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Freelancing through a recruitment agency

Hi All,

This is my first post on this forum so please forgive me if it's in the wrong place!

I am currently thinking about moving jobs and would ideally like a permanent position within a design agency. However, I was recently contacted by a recruitment agency who said that I should consider going freelance instead of looking for a permanent position and that they would be able to keep me as busy as I want to be with freelance work. They also told me that I would be able to demand a higher hourly rate (between £25-£30 per hour) which would boost my salary quite considerably!

I am tempted by the whole freelance thing but think it all sounds a bit too good to be true. Has anyone else had any experience at working freelance through a recruitment agency... and if so, how does it work? Is this the best option when freelancing or should I put a it of time and effort into getting my own clients and setting up a limited company?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Hi Dan,

I've not had any experience working freelance through a recruitment agency, but personally I wouldn't quit being employed full time for their offer.

Sure, they might get you some work, but it might not be great quality, or jobs you'd be able to show off in your portfolio.

I think if you're planning to go freelance the best bet would be to take on a few jobs whilst you're employed and try and bulld up a few clients before you make the leap. I did that and it worked out very well in the end.

Hope that helps or gives you something to think about Dan.

Thanks for the reply Will. Although I do like the sound of building up a client list gradually and taking the business full time when possible by circumstances require that I make my move a bit quicker!

The job I'm in at the moment is looking like it will end in two to three months time so I either have to rush into a permanent job as quickly as possible and hope that it all works out or try other options. The freelance option is sounding attractive because of the hourly rate I've been told I could achieve but was just wondering if anyone has had any good/bad experiences working through a recruitment agency?

Freelancing does pay more.

In the short term. £25-30 an hour maybe for a week or two then it could be weeks or months before another one comes along.

Sure, recruitment companies will say freelancing is better, because they get paid commission for every agency they send you too.
Not sounding very positive working through a recruitment agency so far then! Might need to have a re-think! Unless anyone has any positive experiences?


Did this many years ago.. problem I had with them was that it was even more unstable than normal Freelancing for me.. If they didn't like you as a person you got no work and if you couldn't do one contract then they blacklisted you and didn't give you any work for a week.. they are only human after all.. :( so I would recommend it as a temporary thing (for a month or 2) but other than that keep far away!

I totally agree with the last post, you should keep it temporary and try and source your own freelance work. It takes a lot of emails, phone calls to potential employers and also past colleagues but it usually works out well. The 1st year is tough but if you keep at it then you will see results. You should also check out job sites such as creativeappointment & creative pool that sometimes post freelance jobs.

Good luck
Thanks all for your advice... I think I will spend the next few months trying to build up a small client base and get myself set up as a sole trader. Might use a recruitment agency if things get tough out there!
It doesn't hurt to be registered with Recruitment Agencies but just don't expect a constant flow of work from them. I'm registered with about six different agencies and have had the grand total of about 2 weeks work over the last two years.

However to be fair a lot of the opportunities they tend to get are full time onsite short contracts (1-3 months) which doesn't suit me. But if you don't have a client base built up yourself yet then it would be worth looking into, you don't have to go for anything they suggest if you don't fancy it anyway.