow. I'll be writing a piece on the idea, perhaps using some of your comments. I'm trying to find an agent that does this - if he/she exists.

It all started with http://www.recruitermagazine.co.uk/Articles/331464/Filmstar+service.html
in Recruiter magazine.I am repeating what others have said I think. This has been my experience.

I believe you are starting from the wrong stand point.
We do not employ agents in the same way models, sports and pop stars do.
They sign contracts with agents who then find them work. Their agents do a lot of the negotiation and their agents take a cut of all their income.
That relationship does not exist in the IT (and other fields) contractor world.
The agents in our business are more like introduction businesses and they work for the clients.
Very few agents in our business build long term relationships with us. They are looking for a body to fill a gig. Once that gig is over then so is the relationship. The agents are not interested in doing the leg work looking for our next gig. If we are lucky then they will still have our details and will contact us when something suitable comes along but they will not actively find work specifically with us in mind.
The agents in our business are also very selfish. I have had successive contracts with the same agency but have had to do all the leg work of getting details to individual agents. They work for the same company, but keep "thier" contractors hidden from the other agents. I was finishing one job and the agent told me he knew of nothing suitable. I saw a post on jobserve that seemed suitable so I contacted the agent. He thought I sounded OK so asked me for my details. I then found out he was with the same agency I was about to leave but had no record of me on his database and the other guy had no record of this vacancy.
I have had other agents who were a lot better than that too.

GreenerGrass
15th August 2006, 11:41
When I was with Best in 2001 I used to get taken out for a pub lunch about once every 6 months, which cost about the same as their % cut for one hour of my work. And he had the nerve to say "we're good to you aren't we?".
Still thats more than most agencies do for you.

I once got given an invoice by mistake (someone picked it up from the fax machine as it had my name on it) which showed their true cut was about 5% more than they had claimed.

Cowboy Bob
15th August 2006, 12:12
When I was with Best in 2001 I used to get taken out for a pub lunch about once every 6 months, which cost about the same as their % cut for one hour of my work. And he had the nerve to say "we're good to you aren't we?".
Still thats more than most agencies do for you.

I once got given an invoice by mistake (someone picked it up from the fax machine as it had my name on it) which showed their true cut was about 5% more than they had claimed.

Mr Anderson?

GreenerGrass
15th August 2006, 12:21
Mr Anderson?

Who me or the agent? Neither in any case. Maybe they all get given the same cheesy lines to recite.

hyperD
15th August 2006, 16:40
Mr Anderson?
http://www.billmon.org/archives/agent%20smith.gif

"Mr Anderson?"

expat
16th August 2006, 09:11
IT Contracting "Agents" are not agents, they're brokers. And their fee is paid by the client, who is therefore their customer.

I think the practical difference is that in sports and showbiz the contractor gets one agent (and pays them) and the client will deal with any agent that's got the goods; whereas in IT the client gets an agent or two (and pays them), so it's the contractor that has to deal with any agent that's got the goods.

I.e. in sports what's on sale is the sportsman, and the club is a buyer; in IT it's the job, and the contractor is the buyer.

The Lone Gunman
16th August 2006, 09:24
IT Contracting "Agents" are not agents, they're brokers. And their fee is paid by the client, who is therefore their customer.

I think the practical difference is that in sports and showbiz the contractor gets one agent (and pays them) and the client will deal with any agent that's got the goods; whereas in IT the client gets an agent or two (and pays them), so it's the contractor that has to deal with any agent that's got the goods.

I.e. in sports what's on sale is the sportsman, and the club is a buyer; in IT it's the job, and the contractor is the buyer.Bloody hell expat. That sums it up so nicely.

Torran
16th August 2006, 10:31
Fame at last for the Prawn and the Monkey :rollin:

http://www.contractoruk.com/002804.html

DimPrawn
16th August 2006, 10:34
Writing on the CUK bulletin board, one contractor with the pen name DimPrawn, put forward his opinion of how contractors relate to agents, "Clients are the supermarkets, agents are the slaughterhouses and we are the cattle."


I thank you. :cool1:

AtW
16th August 2006, 10:37
And agreeing with the commodity theme, Frankco, IT architect for a financial consultancy, said, "The empathy element is often missing in the agent-contractor relationship. That's not a very useful approach in the long run, for companies and contractors both."

Frankco is a permie, innit?

Francko
16th August 2006, 10:44
Frankco is a permie, innit?

Never been. I have a long-term contract with holidays paid which is actually very near to expiration.

The Lone Gunman
16th August 2006, 11:09
Bryan Pickard, SAS business analyst, said of such an agent, "I expect to be best man at their wedding, be godparent to their children, and they to mine. We will exchange birthday cards and Christmas gifts, and support each other when times get tough... of course, in the real world, it is nothing like this."
Would Bryan Pickard be our very own SASguru by any chance?

AtW
16th August 2006, 12:05
I have a long-term contract with holidays paid

LOL!

djfoot
16th August 2006, 13:09
Would Bryan Pickard be our very own SASguru by any chance?

Nope...'tis I....Pseudonym used to protect the guilty....

DimPrawn
16th August 2006, 13:12
Never been. I have a long-term contract with holidays paid which is actually very near to expiration.

Aping your contractor friends Francko?

lORD lUCAN
16th August 2006, 13:15
Would Bryan Pickard be our very own SASguru by any chance?

Excellent ! Sounds like a cross dresser :rollin: Only at the weekend hey Brenda.... :moon:

http://www.tofla.iconbar.com/tofla/contribs/brianp/index.htm

Spartacus
16th August 2006, 13:25
Would Bryan Pickard be our very own SASguru by any chance?
No, I'm Sasguru, errr, Bryan Pickard, errr... :freaky: