Hardworking PAYE umbrella contractors seeking appropriate work placements may well be getting let down by recruiters, a new survey by a nationwide HR company suggests.

The Curve Group polled 50 leading firms throughout the UK and found that over three-quarters were dissatisfied with the service recruitment firms supposedly specialising in contractors had delivered. 75% of the firms surveyed were looking for skilled temporary staff to work on specific projects on a time-limited basis, a need that propelled them in the direction of specialist contractor recruitment companies.

Unfortunately, that is when things turned sour. 78% of the firms said the recruiters did not understand their business needs, half were sent unsuitable CVs of poor quality, and 25% considered their experiences ‘dreadful’.

Jobbing contractors working though umbrella companies were equally unimpressed: half felt they had received a ‘poor’ service while 10% rated it as ‘dreadful’.

Contractors complained about unreturned phone calls, poor communication from the recruiter after placement, inadequate to non-existent feedback following interview, and extensive ignorance about their skills and the way they work.

One of the report’s authors, Lyndsey Simpson, said: “These comments and statistics reveal a serious disconnect between contractor agencies and their clients, yet with recruitment freezes in nearly every sector companies are increasingly having to rely upon contractors.”

The irony here is that a huge 89% of the companies polled had stopped recruiting permanent staff, assuming that hiring the right contractors would be rather like shooting fish in a barrel. For PAYE umbrella contractors, the moral of the story is simple: choose your recruiter wisely.

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