Re: Did I overreact? (Recruiting firms)

Subject: Re: Did I overreact? (Recruiting firms)
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 14:58:24 -0400

I wrote:
> I'm obliged to shop these offers (for the same gig) for the best
> return. Loyalty doesn't figure much here -- not because I lack it
> but because the system (which I didn't create) doesn't value it.
> It's designed to be cutthroat. Must I pursue the opportunity *only*
> through the guy who *happened* to contacted [sic] me first? Sorry,
> there's no rule like that.

I should add that an agency will often do both kinds of recruiting
-- the fee-based (usually permanent hire) _and_ job-shopping
contract varieties. That means they might bring their expectations
from the fee-based side to the contract side, in terms of loyalty stuff.

But that's bogus since, under the contract placements, the agency
and I are competing for the same dollars. If another agency will
take a smaller carve-out and give me more, the first agency needs to
sharpen its pencil, not lock me in. More, a fee-based placement
will arrive with more or less the same terms regardless who it comes
through, so there's not much reason to shop around anyhow.

I just came off a contract gig that was pitched to me by five
agencies of varying size, and the offered rate was higher in
proportion to the size of the agency. I suppose that's partly
because smaller outfits have a smaller cost base, but it's also
because they draw less of a distinction between the two types of
placements they do. The bigger outfits are more likely to call a
spade a spade and leave their egos out of it when placing contract
positions. For contract work -- all else equal -- look to the
bigger, hipper agencies. They talk more like, "So what would you
need to consider this one, Lou?" and "I think I can make room for
that." The little fish: "This is the rate." Like it came from God
or something.

Just to show how warped the contract placement biz can be, and why
you've got to get your brain around it or play the fool: sometimes
the guy offering the least in the field (again, for the same gig) is
coming in so low because he plans to subcontract from one of the
other players. Fall into this one and you are flat leaving money on
the table. It's a marketplace. Informed consumers win, others lose.

I wish it were still about professionalism and loyalty, I really do.
For undifferentiated contract placements, it ain't.

The only time it makes sense to take a less favorable rate is if the
agency can keep you busy, gig to gig. But that's almost impossible
to know going-in, so it's in the realm of personal loyalty.
Whatever you do -- for contract work -- don't sign anything that
says you can't do business with other agencies, or you'll wake-up to
find you're a sharecropper. Respectable outfits won't ask you to.


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RE: Did I overreact? (Recruiting firms): From: Diana Ost
Re: Did I overreact? (Recruiting firms): From: Lou Quillio

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