I am thinking of going IT contracting and I have a question to ask

This question was posted to our General Forum by Paulsco and replied to be Experienced contractor Rhodeshow.


If a job is advertised on Jobserve etc at being £500 per day, does this include the agencies cut or do they take their cut from the advertised figure.

I’m considering starting contracting next year and am starting fact finding now.


It’s meant to mean the sum you will get per day and doesn’t include the agents overall fee.

What it will actually mean, is b*gger all. After all, the job will more than likely not exist, or else the advert will be so poorly interpreted and written that such a sum will prove illusory anyway because you will fervently apply for a job that doesn’t in any way meet your skills set.

The sum will just be a CV puller for the agent who will either use it to spam for references, cut and paste chunks out to give to their favoured candidates to impress with on their own CVs, or they will use it to prop up their database so that you end up adding valuable credibility to the agency’s standing in an industry which will, as a result of generating new clients, attract more candidates which the agent can then draw upon to pitch against you as competitors, lessening your chance of getting any job you apply for in the first place.


The sum will prove illusory when the agent starts to negotiate a wider margin for themselves (they are sales sharks, after all!) and lie to you by saying the hirer will only pay less.

In fact, what they will do is negotiate the same high rate that should translate to paying you the £500 per day, with say a 15-20 per cent margin, but in fact will only generate a much smaller sum for you, as the agent pockets a much healthier 30 per cent plus margin for himself which will help finance his holiday in the Bahamas.

Meanwhile, between contracts, you’ll be stuck at home on ‘unpaid leave’ or ‘resting’ spending a fortune on phone calls, chewing your nails waiting for the phone to ring waiting for interviews that never materialise whilst your agent contact is always ‘in a meeting’ which lasts the best part of 2 weeks.

When on the job though, your permie colleagues will be convinced that you spend all your time between contracts running around in your Porsche and living the life of Riley. That’s why they give you hell by not inviting you to the socials and sacking you for the slightest misdemeanour or because your face doesn’t fit.


By the way, what does £500 quid mean for what you were promised would be a 6 month contract anyway?

If the contract lasts only 3 months and you end up looking round for 3 months before you find something else, then that ends up being £250 per day.

Don’t forget to take out tax, NI and between contract survival savings.

By the time you’ve paid your bills, mortgage etc. you’ll be lucky to run around in a beat up old mini let alone a Porsche.

At least you can throw a sickie without personnel being on your case and you normally get the Christmas period off.

Welcome to the world of ‘black magic'(whoops! I meant contracting).