How to spot a bad contract

As specialist recruiters in the information management and data analytics industry we come across plenty of contractors, and contracts. We always make sure our contractors get a fair deal and their contact is correct, however others are not so lucky.

With the demand for contractors high in the data industry it can be easy to be caught out by a ‘bad’ contract. What are the warning signs you should be on the lookout for?

Vague Contract

This should be the biggest warning sign for any contractor, or permanent member of staff for that matter. You should be even more concerned if there is no contract! When looking over your contract there are certain details that should be present. You need to make sure it contains:

  • Your daily pay rate – including how and when you will get paid
  • Notice period
  • Contract length

If something doesn’t seem right, or you don’t quite understand some of the jargon be sure to question it. If you are not happy with the contract be willing to discuss it with the company and they may be able to change it before you sign.

Recruitment Process

The process you have to go through in order to get the contract can also be a warning sign, this can definitely be more of a warning sign when going directly to a company rather than through a recruitment agency. If the process seems very quick and the company seems overly eager to get you to start it could be a red flag. This may be down to another contractor leaving mid-project, but it is always good to do your research and investigate why this might be. Again, make sure you understand everything, from what they want in interviews to the project itself.

It may also become a warning sign if the recruitment process is overly long, and the company are making you jump through hoops, particularly for a short-term contract.

Do your research

Less of a warning sign and more advice, but make sure you are doing your research on every company you contract with. Even if you are only there for 3 months you want to make sure the company you are working with have treated contractors fairly in the past. By using sites like Glassdoor you can see current and past employee experiences with the company, this can also be a good way to see if they have recruited contractors before.

Looking at a company’s reputation can be a great way to see if they are credible or not.

There are plenty of pros and cons to being a data and analytics contractor, but being able to spot a bad contract before starting a role can put you in control. The best piece of advice we can give is to question anything you are unsure about.

Have you ever turned down a job due to a bad contract? What were the warning signs for you?

KDR Recruitment is the home of the best contract data and analytics jobs. For more career advice check out the KDR blog or follow KDR on LinkedIn

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