I was contacted for contract work by a employment agency for a position for a company I really wanted to work for as a full time employee; the agency offered a contract role for 12 months. However, since I also applied for an actual job with the company I wanted to work for, I was fortunately contacted for an official position with the company after I notified them of this employment agency contact.

I recently finished an in person interview and I called a HR person today (a week after) about if I had the position. She said she was 90% sure and was going to get back to me today. They are very swamped with hiring right now apparently. However, she also wanted me to cancel contact via an email or other means with the contract employment company for the other available position for that same company.

What should I do in this case to have the best chance to work for this company? I want to work for the company (I would prefer an actual employment vs. contract) but don't want to ruin any chances / burn any bridges. 90% is not 100% and I don't have an official offer yet, although for what its worth this HR person seems trustworthy and kind.

P.S. This was cross posted from Meta Workplace because I wasn't sure if it was a duplicate via: "How do I coordinate the process of pursuing multiple job opportunities at the same time?"

EDIT: I emailed the contractor and said I was no longer interested and she accepted that. I also called the HR of the company I wanted to work for and they said they were "still undergoing hiring and need to wait for a shift to open up", but they seemed confident I had a place. She explained that internal interviews were being done and people were being moved around at levels higher than my position. She gave me an "ETA" of a few weeks (near end of march / start of April), so with that in mind should I still continue to search for jobs / actively apply?


You should not cancel contact with the employment agency until you have accepted the Company's written offer and passed background and credit checks (if they do them). Never cut off a potential employment opportunity until you fully have a job (not just a written offer).

She might be asking you to cut contact with the employment agency because of fees the Company might have to pay the EA. She's either trying to dodge fees that the Company should pay, or she's trying to make it clear that they don't owe the fees because you applied for that particular role directly with the Company. You could ask her "why" if you want to know, or if she presses the matter. Otherwise, I'd ignore the request.

In any case, it doesn't matter what you do at this point. The thing that determines if the Company owes EA money for your hire is the contract they have and exactly how first contact was made between you and Company.

Life lesson: try very hard to avoid talking with a company both directly yourself and also through an EA. Even if the company does not want resumes presented by an EA, if they get your name through an EA they might not hire you because of the potential lawsuit that the EA could bring.

Good luck!


90% is not 100%, as noted, and the figure is a guess to keep you interested. However, the contract position is currently at 0%, as you have not gone anywhere with it. Plus you will be directly competing against other candidates put up by them and other agencies.

The company don't want to get into a fight with the agency over referral fees if they give you a job. Was your contact with the agency before or after your initial contact with this company? Think hard. Check phone / email records.

You could ask HR about the contract position as well. Say you're also interested in that and ask for more details, especially if they have a preferred supplier list for filling it. At this point you don't have a contract of any sort with the agency; they're your competition for this role. As you already have an "in" with HR, that may be the better route.

I'm a contractor, so would probably go the contract route, either directly, or probably through the agency, making sure that any non compete clauses are removed from the contract (they will fight this); get the "can't afterwards work for client without large fee" clauses struck out. I'd point out that my interest (in the client) predates theirs, that I could go directly and cut them out. Doing this allows you the chance at a test run with this company, and to prove to them how valuable you are. This puts you in a better position to negotiate a package for FTE.

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