Trapping Contractors – Recruitment Agency Confessions – | UK Contractor

Trapping Contractors
Trapping Contractors - by an agent

Trapping Contractors


Trapping Contractors – How to hook your contractor.

You have got a contractor a position. Now you must induce him to take it before he gets any other offers. You must also take the juiciest cut you can.

I must make my apologies straight away. I am writing this from the point of view of the recruitment consultant (which I used to be) in order to give contractors an insight into what is behind one of the most important interactions between a contractor and a recruitment consultant.

Agency Dirty Tricks on Contractors
Agency Dirty Tricks on unsuspecting Contractors

I am going to write a series of these articles for the site owner. I placed him twice on contract. He gave me amongst the hardest times I ever had incidentally. This one is about hooking contractors. Here’s how to do it.

Trapping Contractors – Closing the Deal

The scenario is that I’ve just heard from a client that they want a contractor that I sent for interview.

I now need to close the deal!

Some contractors will accept the job and sign up straight away.

Others may have other interviews set up and will want to see how they do at the other interviews before deciding whether to accept this one or not. They may tell you that they have other interviews to go to, or they may not.

Time is of the essence here. Hooking contractors is crucial to a successful agent. You fight hard to find opportunities with clients. You select the right contractors for the job. Then you get them to interview. You convince the client to take them if it is close thing, or they are not sure.

Contract Recruitment agency
Contract Recruitment agency get contractors jobs

Trapping Contractors – Job Not Done

However, the job is not finished. You may still find this juicy morsel ripped from your lips just at the last moment.

That would be awful!

You simply cannot let that happen!

You must close the sale.

The contractor must accept the job and sign the contract ASAP.

Hooking contractors is a must if you are to succeed.

The contractor may tell you on the phone, if say this is a Tuesday, that he will make a decision on Friday (you know he has at least one more interview to go to here and one of them is on Friday).

Hooking Contractors – The Deadline

What you’ve got to say is that the client wants to know one way or other by the close of play today.

This is almost always rubbish. It is the recruitment consultant rather than the client who needs this deal today.

You have, therefore, to corner the contractor this way. You know that he has a bird in the hand and one or two in the bush. So, you have got to force him into a decision between the one in the hand and the others in the bush before the ones in the bush get to be ‘in the hand’ too.

Agency Tricks on contractors
Agency Tricks played on contractors

If it gets to this stage then you might lose it and all your hard work is in vain and you will not get your commission.

Any recruitment consultant who loses a contracting position at this stage should pack it in and go and do something else – like stacking shelves.

Hooking Contractors – Forced Decision

You have now forced the contractor to make a decision. Some contractors may be brave enough to stand firm but they are few and far between. Most of them can’t afford to take the chance that the contract ‘in the hand’ will be gone by the time that they hear whether they have got the other position(s) or not.

Ninety nine times out of a hundred the contractor will accept his predicament. He can’t afford to gamble. He will accept the job.

However, some of them try to be a bit cute. If you send them out the contract, some of them will say that they haven’t received it in the post yet. Even if you fax it over, many of them will not receive phone calls whilst trying to buy time to go to the other interview(s).

Trapping Contractors – Be Prepared

You have to be prepared for this. If you can get to his house within an hour or so it would be well worthwhile to get yourself over there and get him to sign the contract.

Better still, if you can you could convince him to come down to your place of work saying you will buy him a beer or a coffee, so much the better.

If he is not close by you then have to get a courier to get over there with the contract and get it signed.

Devious Agencies
Devious Agencies and their dirty tricks on contractors

Some contractors will say that they are just going out and will be out all day.

Just say to them that the client has a substitute contractor lined up and they will want the contract signed by the end of the day or they will take the other guy.

That usually does it! Hooking contractors is pretty easy.

Hooking Contractors is Easy Peasy

As I’ve said before it is generally like taking candy off of kids. Hooking Contractors is easy. We are trained in these techniques and are perfecting them every day. The contractors are no match for us.

As I’ve said in other articles, I’m now out of the game.

However, hopefully, the insight that I’ve been asked by the proprietor to give to contractors here will prove useful to them when next they are being pressurised to sign up.

Nine times out of ten when the recruitment consultant says that the client is pushing for an answer by the end of the day it is bullsh*t. It is the agency that has put this false deadline down.

Even it were true, we would simply tell the client that you had accepted and if you pulled out later tell the client that the contractor had reneged on the deal.

We don’t let juicy contracts and commissions get away so lightly!



  1. I know we run small businesses and, often our home is a place of business but if an agent turned up at my door step to pressure me into signing a contract I would send them away with a flea in their ear.

    If I say I need to think about a role then that should be respected, quite often you need to look at logistics of a new role as most are away from home

    Most agents I have dealt with seem complete con men, I get really fed up being lied to when looking for a new role

    Maybe they should spend some effort trying to be honest instead of coming up with more and more’techniques’ to trap contractors


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