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Got offered a job as a contractor without talking to the actual client. The client is a really big company. It all seems a bit too good to be true, is there anyway to verify.

Events:

Saw an advert online with a recruiter. Called the company to get the name of the person for the covering letter. Spoke to the person in charge of the job and sent my CV with a covering letter.

Had a couple of phone calls to discuss my experience and the role. Got told they would put my name forward for the job. Two days later I had a Skype call with the recruiter, where we discussed my history and the role. They then said that their client had reviewed my CV and were happy to offer me the role?

N.B: The role has very unsociable hours (3 days a week 7pm - 7am). The job itself pays a reasonable amount that isn't excessive in London (Circa 30k) but is on a contractor basis.

Would be grateful for any insight?

(As a side note am I entitled to any paid holiday pay as a worker if I'd be a contractor?)

Update: My question is whether or not this is common practice for contractors only to deal with recruiters? I'd also be grateful for any comments as to the impact that being a contractor would have over being an employee?

2nd Update: It's a FTSE 100 firm which has a received an influx of work and I think is looking for grunt work to deal with lots of claims for their client. (The recruiter said that they have placed lots of people recently for this assignment and for the firm generally. and that they were happy for them to send contractors directly.)

  • What is your question here? Please note asking if you should accept the job or not is off topic. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Sep 6 '18 at 14:52
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    Well, it doesn't sound like a good offer, no matter what industry you work for. 30k as a contractor is equivalent of around 15-20k salaried (you are not entitled to any holidays). Night shifts in London for a little bit above national minimum wage? No, thanks. – K. Stefaniak Sep 6 '18 at 14:52
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    K-Stefaniak, why will it be taken down that much? I've worked after tax pay as 22k? Is there other things I'm missing as a contractor? – Jackson Sep 6 '18 at 15:00
  • If you are working as a contractor, the who would you be working for? EG who will sign your pay cheque? That is the person to ask about PTO etc – Peter M Sep 6 '18 at 15:22
  • Your question to @K.Stefaniak - it is equivalent to less as perm because you will have no holiday or sickness pay , plus you will need to pay employer's social security, as well as employee's. Also, you need a £99 of the shelf Ltd company, and an accountant; he won't work for free, but I generally find that they save me more than I pay them. You don't say how much experience you have, but even a new grad would expect more than that ... – Mawg Sep 7 '18 at 7:05
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Offered a contract job with no interview?

I would tread carefully here. Typically a job offered without at least an interview of some kind is either a scam or is so crappy the company is having a hard time keeping people in the position..

I would skip this and keep on looking.

  • Yeah I get the impression that it's because the hours are bad. That doesn't bother me as I've worked unsociable hours before. Thanks for the insight though, I'm just concerned that I haven't interacted with the firm which is a company that I'd be really happy to have on my CV – Jackson Sep 6 '18 at 14:59
  • 2 down votes with no explanation....wow. – Mister Positive Sep 6 '18 at 16:48
  • I think the OP did have an interview but didn't realize it. Several phone calls to discuss experience sounds like a multi-round interview to me. It can be common to be interviewed solely by the contracting company when doing work for a client company. Most services contracts I have seen have clauses that make it clear that contractors are not employees of the client company and they try to maintain an arm's length relationship. – Eric Sep 7 '18 at 2:46
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It's not common to get a role, including contract work, without an interview first. But most importantly it's not in your interest to avoid an interview.

There are many reasons you may have been offered the job without meeting you in person, but some you should be careful of are:

  • The employer has a high turnover and is racing to replace staff (at the expense of quality)

  • The employer is short sighted and did not plan to take on more staff, and now needs them as soon as possible (at the expense of quality)

  • The employer knows their workplace will be unattractive to good candidates, and so wants to minimise what you know untill you get there

  • The employer is naive and doesn't understand what differentiates good from bad staff

  • The employer is naive and doesn't understand what the job actually requires

Importantly, the knock-on to you is that you're likely going to be working in a company with low-skill or unqualified staff, and management that is short sighted. If they are willing to hire you without dilligence, they are just as likely to hire somebody who isn't a good employee - these are the people you will have to work with.


As mentioned at the start, an interview is as much in your benefit as it is to a dilligent employer. Without interviewing, it's impossible for you to truly get an idea of their culture, the role and whether you'll actually enjoy working there.

You can of course request an interview to meet them and decide whether you wish to take the role. However, I'd suggest that an employer acting as they have, should be a rather large red flag in the first case.

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Honestly your best bet is to move on.

That being said, I got my current job with out an interview with anyone at the company that I actually work for. I interviewed with my contracting company and since they have a very good track record for this company (~30,000 employees). This is a very niche position as well. I doubt this is the case for you but it is possible (as you kind of had a phone interview it sounds like with the recruiter).

As for your question about contractors getting paid holidays, I don't think there are any positions with paid holidays for contractors.

  • "I interviewed with my contracting company" - In most industries I know of the contractor company hires and maintains the employees who are on the contract. During interviews, you don't meet with the client until you are hired. – Dan Sep 6 '18 at 19:23
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It could be that this company has a recruiter with a good track record, so when the recruiter talked to you and recommended you, that was good enough for them.

It's a bit unusual. The company might have the expectation that they hire say 100 people, and 20 will get fired - instead of interviewing 100 and rejecting 20, so you might do well considering the first few weeks of work as your "job interview".

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My question is whether or not this is common practice for contractors only to deal with recruiters? I'd also be grateful for any comments as to the impact that being a contractor would have over being an employee?

Unless you own your own company and bill the client directly, contractors work for staffing companies who sell you the client. The staffing company bills then client and then pays you a salary or wage. Thus it is that staffing company that sets the pay and PTO conditions under which you will work.

However your current question keeps talking about a recruiter only. Is this a recruiter for staffing company? Or just a random recruiter?

But there are situations where certain companies (** cough ** Uber ** cough **) can employ you as a worker but then claim that you are a contractor and not pay you the rates that a contractor would normally expect to earn, nor give you benefits like PTO. Working under these conditions is fraught with legal and financial pitfalls and I would advise against doing it.

If you do own your own company (the situation that I am in) and bill the client by invoice then there is no such thing as PTO etc. I get paid when I work and don't get paid when I don't work (EG public holidays). But my rate is structured so that when I am working that I nominally cover a reasonable amount of PTO and sock leave per year. But doing this requires jumping trough the hoops such as being officially registered and liability insurance etc. The advantages are that I nominally get taxed at a lower rate and that anything I buy that is potentially useful for work becomes a tax deduction.

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