The advantages & disadvantages of contractors getting a contract via a recruitment company?

By admin | Comments: 0 | September 29, 2016

Contracting through a recruitment company is, in my opinion, where everyone who contracts makes their start. It’s got its ups and its downs, but remember contracting is about doing what works for you and what’s working for others might not suit you, it’s the business world remember.

Finding a contract can be a daunting thing, but the great thing about recruitment agencies is they’re working for you, well, to an extent, if you have the skills, they have a client that needs someone, simple. Contracting through a recruitment company has some time advantages for us clock watchers, they have spent months or years in most cases building up their rapport with the client, they’ve done the sell to them they’ve placed a few dozen contractors with their client, they know their client, in this situation, it’s just down to the contractor to show up for the interview and do the final sell, make the recruiter proud! Recruitment companies have access to the hidden job market, what on earth is that? Well, a client has the need for someone but perhaps not urgently, the recruiter keeps an eye out and then sells you to the client, the jobs not been advertised but you’re being considered for it, this doesn’t happen straight away, it happens when you’ve built up your rapport with the recruitment company, that’s one to bare in mind. The other advantages of using a recruitment company is the admin tends to be done for you, most recruitment companies these days only requiring you to fill in the timesheet, with self-billing (auto generated invoices) making their way into your inbox, no chasing up of invoices, the recruitment company will bankroll your contract, more than likely, making sure that your fees are paid on time with consistency. What’s not to like, they’re doing the leg work getting you the job, their sending you your invoices, paying you and maybe even taking you out for a drink every now and again, it’s great right!

There aren’t many disadvantages to taking a contract through a recruitment company, but as with everything, it’s about weighing up the options to see what works best for you. So your rate may be lower, the recruitment company are taking a cut, nine times out of ten you won’t know what that is, so for most people it’s neither here nor there. You’re technically representing the recruitment company, so it’s not just your reputation you have to look out for, though as IT professionals and consultants, we are all professional, right? You don’t really have a say in what goes into your contract, which is with the recruitment company, this tends not to bother some people, but it’s that element of control, I’m hearing whispers of tax laws, but that’s another article! The last disadvantage I would like to make note of is, the recruitment company is the middle man, they’re acting firstly in their best interests, then their clients, then yours, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing after all, if you’re the right person for the job and the client likes you, you’re the key to the door.

To reflect, working through a recruitment company does suit the vast majority of IT contractors, it’s little admin for still quite a handsome reward, though I do recognize that everyone is different and their needs differ. If you’re just starting out in the world of IT contracting, it can be a big scary place, the blanket of permanent employment isn’t there, but with the help and guidance of a recruitment company, you’ll soon be on the right path, anyone who comes to me saying they’d love to be an IT contractor, this is what my advice would be, trust a recruitment company to help build your freelance reputation!


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