Bloody Agencies

Job agencies: A rant 2 years in the making.

Having encountered a classic example today, who wanted a telephone interview on 1 hour’s warning and got upset when I told him I was at work, unable to interview and had found another job anyway, I thought I’d rant mildly. I’m saving the real vitriol for the letter he’ll be getting back. I’m not registered with his agency - he contacted me completely out of the blue, and called me “underhand” for already having a job. WTF!?

Anyway in honour of Mr Moron, and inspired by a year of job hunting (and the “How long out of work for techies” thread that I can’t find at the moment), here are my basic rules for all future agencies who wish to work with me. Any contributions are welcome.


  1. I am not “underhanded” or “lying” if I interview with another agency without telling you. Especially when you’ve had my CV for OVER A YEAR and not come up with a single interview.
    1a) I am sure you are a reputable agency. However I have no way of knowing that, so before I commit to solely offering my CV through you, you have to prove it.
    1b) If you ask me to pull my CV from everything else and trust you, I won’t.
    1c) You are probably reputable, but after so many screw ups and screw overs by your colleagues, excuse me if I assume you are a jerk. It saves time and tears later.

Telephone Quizes
2) If you don’t ask, I won’t tell. It is normally none of your business anyway.
2a) Ask me if I’m married or dating, and I will lie. It is none of your business and I’m sick of being ruled out because you think I’m going to run off and breed. (I’m also sick of being hit on by clueless wankers who assume if I AM ‘taken’ I’d be prepared to sleep with them to get a job. I could understand it if they tried it when I said I was single…)
2b) Ask my salary and you will get what the job pays. If you are not bright enough to work out I can truthfully quote whatever rate I like, (its whatever my company pays me - I contract) then you deserve what you get. I’m not letting you push my price down and the company up and take the extra.

Personal Questions
3) None of your damn business. Don’t expect answers.

4) No, I can’t do an interview 3 hours away on 2 hours notice. LIVE WITH IT!
4a) No, a “convenient location” is not the Outer Hebrides, Scilly Isles, Tristan Da Cunha or Antartica.

Contract Terms
5) After I accept a contract at an agreed rate, changing the terms of my role is not acceptable. If you are going to hire me for a client to do data entry, and then change that to scratch building ASP modules with Jscript, I expect my salary to change accordingly. If it does not, see clause 1.
5a) If I find out after 5. above that you are making a 200% profit off me, see clause 1.
5b) If after 5a you tell me that I “should be happy to have such a technical role.” expect clause 1. Thank you for verifying 1c, the aforementioned jerkness of your agency.
5c) If clauses 5, 5a, and 5b all apply don’t sound so fucking surprised when I quit for a new contract, which isn’t ripping me off.

6) Filling my answering machine and email box with spam messages is not going to change my mind about not taking the £3Kp.a. fulltime job a hundred miles from anywhere, with no benefits, in a company that is going bankrupt. It will however piss me off.
6a) Occassionally I am not at home. Occassionally I am somewhere I cannot have a mobile phone. I will not have my mobile turned on in the middle of my aunt’s funeral, no matter how much you tell me it means I’m “not committed” to job hunting. Insisting makes me think you’re an arsehole.
6b) Yes, I answer emails more often than I answer my phone. That is why my applications ask you to contact me by email. If you read my cover letter, you might get an answer sooner. No, you have no right to get upset because YOU CAN’T READ.
6c) Swearing at me on the phone will result in me putting the phone down hard. “Hello bitch, want a job?” is not the greeting of a reputable agency. I’m sure your boss was delighted to find out about it.

7) Pay me on time and to the right amount. Fail to one more bloody time and not only will clause 1 apply, but so may legal action.

Any ideas, advice, or extra guidelines gladly received. I’m So glad I don’t have to deal with these guys for another six months.