Potential first contracting role - looking for advice Potential first contracting role - looking for advice
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  1. #1

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    Default Potential first contracting role - looking for advice

    I've been approached by an agent about a role, and it's certainly one I'm interested in, but this will be my first time contracting and wanted to get some advice about next steps.

    The set up is as follows:

    Me --> Agent --> Contracting Firm --> End Client

    So far I've had discussions with the agent, and a telephone interview with the contracting firm. Their looking to get me on the phone with the end client sometime this week.

    My questions are around what to discuss with who.

    What should I be asking the end client, and what should I reserve for the agent?

    I would assume we discuss contract terms and conditions with agent, payment schedules / contract / working hours etc.

    Personally from the client, I would like to know the team set up, expected responsibilities, details of the project.

    Am I going to be asking to many questions, and look out of my depth, or am I right to want to gauge the role in detail?

    Hoping for any kind of advice you have, as this kind of multi-player negotiation is a bit out of my experience.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodger View Post
    I've been approached by an agent about a role, and it's certainly one I'm interested in, but this will be my first time contracting and wanted to get some advice about next steps.

    The set up is as follows:

    Me --> Agent --> Contracting Firm --> End Client
    No. Me-->LTD Co.-->Agent-->Contracting Firm-->End Client

    Pedantic point but you need to understand the relationships of you and your LTD clearly which will help you going forward, not least with IR35.
    So far I've had discussions with the agent, and a telephone interview with the contracting firm. Their looking to get me on the phone with the end client sometime this week.
    They're
    I would assume we discuss contract terms and conditions with agent, payment schedules / contract / working hours etc.
    It shouldn't be an assumption. The agent is the only person with which you have a contractual agreement. Anyone else up the chain is the agents client.
    Personally from the client, I would like to know the team set up, expected responsibilities, details of the project.

    Am I going to be asking to many questions, and look out of my depth, or am I right to want to gauge the role in detail?
    There is a balance here. Interviews for contracting differ to perm. At the end of the day we contract to get on site and start invoicing. When you are looking for your second gig with no income coming in grilling the clients for information becomes a bit irrelevant to an extent. You don't want to land with an awful gig yes, but I'd be surprised in most cases you have enough choice on the table to be picky.
    Hoping for any kind of advice you have, as this kind of multi-player negotiation is a bit out of my experience.
    The only negotiation is with the agent around the contract.

    With contracting you are brought in to do a very specific task so the client will (should) clearly explain what you will be doing in an effort to find if you are the right person for that task. They won't be looking to see if you are a good person and a long term asset for the business. They'll ask you questions about your past experience and it should be driven by them. You'll probably get the chance to ask questions at the end, which you probably won't need to do if they've done their job properly.

    The client's client is just a cursory meeting to see if your face fits. Very unlikely they'll ask anything technical so should be short and sweet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    No. Me-->LTD Co.-->Agent-->Contracting Firm-->End Client

    Pedantic point but you need to understand the relationships of you and your LTD clearly which will help you going forward, not least with IR35.
    Good point, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    The client's client is just a cursory meeting to see if your face fits. Very unlikely they'll ask anything technical so should be short and sweet.
    So in this scenario I should consider the contracting firm the client, and everyone downstream is their client? That clears things up a little, and I did indeed get an experience and technical ability grilling from them.


    Lastly, the description states 6 months, with (so the agent says) a very high likelihood of extension. I assume I should take this with a very large pinch of salt? Although given the type of work, I can't see any project of this size taking less than 6 months.

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    Your contract is only as long as your notice period.
    But...
    Notice periods are irrelevant to us. They can withdraw work and we don't get paid regardless of notice.

    The best idea of duration will be when you get on site and get an idea of the state of the budget and work left to do. Any promises of extensions at the point isn't worth a jot.

    It can obviously be different to all that but if you expect the minimum/worst you won't get caught out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodger View Post


    Lastly, the description states 6 months,
    Translates as "It's about two month's work but I've conned the client into agreeing to pay me for 24 weeks of billable effort"...

    with (so the agent says) a very high likelihood of extension.
    "...but I need to make it sound good for potential contractors or they won't apply".

    Chances are you're out as soon as the work is done or the budget expires.
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    Doesn't always work that way. Sometimes clients get to like a contractor and find more projects for him to be involved with.

    14 years and counting... (not full time).
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAllThere View Post
    Doesn't always work that way. Sometimes clients get to like a contractor and find more projects for him to be involved with.

    14 years and counting... (not full time).
    Yeah but the question was about proper contracting, not disguised permie'ing.
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