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  1. #21

    Fingers like lightning

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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    That's a good way to miss a potential contract when an extension doesn't come through.

    Just learn to cut agents of on the phone.
    Not really, as the part about giving out your existing (new) number to all and sundry can happen about 2-3 weeks prior to your contract ending. If an extension to that contract comes through, great. You rinse and repeat with a new number to prevent unwanted calls. If an extension doesn't come through, well, your number is now in the hands of other agents who can potentially get you new work.

    Let's face it, though. Having an agent call you about a "great role" when you're 2 months into a 6 month gig (that you have every reason will at least last the full 6 months) isn't helpful as you're unlikely to start negotiating about a new contract 4 months into the future, no?

    I can cut agents off the phone incredibly easily, but it's even easier if you don't have to even take the call in the first place. (And you almost always have to take the call since so many of them change their numbers so frequently, or withhold them when they call you).
    Last edited by billybiro; 16th March 2017 at 07:52.

  2. #22

    Fingers like lightning

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    Quote Originally Posted by vwdan View Post
    Well that sounds very business like.
    Yeah, about as "business-like" as the recruitment industry.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I must admit I find this aggressive stance towards agents a bit bemusing. They are a necessary evil but they are key to me being a contractor so it's just about playing the game. That said I don't get spammed by them so maybe I've had an easier time of it. I don't get why people would hate someone ringing them up offering them work though. 99 times out of 100 it comes to nothing but that one time it lands me a gig that I can bill 10's of K for. Is that not worth a bit of hassle? Would you rather they didn't?

    I understand what they do and why they do it so can't blame them for calling me while in contract and a couple of phone calls from time to time won't kill me. What I do is ask them a couple of questions about the gig to see if I know anyone that might be able to do it. If not I advise I can't help them at this time and ask for them to drop me an email and I'll send them my updated CV. I never do but I store the agent's mail away. Come bench time I go back through every mail I've got and send them my CV saying I'm available and forget about it.

    Takes next to no time, no skin of my nose and one day it will pay dividends (literally) keeping in touch.

    Don't be a hater, play them at their game and make them work for you I'd say.
    There's really no aggression here. This is simply taking control and dealing with agents, which I completely understand and agree are a "necessary evil", on YOUR terms and not on the agent's terms. It's exactly as you've said, it's "playing the game" and doing so in a way that ensures YOU get what YOU want.

    If I'm 2 months into a 6 month gig, I don't want nor need an agent phoning me, speculatively, about a role that they may or may not have and for which I may or may not be suitable. I'm already in a contract that I'm happy with and am unavailable and off the market for the next 4 months.

    Now, if the industry worked whereby an agent could arrange work in advance for me now, that would be guaranteed to be starting in 4 months time, I'd happily be taking their calls all day long, but as we all know, contracting doesn't work like that. So when I'm in a contract, the only agent I might ever need to speak to is the one who got me my current gig and the one who effectively pays my invoices.

    Once that gig is finished, or is very close to finishing (i.e. 2-3 weeks before the end of the gig - about the most amount of time you can arrange a contract for in advance) - THEN I'll give my new number out to whomever wants it as I very much am looking for new work and will happily talk to anyone who can potentially provide that to me.

    Again, there's no aggression or animosity here. This is simply best practice for me and my business to allow me to conduct business without unwelcome and unneeded distractions.

    Do you happily talk to all the PPI cold callers, too?

  4. #24

    Double Godlike!


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    Everyone has their own strategy. That is something useful I have learnt from this site

    If you are a successful contractor, then who can really tell you that you are "doing it all wrong".

  5. #25

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by billybiro View Post
    You shouldn't even be getting pestered by ANY agencies when you're in a gig.

    Always use a PAYG mobile phone SIM card and bin it after you've secured a gig. Get a new one, with a new number and give that new number ONLY to the agent for whom you're currently contracted, whilst the contract is in force. Once the contract expires, you can give that number to all other agencies (i.e. put it on your CV, LinkedIn etc.) until you secure a new role. At that point, you rinse and repeat.

    You'll never be bothered by an agent when you're "unavailable" ever again!
    I thought you were clearly joking here, but from your other comments I'm not so sure :P

    Personally I find it easier just to not answer my phone to unknown numbers when I'm not looking, then checking voicemail if they leave - and calling back if it was a non recruiter.

    For recruiters I tend to ignore those phone messages when I'm not looking, most send an email to say they called. I always reply to those emails politely saying thanks, but I'm not looking right now, and letting them know when I'll next be looking.

    So far I'm not getting overwhelmed with recruiter spam so it's not really a big deal!

    EDIT:
    Also it's pretty easy on iOS to block numbers if you are getting repeatedly spammed.
    Last edited by TheNewGuy; 16th March 2017 at 09:24.

  6. #26

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    You could waste their time even more and let them connect to your real one
    Savage 😂

  7. #27

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I must admit I find this aggressive stance towards agents a bit bemusing. They are a necessary evil but they are key to me being a contractor so it's just about playing the game. That said I don't get spammed by them so maybe I've had an easier time of it. I don't get why people would hate someone ringing them up offering them work though. 99 times out of 100 it comes to nothing but that one time it lands me a gig that I can bill 10's of K for. Is that not worth a bit of hassle? Would you rather they didn't?

    I understand what they do and why they do it so can't blame them for calling me while in contract and a couple of phone calls from time to time won't kill me. What I do is ask them a couple of questions about the gig to see if I know anyone that might be able to do it. If not I advise I can't help them at this time and ask for them to drop me an email and I'll send them my updated CV. I never do but I store the agent's mail away. Come bench time I go back through every mail I've got and send them my CV saying I'm available and forget about it.

    Takes next to no time, no skin of my nose and one day it will pay dividends (literally) keeping in touch.

    Don't be a hater, play them at their game and make them work for you I'd say.
    I didn't mean to suggest I have an aggressive stance towards recruiters. I do respect the job they do and don't mind paying them to do it - if I didn't I'd just not use them right!

    I'd prefer to protect myself from the more nefarious ones though, and from them harvesting my details to spam my old companies.

    I'm finding after a while contracting you get a pretty good feel of who the good/bad recruiters/agencies are, so that helps.

  8. #28

    My post count is Majestic

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewGuy View Post
    I didn't mean to suggest I have an aggressive stance towards recruiters. I do respect the job they do and don't mind paying them to do it - if I didn't I'd just not use them right!
    You don't pay them, they pay you.

    I'd prefer to protect myself from the more nefarious ones though, and from them harvesting my details to spam my old clients.
    FTFY

    /pedantmode
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  9. #29

    Nervous Newbie


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    You don't pay them, they pay you.
    I guess so, still feels like I'm paying them their cut, not the client 😝

  10. #30

    Godlike


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNewGuy View Post
    I guess so, still feels like I'm paying them their cut, not the client 😝
    Only feels that way once you've got an extension to me.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

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