Abolish Recruitment Agencies – The idea that would abolish agencies

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Abolish Agencies
Abolish Agencies - here's an idea
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The idea that would abolish recruitment agencies.

Abolish Recruitment Agencies

Could contractors help to abolish recruitment agencies?

I was looking at the response to an article that we put up recently. It was “Social Networking Sites will kill agencies stone dead”.

People have predicted the demise of agencies several times, as it has of IT Contractors. Yet we are both still here operating healthily.

However, the responses to the article set me thinking. Could we abolish agencies?

Some pointed out weaknesses with the concept and the responders didn’t seem to think it would work.

Going Direct

I’ve always wondered why client companies don’t go more to IT Contractors that they have on their site, especially the better ones, and ask them if they know anybody good.

After all, the contractors that they know are likely to have the same skills as they have. Many of them the same skills that they need at the site.

I used to take IT contractors on recommendation when I was a Systems Manager and Chief Information Officer.

I think client companies don’t do more of this is that they think people will just get jobs for their mates.

To a certain extent this is true. But generally they recommend only the ones that are good – or at least OK and who wouldn’t let their recommendation down.

I also think it is a status thing too.

They would rather do business with an agency who they see as on the same level as themselves rather than deal with an IT contractor who they see as of lower status than themselves.

Social Networking for Contractors

But what if their was a social and business networking services just for Contractors? Would that help abolish agencies?

IPSE is this to a certain extent and has a contracts portal. However, it is only for those who are members of IPSE and who buy the package and pay the price of membership. That is perhaps less than 5% of the contractor community.

Recommended Contractors

What I’m thinking about is that IT Contractors would register on the site and then put a list of contractors that they would recommend (who would have to sign up to the site).

Clients could see a summary of their skills and experience but not the full CV.

I was thinking, first of all, that the contractor recommending the contractor who got an interview and got the job would then share some commission with the website. However, I don’t how easy that would be to track.

If the client company failed to send the money would the IT contractor who just got the job bother to update the site saying that he or she had got the job and then trigger an invoice which would would then have to be tracked?

Other Scenarios

It might just be a case that the client pays a small fee to get the CV and there is a sharing of commission between the contractor who is the recommender and the client.

Another scenario is that the client has to contact the recommending contractor via the site asking for details of the contractors he is recommending.

The contractor will then follow progress and trigger the charging of the client for taking on the recommended contractor(s).

Better for Everybody

It would suit everybody.

The client would just pay a one-off fee. That’s unless we decided to go the recurring income route instead of having to pay every week ad infinitum.

They would also get contractors who are recommended.

Gravitate to Quality

Of course there would be some contractors who would put up anybody they knew. However, clients would gradually gravitate towards the contractors who recommended good contractors to them. Those recommending good contractors would succeed whereas the others failed.

Indeed clients could leave comments on the site (and give marks) about the quality of contractor recommended by Recommending Contractors.

It would suit the contractors who got work through this route as they could negotiate a better rate as it is just a one-off fee that the client has to pay.

Mini Agents

So, in the end the IT contractors who work in the business would become mini-agents themselves. So the money would stay in the industry rather than being siphoned off by agents who add no great value.

I’m sure that agencies would still exist. You wouldn’t abolish agencies altogether but they would get a smaller market share.

Gradually, the recommending Contractors who recommended good contractors would take the place of the agencies as more and more clients came to get more and more contractors from them.

So, what do you think? Would this idea work? Would it abolish recruitment agencies or, at least, diminish the market?

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