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What do recruitment agents do for contractors?

WIN at IT contracting: A FREE guide showing YOU How to get the most out of Recruitment Agent Relationships

Are you a contractor or thinking about starting a contracting business? Are you an IT contractor running your own business already, but don’t quite understand the agent/contractor relationship and how it can be key in business success?

If you have done any research at all in this area you will have come across the concept of a recruitment agent or recruitment consultant. As a contractor, if you can build and maximise your working relationship with recruiters and agents – you can have a very healthy revenue stream. In a series of videos we’ll show you have can best maximise your relationship with contract agents… all for free. At no cost to you the contractor!

Welcome to WIN at IT contracting: A FREE guide showing YOU How to get the most out of Recruitment Agent Relationships. My name is Gethyn Ellis I have been running a SQL Server consulting and training practice for the last ten years. You can check out my website and blog gethynellis.com and feel free to connect with me on twitter @gethyn_ellis and connect with me on LinkedIn – we follow back!


What do recruitment agents do?

Let’s start by answering the question what do recruitment agents do? Remember we are looking at this from a purely contracting perspective. Recruitment agents are used in the recruitment of permanent staff but it works differently in that scenario…In contracting it is a business relationship where by the agent represent the contracting businesses sales teams, granted outsourced to a third party.

In essence contractor recruitment agents match contractors to contractor opportunities, working with clients and customers to help meet their skills requirements and solve problems for the client.
Much like an estate agent matches buyers and sellers or landlord and renters of property. In fact you could say that house sales are similar to permanent recruitment and rentals are more like contracting. With house sales agents get a one-time fee at time of sale, with rentals the agent will likely make a percentage of the monthly rent each month while the property is being rented. We’ll talk about how agents make money in a later post.

Contract recruitment consultants’ source new opportunities, edit and optimise CVs, and even provide pointers to help contractors prepare for initial client meetings  or sometimes called Interviews.

There is a fair chance that you will not be only person being represented by the agent for this role. The agent will try and gather feedback from all contractors they send across for an initial meeting, if the initial contractor is not successful any extra information the agent has for that next contractor going to the meeting will help that contractor prepare. As a contractor you might not enjoy the idea of providing feedback on the initial meeting or interview process, you might feel that you are helping someone else get the job. How much feedback you provide is really up to you. The more you give the better the chance of the next person the agent sends through for a meeting has of being successful… Don’t feel like you’re giving another contractor the opportunity instead of you. The opportunity has gone for you and if you help someone else get the contract then that’s another contract filled. 

I’m usually always happy to provide as much feedback as I can as I have definitely benefited from other people’s feedback going into these meetings. I will also try to document any feedback for my own perspective and use regardless of whether or not I am successful in securing the contract. If the meeting didn’t go well I have a record of why so next time I know where I need to improve my pitch, it’s a learning opportunity.

For me agents and recruiters are my businesses sales force – therefore a key component of business model and keep the cash flow flowing and managing that process with feedback, both ways is quite important to me.

What Recruitment Agents Good At?

Recruiters are sales people and therefore have several skills that beneficial for my business
Identifying sales opportunities
Cold calling
Arranging the contracts and paperwork
Everyone of the agents I have ever worked over the last 10 years has ALWAYS paid on time
They will negotiate any extensions and arrange the paperwork, I usually know if a contract is going to be extended before the agent does. After all I’m much closer to the project, its requirements and delivery status. This puts me in strong position. I can start the negotiating process when I know it’s likely to happen. But agents they will still get all new contracts issued paperwork tied and sorted out. and usually within good time.

That brings us to the end of the first post – answering the question what do recruitment agents do? And the simple answer is they represent my company’s sales force. My name is Gethyn Ellis, check out our website at gethynellis.com follow on twitter @gethyn_ellis and connect with us on LinkedIn too.



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