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How to Find the Agency that Works for You

As an independent contractor, you know the importance of a good interview. But when it comes to choosing an agency to represent you, would you be able to do as well sitting in the interviewer’s chair?

Having an agency represent you is wise on many fronts but perhaps the biggest advantage is that it allows you to concentrate on your current contract while someone else searches for your next one. Choosing the right agency or agencies is vital to the success of your career. How well they do their job will determine whether or not you even have a job to do.

A good placement firm will answer as many questions as it asks. But there is only one person who can ask those questions — you. Would you know what to ask? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Now that you understand my technical skills and what type of work I’m looking for, how will you find me a contract?

  • What suggestions can you make to enhance my resume?

  • Do you alter my resume to suit a particular position?

  • What do you think is an appropriate rate for my skills in today’s market?

  • What is your rate/percentage?

  • How do you get paid? Are you paid commission on my placement?

  • How will I get paid?

  • May I review your standard contract?

  • What systems do you have in place to support your process?

  • How many people in your organization will be actively seeking opportunities for me?

  • How much contact can I expect from your staff?

  • How many clients do you have? Are you on any preferred vendor lists?

  • Do you have access to positions in other cities in Canada, the U.S or internationally?

  • If you don’t find me something right away, how will you remember who I am?

  • If you find a contract that suits my skills, how will you contact me?

  • Will you present my resume without speaking to me first?

  • When will you check my references?

  • What else do you do for me as our relationship develops?

If you are not happy with the answers you get, move on. There is no understating the importance of choosing the correct agency to represent you. After all, it’s your career that’s on the line.  Do you have any questions you would add to the list?  Are there any red flags that make you immediately move on from an agency?