Contraxit: A Vote for Recruiter Independence

The results are in. We can officially announce that a North London Contract team has voted to leave their agency. After months of debates, recycled soundbites and bus hire receipts slipped into company expenses, the decision has been made. How did such a historic vote come to take place? Where did this thirst for an independent agency come from? What happens next? Here’s everything you need to know about Contraxit and the vote for recruiter independence.

An Unhappy Arrangement

The agency in question has been running for over ten years. Starting out, they solely focussed on perm recruitment. In the following seven years, they grew to a team of over 150 Perm recruiters. From this point, they began populating a small but highly successful Contract team. In the years which followed, they grew exponentially.

The Contract team itself was on fire, their input alone doubled the company’s turnover. It was here the controversy emerged.

A seemingly innocent conversation with a number of Contract consultants on a company lunch club, sparked the fires of democracy. A company director admitted how the Contract team’s billings were actually contributing towards the upkeep of an underperforming Perm team.

The next day, the Contract team announced their plans for an agency referendum.

What Did They Plan to Achieve?

The Contract team realised that if their billings weren’t covering for underperforming Perm desks in the agency, they would be able to achieve an extra two large-scale annual incentives.

Moreover, the consultants believed they would be able to take a larger chunk of commission and would have more autonomy in the control of their work.

It also came to light that the Contract team were getting fed up of an overpopulated Perm team coming into their office, taking their desks. They wanted a less integrated agency of solely Contract consultants.

It’s fair to say, not all Contract consultants felt this way though supporters of the initiative made it difficult for their voices not to be heard.

High-Profile Supporters

It’s fair to say the directors of the agency didn’t take the movement seriously at first. It only seemed to be office gossip and nothing more. This all changed at a management meeting where one director came out in favour of the move. Though he did reassure all involved that he did not want to be Managing Director. In fact, his exact words were:

“I absolutely do not want to be Managing Director. The one thing I can tell you is that there are lots of talented people who could be Managing Director, but count me out.”

That’s a pretty clear statement… We’re sure there’ll be no need to refer back to that at a later stage.

The Directors had little choice but to acknowledge the call for a democratic vote. And thus, the Contraxit campaigns begun: Leave Vs Remain.

All eyes turned to the Contract Top Biller. He may be floppy haired and goofy but his huge personality and ridiculous antics made him a hit with the team. This was a character who would definitely sway votes.

After much deliberation and milking the attention, he came out in support of the Leave team. This was a game changer!

The purple tie wearing dinosaur who sits in the corner sipping ale also came out in support of the Leave campaign. Though this didn’t actually surprise anyone. He cares more about the Perm consultants using his office supplies than he does about the potential of another staff incentive.



How the Campaigns Played Out

The next day, the Contract team’s office fridge was emblazoned with a promotional poster from the Leave campaign. It promised Contract consultants a 10% pay rise or extra 2 annual incentives if the agency was made independent. It certainly turned a few heads.

The Remain camp was predominantly made up of Perm managers and directors hoping to use their influence to sway the decision. It was a difficult mountain to climb and their attempts proved lacklustre at best.

What Happens Next?

The vote was close, but the Leave team won – much to the dismay of the Managing Director who quickly announced his retirement.

The Leave team seemed a little surprised by the result, they didn’t realise success was a possibility. Now they face the reality of managing an independent Contract recruitment agency on their own. With no apparent plan for what to do if they won.

The floppy haired Top Biller was considered favourite for the Managing Director position. That was until the director who became the team Leave figurehead took a huge U-turn and announced his interest in the top job. It’s not like he went on record claiming he didn’t want the job, right?

Eventually, a Managing Director was instilled from the Remain team to help the transition process. No one envies her job.

The new Managing Director is now trying to negotiate with the Perm team about the weekly food deliveries and use of office supplies. Though this is proving difficult.

In truth, no one’s noticed much of a difference in the day-to-day agency life so far. The 10% pay-rise was immediately exposed as a lie and no one seems to know what they’re doing.

Escape While You Can

An agency in turmoil can seriously disrupt your ability to achieve consistent billings. Don’t find yourself drawn into the nasty inner-politics of a toxic working environment. If you find yourself in this situation, escape while you can. There are plenty of high quality, professional agencies which will deliver the support needed to progress your career.

We can help you get there. Call us up on 02030311666 or drop us an email at to have a confidential conversation about how you can take the next step in your career. We only work with the best quality agencies and candidates, so you can be confident in your next career move.

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