Improve Cooperation between Contractors & Agents is by Gerry McLaughlin.
Agents and Contractors are in the same boat. So, here we suggest six ways in which we could improve cooperation between contractors and agents.
1. Create an industry standard contract
that would take all contractors outside IR35. One can achieve this by agreement between the representatives of contractors and agents
2. Amend the clause in the contract
that states that contractors cannot approach the client for new work whilst under contract to the agency. This, however, prevents contractors becoming small businesses.
I’m sure that the contract can be more creative in ensuring it preserves the rights of both parties whilst allowing the contractor to propose new business
3. Dispose of the total exclusion part of the contract
where contractors cannot work for the same client for up to a year after the end of the contract.
No one is suggesting, however, that contracts should allow contractors to go direct to the agency’s clients after a three-month initial contract.
However, you could achieve an improvement in cooperation if the clause had a more narrow definition. So, if a contractor manages to find work on another project and with another department or manager, there’s no reason that this should be prohibited by the existing contract.
This is especially as the existing contract had terminated by this stage, except for the exclusion clause.
An alternative, therfefore, might be to cut this exclusion clause to an industry standard three months.
4. Agencies should stop phoning contractors
pretending that they have a job for them just to spam contacts from them. They do this by asking for references or who their last bosses were. They then contact the references and bosses for their own benefit.
This is not part of the profession. It is lying. Furthermore, it is deceitful, hurtful and cruel and it must stop. This is one of the main ways that rogue agents manage to lose contractor’s respect for the IT recruitment profession.
So, if agents want contact details, the way to do it is to be upfront about it. Say that they will reward the contractor if the agency manages to get any business from the contacts given to them.
They should also put in place some mechanism that allows the contractor to track this. The suspicion would be that this promise would be quickly forgotten if the contractor never found out about it. This would improve cooperation.
5. Every agency should be upfront about its margins.
This would give contractors greater confidence that the agent was on their side and was trying to get as good a rate as they can for them. It would improve cooperation.
They would both be on the same side. Contractors should not then use leverage to get the rate reduced once they had passed the interview, or after they had started the job
6. Agencies should have a stated policy about renewals.
Contractors don’t understand why an agency should get a percentage of any increase on top of the rate that they had been getting, just for negotiating a renewal.
There is no need to create an industry standard for this.
All that needs happen is that agencies state up front what their policy on renewals is. Contractors can take decisions based on that.