Companies reluctantly turn to contractor agencies due to widespread recruitment freeze

Posted on May 23, 2012

National HR Services company, The Curve Group, today revealed some shocking statistics pertaining to contractor recruitment. Its most recent survey of 50 leading companies revealed that a staggering 89% currently have a recruitment freeze while nearly 75% require skilled resources for short periods of time,

leading to a sharp rise in the use of contractor agencies. However, both clients and contractors expressed high levels of dissatisfaction with the service offered by their agencies.

From a client perspective, 78% of respondents said that their contractor recruitment agency did not take time to understand their needs as a business. 50% said that they were sent unqualified CVs with no quality checking of candidates, while nearly 25% simply rated the experience as ‘dreadful’. Comments included the following:

“They know a limited number of contractors and continually place them without checking capability. I had one agency say it could be true that the contractor was poor because of the times he’d been placed.”

“Often contractors move around for better rates so we lose people part way through a project. [I] would like contractors to incur penalties for non-completion and I’d be willing to offer completion bonuses rather than high day rates.”

“They charge extortionate rates and are rude and unhelpful.”

Just under 50% of contractors reported ‘poor’ experiences with their agencies and 10% said they were ‘dreadful’, with over half of respondents citing phone calls not returned and lack of contact once they were placed in a role. 44% reported that they received no feedback after interviews, and 38% said that their agency did not understand their industry. Comments included the following:

“They have their own gains in mind, not mine, and therefore send irrelevant jobs.”

“They forget you once your contract has ended, no sense of loyalty even if your contract lasted over 12 months.”

The Curve Group launched its contractor division in December 2011 after one of its major clients asked the company to find contractors with the same level of service they were being given for permanent hires. The Contractor Team at The Curve Group is headed up by Cindy Knight, who joined with over 25 years experience in contractor recruitment at companies including Steria, Butler and EC Consultants and it specialises in four types of contractor:

– Project People (Business Analysts, Project Managers and Programme Directors)

– IT Technical Specialists

– HR Specialists

– Product and Marketing Specialists

Lyndsey Simpson, Co-owner of The Curve Group, said, “These comments and statistics reveal a serious disconnect between contractor agencies and their clients, yet with recruitment freezes in nearly every sector companies are increasingly having to rely upon contractors. At The Curve Group, we are on a mission to turn the contractor market upside down! We believe it is possible to offer a quality service, bespoke support to clients and deliver on all promises to candidates and still compete on the usual areas of speed and cost. If anyone has had a poor experience of using contractor agencies in the past, I invite them to contact us so that we can demonstrate that the pain can be taken away and there is a quality end to this highly transactional market”

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