Self-employed vs agency worker: which is right for you?

Many contractors work directly with clients, while some – especially those new to contracting – prefer to find and secure work through a recruitment agent. With tax time approaching you might be wondering which is the easiest option and which is best for you. 

A contractor works directly with clients, which means that they are responsible for the relationship, negotiate pay rates. It also means that they need to manage their tax and PRSI contributions.

A recruitment agent offers services that make contracting easier, from finding contract opportunities, client connections, negotiating rates and finalising contracts. The agency is responsible for paying your tax and PRSI contributions out of your wages.

Which is the right choice for you?

Recruitment agencies have a wealth of contacts and can provide opportunities with large clients across multiple industries. They provide a with a safety net for their contractors, agencies will often pay a contractor if the client fails to do so.

A big challenge for contractors is managing job bookings. If you are managing the jobs yourself, you need to include additional days in case the job takes longer than budgeted. This may lead to gaps between one job and the next. When you are working with a recruitment agency, they will manage the transition from one job to the next giving you a bit more security. 

Why use an agency?

Recruitment agencies have industry knowledge of the companies who are hiring or getting ready to hire. They have relationships with the Directors, HR Managers or Hiring Managers and can get CVs in front of the right person early. 

The right agency can prep you for your interview by outlining the questions that you will be asked, the format and style of interview. If an interview is not required, they will be able to talk you through what to expect.

If you are contracting directly it may be hard to get the time to follow up on contracts; a recruitment agency will manage the follow-ups and keep you updated about the job. 

Recruitment agencies are great for contracts. If you have previous work experience, then all you need is an up to date CV and register with a recruitment agency that specialises in your industry.  

If you are looking for more reasons to work with a recruitment agency then check out 8 Reasons why you should work with a recruitment agency.

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