After pursuing a contract opportunity through correspondence with an agency and completing a technical (codility) test, I received an email a week ago Wednesday from the agency. The agency said that the client was definitely going to offer me a contract (exact words) but that they needed to finalise some details and to expect the contract by Friday (a week ago). After trying to get in touch with the agency unsuccessfully on Friday, I phoned on Monday. I was told that there had been some hold ups and to expect the contract in the first half of this week. I phoned yesterday and today (Friday) and neither the agent I had been liaising with nor anybody else has been able to give me any updates. The client in question is in the process of opening a new office which is where I hope to be working (aside from doing much of the work remotely) so it is understandable that there could be some delays.

However, I am not sure how long I should wait without having a signed contract in place. I had been following up a contract with the same client (essentially similar but based in their main office for the on-site work) through a different agency so I my worry is about there being some kind of funny business owing to competition between the two. Let's call the agency which claims to be able to arrange a contract Agency A and the other agency Agency B. I guess I'm imagining the possibility that Agency A is able to place someone in the main office (regarding which Agency B first contacted me).

I am not sure if that is just paranoia or if I am being impatient. I shouldn't rely on being told that I will be offered a contract without having anything signed off.

Should I try to chase the opportunity through Agency B (although I would prefer the offer of Agency A) or through the client if I can't get anywhere with Agency A?

closed as off-topic by Jim G., Chris E, jcmeloni, gnat, Garrison Neely Feb 9 '15 at 15:27

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  • 4
    You should never trust an employment agency. Perhaps that sounds cynical, but they're not acting for your interests, they're simply filling positions in exchange for a commission. – Jon Story Feb 6 '15 at 16:06
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    @Guambrafeo hahahahhaahah. That was funny. You're not seeing it from the agent's point of view, and giving Kant's views on the matter won't help. People will lie, especially sales people. That said, I was once in a similar position (man, i turned down another contract in a similar position) and the contract i was waiting for appeared. Late, but appeared. – bharal Feb 6 '15 at 18:04
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    YOu are trying to use twop differnt agencies with the same copmany and you think they are unethical? That is the sort of thing that will get you dropped y the copmany and both agencies because they might end up having to pay both of them if they hire you. Woudl not be surprised if this is not what the delay is about. – HLGEM Feb 6 '15 at 18:10
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    @Guambrafeo: Their are two lessons you should take from this. First is never trust a recruiter. They'll say whatever just to make sure you show up for an interview. Second is to never use two recruiters for the same company. That's never good; see the first thing. – NotMe Feb 7 '15 at 22:45
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    If you have two recruiters submitting you to the same job, IT IS A BLOWN DEAL. The company will not hire you because as @HLGEM said, they will have to pay twice the commission. The lesson for the future is ALWAYS find out the name of the company you're going to be submitted to and never, ever, ever allow anyone to double-submit you. – BryanH Jul 15 '16 at 3:15

This sort of thing happens a lot in technical contracting. It is usually due to some haggling over terms or details in the contract, or just because of red tape at the company that you are being contracted to. I am currently awaiting one signature on a contract that has been in limbo for going on 4 weeks now. It happens and it sucks. I seriously doubt the company is conspiring to keep you from working. It just is not in their interest to do so.

That said it is one thing to give a company a few days, it is another to keep holding out hope indefinitely. Until you have a signed contract keep up the hunt for a new position. Avoid chasing jobs at the company you are going to be contracted too with the other firm, but keep up the hunt. There are plenty of other companies and you might just land a better job in the mean time. Until you have a signed contract you do not have a job offer, and you need to look out for yourself.

  • Great advice, thanks. Maybe I have just been lucky not to have run into these kinds of delays in the past. – Guambra Feo Feb 7 '15 at 16:03

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