Thursday 16 December 2010

A temporary agency for IP professionals: prospects and problems?

Earlier this week I posted on the IPKat an item on IPHire, which describes itself as "a temporary agency for IP professionals, and here we are talking professionals at all levels - assistants up to senior advisors".  According to IPHire,
"When you are an employer, you should not only think parental or maternity leave, but also if you suddenly have a big project where you need extra help, but you know that the post will finish when the job is done, just look here". 
I added that. for anyone who is a job-seeker, a newly qualified candidate or just looking for a new challenge and maybe wants to have a European post on his or her CV, all they had to do was add their name to the database here.

While it's obvious that this service, or something like it, could be very useful for SOLO IP readers who run small practices.  If more work comes in than can be easily handled, or if sickness or holidays put unpredicted pressure on the diary, it could be useful to identify and recruit some extra support.  But when there isn't work coming in, and a practitioner has unproductive time on his or her hands, it could be a good way of filling in someone else's gaps.

What I'm curious to know is

  • Is IPHire the only web-based service or are there others?
  • Have any SOLO IP readers any personal experience of this or other services that might be valuable if shared with others?
  • What problems and pitfalls should users bear in mind if offering or seeking services this way?

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jeremy,
    I am an independent IP practicioner in Holland and a member of several 'networks' and interim-agencies. If independent IP practicioners are organized in a network (which is not always the case, as most prefer to work independently) the company running the network will add a percentage to the fee due (usually between 15 - 30 percent). For someone seeking services this way it is important to obtain more information about the practicioner in question, e.g. by Google-ing them or checking any recommendations they may have on LinkedIn. Always make sure they have a professional liability insurance (in Holland the standard coverage is between 500 k and 1 million EUR per event) and a VAR WUO declaration issued by the national tax authority (thereby ensuring the client will not become liable for any claims re. income tax or social security premiums for the practicioner). Lastly, communication is key, of course. 'Net-based' work can only be satisfactory (for both parties) if the topic is clearly defined or explained - e.g. by telephone or Skype. Short assignments or projects are a great way to test the waters.

    Kind regards,
    Meike de Boer