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    Default How To Avoid the Soul Destroying Agency Based Contract Search

    So once again I am faced with the nightmare process for finding a contract....70% fishing calls, permy roles that agents are struggling to fill, roles clearly not in the locations specified on my CV, etc etc you know the drill....same old conversation repeated over and over again everyday potentially for months

    I have an idea to potentially alleviate these issues and would be interested to get some views or suggestions...or has anyone done or heard of a contractor doing something like this? ...:-

    Leave a message on the pay as you go "job search mobile" directing agents to my linked in profile where the top post has a short transcript of the basic questions repeated over and over. Reassure the agent that you are seriously in the market and that you are doing this to prevent them wasting their time.

    The transcript would go a little something like this :-

    "Two references?" ...
    Available upon/after interview confirmation (but nothing to stop you contacting HR depts in the meantime).
    No names of previous managers will be given untill interview stage is confirmed.
    Explain firmly that there is no compromise on this.

    "Describe your tasks and responsibilities on the last two projects you worked on" ...
    Describe here.

    "What are you looking for in your next project in terms of skills, experience, and responsibilities?"
    Describe here.

    "What are you looking for in your next project in terms of Company/Project size, ethos, working environment etc ?"
    Describe here.

    "What are the locations you are willing to work in?"
    Describe here.

    "What is your rate?"
    Describe previous project rate and or lower/upper limit. If the project role on offer is in the target range then we are more likely to take things further.



    At the bottom of the transcript provide a link to a free online booking service to schedule a call if the role is a good fit considering the above. Explain to the agent here that this is to avoid time wasting and missed calls. the agent will know that when they call it WILL be answered which gives them an incentive to make the effort to book the call and is also a more professional approach. Explain also that ideally the conversation should start with a brief description of the specific role they are working to fill.

  2. #2

    My post count is Majestic

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    Every step you put in the way is going to put an agent off. It might stop all the fishing calls (but I doubt it) but it's also going to put off the one gig that you want. They want to get people in quick and get their money rolling in. If you make them work for it then they are going to just move to the next person, and there are going to be plenty of them.

    I have to say though, finding gigs is what your job as a contractor is. Doing the bit on the client's site is the easy bit. Even permies can do that. You run a business and find work. If you are not up to it I'd question whether contracting is for you. Other professions have their nightmares, think about salesmen, particularly the phone based people or cold callers. They have to trawl through 100's of people before getting a bite. They then make money out of that bite.

    If dealing with agents and cold calls inbetween gigs with the potential to earn 100's of K a year is too much then move over and let someone that wants to do it in
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #3

    Still gathering requirements...


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I have to say though, finding gigs is what your job as a contractor is. Doing the bit on the client's site is the easy bit. Even permies can do that. You run a business and find work. If you are not up to it I'd question whether contracting is for you. Other professions have their nightmares, think about salesmen, particularly the phone based people or cold callers. They have to trawl through 100's of people before getting a bite. They then make money out of that bite.

    If dealing with agents and cold calls inbetween gigs with the potential to earn 100's of K a year is too much then move over and let someone that wants to do it in
    Got to agree here, this is the bad part of being a contractor, but at least you don't get the office politics and all the other crap you get with being a permie, plus you get paid better as a contractor. I know which I would be doing. And how much effort is it take a few calls lasting a few minutes each?

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    I live on CUK

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    Wrong attitude to take -

    Quote Originally Posted by hgllgh View Post
    "Two references?" ...
    Available upon/after interview confirmation (but nothing to stop you contacting HR depts in the meantime).
    No names of previous managers will be given untill interview stage is confirmed.
    Explain firmly that there is no compromise on this.
    Keep them on the phone as long as possible while refusing to give them the "references". Most of them are newbies who are told to phone up and get contacts. If you are feeling especially enlightened do a Simpsons.

    Quote Originally Posted by hgllgh View Post
    "Describe your tasks and responsibilities on the last two projects you worked on" ...
    Describe here.
    This is to see if you have an issue talking to people and explaining what you do.


    Quote Originally Posted by hgllgh View Post
    "What are you looking for in your next project in terms of skills, experience, and responsibilities?"
    Describe here.

    "What are you looking for in your next project in terms of Company/Project size, ethos, working environment etc ?"
    Describe here.

    "What are the locations you are willing to work in?"
    Describe here.

    "What is your rate?"
    Describe previous project rate and or lower/upper limit. If the project role on offer is in the target range then we are more likely to take things further.
    Some people including agents cannot talk straight to the point which is why they are agents.
    "Youíre just a bad memory who doesnít know when to go away" JR

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    You may as well just say "Read my CV" and have all that stuff in there.

    {Some large made up on the spot number)% of getting past agents is to make yourself sound normal and confident in your abilities (as well as answering yes to all their questions about skillset).

  6. #6

    Contractor Among Contractors

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Every step you put in the way is going to put an agent off. It might stop all the fishing calls (but I doubt it) but it's also going to put off the one gig that you want. They want to get people in quick and get their money rolling in. If you make them work for it then they are going to just move to the next person, and there are going to be plenty of them.
    That's the problem.

    Saying that some pimps I've spoken to I've had to say "That's on my CV which I've just sent to you. I assume that's why you've rang me up."

    Pimp: Oh, I've not manged to look at it yet...

    qh
    He had a negative bluety on a quackhandle and was quadraspazzed on a lifeglug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quackhandle View Post
    That's the problem.

    Saying that some pimps I've spoken to I've had to say "That's on my CV which I've just sent to you. I assume that's why you've rang me up."

    Pimp: Oh, I've not manged to look at it yet...

    qh
    Which suggests that phase one is fishing for references.


    OP is wrong; it's a game we've got to play each time we go to market for work, simple as that. "You get me the contract, I'll give you the references over a celebratory drink first week on site" has always worked for me. They never push it further.

    As for the other parts, it's horses for courses and you've got to accept that each gig may want a different part of your skillset.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

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    Quote Originally Posted by doconline View Post
    Got to agree here, this is the bad part of being a contractor, but at least you don't get the office politics and all the other crap you get with being a permie, plus you get paid better as a contractor. I know which I would be doing. And how much effort is it take a few calls lasting a few minutes each?
    fair comment ... but its not just a few calls lasting a few munites is it ... its all day long, repeating the same conversation by and large, and often lasting for 10 munites or so. How many phone calls are lost by agents calling when you are on the phone to another agent? My solution addresses all of these problems....

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    Quote Originally Posted by hgllgh View Post
    fair comment ... but its not just a few calls lasting a few munites is it ... its all day long, repeating the same conversation by and large, and often lasting for 10 munites or so. How many phone calls are lost by agents calling when you are on the phone to another agent? My solution addresses all of these problems....
    If they really have a role you will get an email or they will leave a voice message.
    "Youíre just a bad memory who doesnít know when to go away" JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by hgllgh View Post
    fair comment ... but its not just a few calls lasting a few munites is it ... its all day long, repeating the same conversation by and large, and often lasting for 10 munites or so. How many phone calls are lost by agents calling when you are on the phone to another agent? My solution addresses all of these problems....
    Not really a solution though, as others have already discussed, is it?

    Ways around are to build up a network and only work with certain agents.
    This is easier if you are a specialist obviously.

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