3 top tips for getting the best out of your recruitment agency as a contractor
It’s natural for you to want as much certainty and control over your assignment as possible.
That’s part of the reason you decided to become a contractor in the first place, after all.
But where this isn't possible, the relationship with your agency is vital. Having a positive working relationship with your recruiter can really help you know what your potential next contracting jobs could be and, more importantly, when they will start.
Here are three simple ways you can make sure you reap the benefits of working with a contract specialist recruiter or agency.
1. Remember: Your recruiter knows you and wants you to be happy and working
There is a myth amongst contractors that if you want to secure your next role whilst you are still working on an assignment, you should talk to another recruiter.
This simply isn’t necessary.
The role of your recruiter is to ensure you are working - be that extending your current assignment, planning for a future role or even finding something new because the project you are on isn’t working out the way you had expected. Whatever the situation, they want to find you your next position.
You can use your recruiter to gather more information about your current assignment. Is it likely to be extended? Is there anything that can be done to improve the environment, workload, project or relationship with the client if it’s not what you expected?
If none of these are viable options, then it is definitely time to talk to your recruitment consultant about restarting your job search - it’s likely that they will already have a few roles in mind that you’d be suitable for!
There are multiple benefits of using your current agency:
- They know you, your skill set, background, rates etc. meaning there is less back and forth.
- When approaching the market, they are able to sell you in the strongest possible light as they can give feedback on your most recent contracting jobs and explain why they are choosing to represent you again.
- They can help manage your departure from your current contract, especially if this is premature, to ensure you have the best possible relationship with your current client.
All of these will hopefully speed up how quickly and smoothly you will secure your next and future contracts.
2. Build a relationship with them
The foundation of any relationship is honesty, so the first bit of advice is to let your recruiter know what you want, what you like and what's most important in your job search.
The more they know and understand about your motivators, the better chance they have of finding you the perfect role.
Always remember: It's OK to say no. If it's the wrong location, type of assignment or salary - just say so!
Another key point is to regularly speak with your agency or recruiter. They know that your time is precious, especially when looking for a new role or working on an existing assignment, but it’s important to keep them up-to-date with your career.
The more they know about what you are doing, the more they will understand about your career goals. When it comes to looking for new contracting jobs, this will mean their assistance with your search is more seamless.
3. Be realistic
It is so important to consider the current situation when looking for your next assignment. This is all the more crucial to remember at the moment!
Speak to your consultant about current market conditions, and ask questions like:
- How have job numbers been affected in your field?
- What effect has this had on daily rates?
P.S. You can also use the Salary Guide Calculator tool to check your daily rates.
Your recruiter and their colleagues will be speaking to a broad proportion of the market. This means they will be able to give you an honest and balanced indicator of what you need to do to stand out and when it’s a good time to start looking for your next assignment.
As already mentioned, they want you to be happy and working, so will be honest with you. For example if they feel you would be in a better position sticking it out in your current role for a little while or reviewing your current salary expectation, they will say so and provide the reasons as to why.
The most important thing, though, is to keep in touch with your recruiter - throughout your job search, whilst working and then again when you want to restart your job search.
The more you tell them about your specific requirements, as well as discussing general market conditions, the better placed they will be to be able to support you in securing your next role!