I am currently looking for jobs that start after May (when I graduate, its early, I know), getting my resume out there, and I am finding that most of the entities that call are recruiters for some other firm, and not the company itself.

Does this have any meaning?

As background, I am getting my BS in Computer Science now, and am looking for programming related jobs if it makes a difference.


4 Answers 4


A lot of companies tend to offer contract to permanent positions, especially in technical fields. This allows a company to essentially test the candidate to see if they are a good fit, etc before converting them to an employee. It's can be more cost effective to do this. And in most companies, it's easier to end a contract for a position early than to terminate an employee.

  • 3
    Only offering contract-to-hire positions effectively precludes hiring anyone currently in another permanent position; they can only hire people who are unemployed, currently in a temporary contract, or seriously unhappy. Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 16:17
  • @kevincline: That's an odd statement. Why do you think that?
    – NotMe
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 17:57
  • Why would someone leave a permanent position to be hired on a trial basis where they may be dismissed on a whim? Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 19:46
  • There is definitely a risk in that scenario but seeing that layoffs have increased in general, full time employment doesn't offer the stability it used to. Contracting allows flexibility to try working at different companies without making as big of a commitment. Contractors also tend to receive a higher base salary than full time employees because companies include benefits, paid leave, etc. It really depends on the individual's priorities.
    – Amanda H
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 20:28

There are a few different situations when getting hired through another company, which makes it important that you read the ads correctly, and if needed ask questions.

This is important to look for:

  1. Are you recruited by the recruiting-company to be hired by the company where you are going to work,


  1. are you hired by the recruiting-company to be placed at that other company?

If it's the first, the company has only outsourced the recruiting process to that other company as recruiting people is expensive (and in some fields a recruitment process may end up fruitless) but hiring someone else to do it for you can be cheaper.

If it's the later, you may want to think twice about it. When you are recruited by a man-power company you will earn less money than if you had been hired by the client directly. The man-power company charges the client (the company where you will be working) the wage you should be getting, but they cut a certain percentage off of that money for themselves, leaving you a smaller wage.

My advice is to cut out the middle man, if you can. Sometimes working for a man-power company can be beneficial though as it can serve as an introduction to workplaces where you can lobby for them to hire you directly; sometimes hiring you can be beneficial for the client company and yourself.


Finding good quality candidates is a lot of work. Many companies choose not to have full time recruiters / recruitment teams in house and instead use recruiters. It's perfectly normal to be contacted by the recruiter. They will have typically been given details on specific roles that the company is looking to fill.


This may vary from location to location. I am in software development in the UK.

As an experienced software developer, I would estimate perhaps around 5% or less of the contacts I receive for recruitment purposes are from in-house recruitment teams. The vast majority of jobs in this field are recruited for by external recruiters, and most of the companies that do have in-house recruitment teams are large companies. The balance will be a little different earlier in your career and in-house recruitment teams may make up a slightly larger proportion for you, but external recruiters contacting you is entirely normal.

In the UK, contract software development roles often tend to be reserved for people with a substantial technical background. Training people to know enough about the existing development to be useful takes time, and having also to train people to understand the basic technology stack doesn't make a lot of sense unless they're permanent staff. I would be surprised if many of your contacts come from "agencies" rather than recruiters, and I would be surprised if most of the roles on offer were not explicitly permanent roles (though many may have probation periods). Training graduates to be developers is initially a cost to a company, and the companies which do train graduates are generally keen to keep them to the point that they start to be valuable.

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