We understand. IT contractors would prefer not to have to work with recruiters at all. In a perfect world, clients would contact you directly and you'd arrange your own contracts saving everybody the fuss of using a middle man.
Clients prefer to work with recruitment agencies because it saves them money, risk, and hassle. Independent contractors also have plenty to gain from building a relationship with recruiters, including the reduced risk, as well as exclusive access to unlisted project opportunities and resume and interview advice. The key to building that solid relationship is understanding how to work best with recruiters. In the past year, the Talent Development Centre shared many inside tips about working with recruiters.
The Secret to Being Called First by a Recruiter explained how to stay "top-of-mind". How to Get on a Recruiter's Bad Side told you how to do the opposite. Cameron McCallum, Regional Vice-President at Eagle, also wrote about some specific communication tips with recruiters, and another post summarized Eagle's recruiters' favourite and least favourite traits of IT contractors.
In addition to the articles referenced above, if you're looking for similar advice but perhaps with a less biased view, check out this article from the Dice Insights Blog written by Leslie Stevens-Huffman. She discusses five ground rules for working with tech recruiters, and refers to them as "recruiting's unwritten rules of engagement."
Don't Waste Their Time
Honesty About Your Hands-On Experience
Let Them Do Their Jobs
Show Respect for Their Abilities
User Your Power in a Positive Way
Would you agree with Stevens-Huffman or argue that some of these rules shouldn't always apply. Are there any rules you'd add for a successful relationship with a recruiter? Vice-versa, are there any rules of engagement you believe all recruiters should always follow?