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Seb Anthony

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When is a job not a job?


As a freelancer I have more than once applied to a vacancy for a contract position only to find there are various levels of subcontracting occurring and that ultimately the 'job advertiser' is a consultancy who havent actually won a contract and want to 'put your name forward to the client' ie. they want to win the contract for x project based on the candidates CV.
The issue is that the original job advert doesnt specify it and often the recruitment agency are duped into thinking that the contract/job is real and exists, when its actually speculative and dependent on your CV.
Is this practice legal and transparent and shouldnt something be done about it???
Juliet LeFevre
Juliet LeFevre

4 Responses

  1. Frustrating huh?
    Aarrrggh. I know exactly how frustrating it is – especially when the contract is finally won based on your CV then suddenly they want you to drop your rate or they’ll use someone cheaper. I think agencies often know more than they let on and many of them are pretty unscrupulous. When I was freelancing, I found it better to develop relationships direct with the consultancies.

  2. Legal but not ethical
    About sums this practice up. It is purely standard for recruitment consultants to act like this, as it is a means for them to win business by and if they keep you informed of this then it’s both legal and ethical.

    Unfortunately as most people do not like to let agencies just tout for business, as it reduces the chance that they will be placed by an agency with a legitimate business relationship with the employer concerned, agencies will continue to use the unethical approach if their code of practice allows for it.

    It should be noted that it tends to be smaller idependant agencies who work like this and the larger established agencies do not but that’s only a rule of thumb and not an absolute endorsment/criticism of either type.

  3. Written Untruths
    The one I applied and discovered most recently actually quoted “37.5hr week Mon-Fri”. This is clearly untrue as the contract hasnt even been awarded yet!

    Happy Crimbo

  4. Recruitment agency practices
    All industries and disciplines have their own unscrupulous practices; it’s hardly surprising if the recruitment industry has its own unique set of sharp sharks. There isnt much you can do about it; to make a report will almost certainly end up in mud-slinging with you being the butt which will get you a bad name with prospective employers and possibly finding it difficult to find the sort of work you want.

    I’m afraid undesirable as these practices are sometimes its expedient and wisest just to turn a blind eye.


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