IT Contractors can face a difficult task in finding a contract that suits their experience. Important factors such as role suitability, length of contract, location flexibility and payment terms all need to be assessed. Even if the contractor has the relevant experience for the role, this must be apparent by looking at the contractors resume. When a contractor is selected for an interview, whether face-to-face, via Skype or over the phone, the contractor must make sure that the experience requirements for the role are demonstrated successfully.
In some situations, a contract role is advertised by a contract agency that has exclusive representation with the company that has the vacancy; whereas more often the same vacancy will be advertised by at least three contract agencies. Many companies have a pool of selected contract agencies and some companies tie down the percentage markup that the contracting agency can add on to the advertised rate, which can vary from around 5% to 25%.
From the contractors point of view, they would like to work with a contract agent that charges the minimum markup, pays invoices on a weekly basis and helps the contractor with resume and interview preparation, however not all contract agencies are like this.
Another factor that is important to a contractor, is the knowledge of IT topics by the contracting agency. It is the agency that selects which contractors should be put forward to the companies and an agency with little knowledge of the specified role may just use keywords to select candidates. Unfortunately, this method can miss the best candidates that have used alternative terms to the standard keywords. It is important for the employment consultant to have a solid idea of the type of terms and words used in the industry and work for the new position.
Some contract agencies charge a markup of 25% yet still only pay monthly invoices on a 30-day basis, which means the contractor when starting work with a company will be paid two months later. Such contract agents do this to ensure that they get paid first by the company before they pay the contractor. On the other hand, where a contract agency business is properly financed, they can charge a smaller percentage and pay the contractors on a weekly basis.
Any contractor should bear in mind, that many contract agencies have a greater allegiance to the companies they represent than to the contractors themselves and such contract agencies should be avoided.
Contractors should keep a record of the contractor agencies that they have worked through so that when a vacancy is advertised by a number of different agencies, the contractor will know which one to choose to go through to be represented. Contractor forums and blogs should also be perused so that the choice can be easily made.
IT contractors can upload their resumes to job boards and to selected contract agencies directly in order to improve the chances of being put forward for a role.
This is a helpful site for recruitment and jobs.
In conclusion, IT contractors should tread carefully when selecting a contractor agency to represent them. You should be interviewing them as much as they question you.