In the IT sector, recruitment is often done through an agency, which acts as an intermediary between the candidate and the company. Here’s how to work with a recruitment agency
If Albert has not kept his LinkedIn profile up to date, it’s because he doesn’t want to be bombarded with messages from recruiters while he completes an assignment obtained from another IT recruitment agency.
Because it’s usually on LinkedIn that it begins. “A recruiter contacts us to offer an assignment. There is a first meeting, to see if we match the profile sought. They don’t want to send a clown to their client!” Sometimes there is a coaching session before the interview at the client. “Agencies know what clients are seeking, so they brief us on that.”
Working by project
Since he is a programmer, Albert has always worked through an agency. “I was first employed. We were sent to a client to work on a project. Then, between assignments, there was work on internal projects. I was less interested in that last part.”
He has been self-employed for two years now. “Before sending my application to a client, the recruitment firm had me sign an exclusivity clause to state that it would represent me for this assignment. If that’s okay with the client, we sign a formal contract.”
The assignments can be spread over 1 to 2 years. During this period, Albert receives his salary from the agency. He then moves on to the next assignment, often with a new agency. “Once it was an agency in Vancouver that contacted me. It was for an assignment in Montreal. The whole process was done by telephone. I was quite surprised.”
Albert prefers working with agencies that bill additional fees to their clients, equivalent to about 12% of his salary. Other firms instead increase rates from 15% to 20% of the salary, which puts professionals in a delicate situation.
“It plays on the client’s expectations,” he explains. “If the agency charges an exorbitant amount, the client expects to see a super star who will solve all the problems in one day!”
Since he became aware of this, the programmer finds out about the contract conditions before accepting an assignment. “So I know what I’m getting into.” It can create the ideal conditions to go from one challenge to another, thanks to recruitment firms.