How to find new contracts in the UK

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How to find new contracts

Published on Monday, April 18, 2016

Written by Alex Cadman

Working as a contractor is a great way to broaden your skills and experience in addition to having more control and flexibility in your career. While the process of finding new contracts can be tedious, it does not need to be stressful.


As expert contractor accountants since 1998, Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd helps thousands of contractors to maximise their pay each year. We have a deep knowledge and understanding of the contractor market and can advise you about contracting. In this blog we bring you the best ways to find new contract roles, including where to look and how best to promote your contractor services.

How to find new contracts? Usually there are two avenues to finding contracts: through recruitment agencies or directly with the client. Finding a new contract with the help of an agency is the more popular choice; however, with dedication and a proactive attitude you can also find contracts directly with end-clients.

To put yourself in the best position to win a contract through either of these methods, you must be prepared. It is especially important to be prepared with a great CV. Ensure that it is up to date with your latest experience and qualifications, and is ready to send out to potential recruitment agents and end-clients.

Finding a contract via recruitment agencies:

In order to maximise your chances of securing a contract that matches your skills and desired salary, you should register with multiple recruitment agencies, letting them know you would like to take on contract roles. By registering with three to five agencies, you can build a solid working relationship with recruiters who get to know your skills.

Top Tip:

  • Establish your contractor rate early on with your recruitment agents. This prevents settling for less pay and ensures you receive what you are worth.


When selecting the recruitment agencies you will work with, it is advisable to choose agencies that specialise in recruitment for your field. For example if you work in IT, you should be in contact with the best IT recruiters in your area or the area you would like to contract in.

The benefits of using recruitment agencies to find contracts is that it reduces the time you would otherwise have to spend combing through job listings, and working with specialist agencies means they know your industry and can help you to win a contract that matches what you are looking for. This method is also more manageable for you to follow up with applications.

Top tip:

  • Once you have applied for roles using this method, you must be proactive in chasing up applications by either calling recruitment agents to check in or making polite follow up calls with potential clients.


Finding a contract directly with the client:

While finding new contracts directly through clients can be more challenging, it allows you to be more selective with the roles you choose. Networking is a key part of applying directly to the client; as you gain more experience in the contracting industry, you will naturally build up a professional network of clients and colleagues that you can potentially take on future contracts with.  

It is important to be proactive in growing your network and building relationships with your professional contacts. Some ways to do this include promoting yourself via LinkedIn, searching job boards and creating a website in which you make it simple for clients to find your business online via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Find out more by reading our blog on SEO tips for contractors.

Top Tip:

  • Contractor recruiters and end-clients usually hire for immediate starts. Contracting is fast-paced and so it is best to be available as quickly as possible to start a contract role.


Whether you are an experienced contractor or it is your first time contracting, you should be competitive and make an effort to stand out. Writing the perfect CV, signing up with multiple agencies and networking with potential clients are methods that will help you find your next contract.

Another factor to consider is how you will manage your finances once you land that perfect role. You can manage your contractor accounting yourself, however you could end up spending several hours per week on administration, preventing you from concentrating on your work. Alternatively, you have the option to enlist the help of a UK Contractor Accountants specialists to help ease the administrative burden.

Looking for help how to find new contracts? If you would like more information about contracting, then our expert consultants can provide a free consultation to discuss your options and find out if contracting will suit you. If you are already a contractor and are looking for a new accountant, we can also discuss with you how Churchill Knight can help meet your contractor accounting needs.

To find out more about our contractor accounting services, click the ‘More About Our Services’ button below, or alternatively call us on 01707 871622 or email enquiry@churchill-knight.co.uk to discuss your options.

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