Thursday, 15 March 2018

Why contractors need recruitment agents?

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 and feel free to connect with me on twitter and LinkedIn – we follow back J
In this short video we will discuss why IT contractors need recruitment agents

In this short post and video we will discuss why IT contractors need recruitment agents

Why Contractors need Recruitment Agents?

Any business needs a sales team. If you are contractor running a small business you can try and do the sales work yourself, when it comes to sales you have a few options or combination of options for trying to do this yourself some of the tasks include:

Inbound marketing - blogs, social media
Networking - networking events and conferences
Cold calling - picking up the phone and phoning people to talk about their requirements

Inbound marketing and Networking I quite enjoy. Cold calling though is not for so using an agent who will do the bulk of the cold calling for you suits me just fine.

There is a really great article over on Contractor Calculator that discusses the pros and cons of using an agent to secure contract work and I have already touched on the idea of making sales directly with the end client. ( ). The article suggests that while it may appear you can earn more money by ‘cutting out the middle man’ the agent in this case and doing all the sales work yourself, the reality is the work involved in terms of time and effort that would go into making the sales yourself is not as cost effective as using an agent. 

You will very likely make more money – have billing clients for longer periods without contract gaps if you outsource the sales process and use an agent. You mileage may vary but this is what I have found too over the years. Using agents has minimised gaps in billable days. 

Lots of entrepreneurs have stated that when  building a successful business, surround yourself with people who love doing all the things that you don’t enjoy and some sales tasks, particularly cold calling I definitely don’t enjoy. They also say that Sales is key to any business survival so if you’re an IT contractor agents can be key to that sales process and your business success.

What recruiters are not

They are not technical experts or SMEs in technology.  They are sales people. Their job is to send suitably qualified people who can fulfill a requirement, i.e. solve a problem (first rule of sales) for their client. His or her skill is finding someone to help meet the end users requirement.  Your job as a IT Contractor, if you want to best utilise an agent as part of your sales team is to make it easy to demonstrate that you have the skills needed to solve the problem. This makes it easy for the agent to put you in front on the client…

Your CV needs to be spot on and targeted for the role – otherwise what chance does the recruiter have in getting you in front of the client? Which is the aim of the game. You need to help the agent as much as possible by providing them with a tailored targeted sales brochure. Also called a CV.

Somethings else to consider, it’s also not the job to get the contractor the best rate. The best situation for a recruiter to maximise their revenue is over sell the rate for the service to the client and pay the contractor the as little as possible thus making their margin as big as possible. That’s their end goal.
As long you go in with your eyes open and understand that it’ll help with the whole process.

Remember you can negotiate this is a business transaction…and you can always say no. An agent would rather have the deal done than the contract still sat on the table – if you don’t agree to the deal – they have to find someone else and a 15% margin is better than a 0% margin. If the agent finds someone for a contract and the margins work out for everyone – it’s a win win.

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