Could working with an agent be beneficial

Working with agentVariety is the spice of life. It’s also one of the main draws of becoming a contractor. As well as having the freedom to work with a vast range of clients, you can take control of your own career progression and develop specific skills.

When securing contract work you also have a variety of avenues to explore. Jobs boards, direct applications, networking, and online marketing are just some of the routes available.

With an estimated 80% of contract work sourced via agencies, finding and securing work through a recruiter remains the most popular way to find contracts. But what benefits can be enjoyed by working with an agent?

Access to more opportunities

As the saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, and this sentiment is applicable across all markets. Recruitment agencies make their living by being well-connected, ensuring that contractors can find work and companies can find the talent they need to progress.

Big name and specialist recruiters have contacts that most independent contractors can only dream of. By signing up to an agency, you too can enjoy their access to the employers and opportunities so highly prized throughout your industry.

Access to these opportunities isn’t free, however. Most recruitment agencies charge a fee for their services. Many agency fees are based on the value of a contract. As the value of the contract increases so too does the percentage fee. For high-end, niche or specialist positions attracting lucrative pay, recruitment agencies can charge as much as 30% commission.

Positions handpicked for you

Good recruitment agencies act like a matchmaking service for their clients. As a contractor, they will work with you directly to ascertain what skills and experience you have. This information is then used to match you to the most suitable positions.

As you may have experienced when finding your own contract work opportunities, qualifying leads is a particularly long and arduous process. Your recruitment agent will do all this for you to ensure you’re only put forward for the roles you want and are qualified for.

Sales made simple

Perfecting your sales approach for optimum success is a topic we’ve covered in-depth across our blog – take our advice about developing a marketing plan, for example. By working with an agent the sales and marketing process is simplified, leaving you to sit back, relax and let the opportunities flood in. Although you shouldn’t rely solely on agency help, recruiters take much of the hard work out of sales and negotiation.

It’s not the only aspect of contracting made easy by working with an agent, as Contractor Calculator explains:

“The biggest risk of contracting directly with the client is getting paid. Agencies are in the business of providing people to do a job, and paying them, generally, on a time basis at the end of each week (or month) right on the nail, because that’s what their workers expect. Clients, who are generally large corporations or public sector departments, are used to paying suppliers, who are generally other companies, as and when it suits them. Many large businesses in the UK think it’s good financial management not to pay suppliers until the supplier starts making a fuss. This is also supposed to impress shareholders, with the company’s management showing shareholders how tough they are in protecting company money.”

The time savings involved when working with an agent means many contractors have the luxury of reducing admin and increasing working hours.

Like agents, we aim to make the life of a contractor hassle-free and profitable. Outsourcing your accounting has many benefits, and with Shield Accountancy, you can work more confidently and consistently as a contractor.