Being a job seeker can be difficult.
But that’s not to say there’s no support out there that can help. Wherever you are in your career, there are people out there that can help guide you through your job search and even help you land that perfect role. Who are these people? Recruiters.
However, it’s come to our attention that there people out there who have no idea how a recruitment agency actually works. So, we’re here to answer some questions:
What do recruitment agencies do?
Also known as employment agencies, recruitment agencies are a middleman between jobseekers (candidates) and employers (clients). Consultants at each agency will work on behalf of their clients to find suitable candidates to fill vacancies. Many employers use them and signing up will give you access to jobs that aren't advertised elsewhere. Often, if a jobseeker is already registered to the agency, they will be contacted before the job is even advertised if they know the candidate is the perfect fit for the role.
A company will get in touch with recruiters to say they have a role on offer. The recruitment agency will then either look through their current database, to find matching candidates or post the job online to source applicants with the perfect skills.
When they’ve sourced suitable candidates, they’ll send their CVs through to the company for approval, and generally, arrange interviews for the best-matching candidates.
How do I join an agency?
Any good agency will ask you to visit them and register in person. This gives the consultants a chance to meet you, talk to you about what you’re looking for, and gather which of their clients you could be a good fit for.
However, it is always recommended to either call first to make an appointment, or (if the agency offers this) register online through their website. Once you’ve done this, they should usually call you in to complete a full registration and meet you properly – many agencies will have multiple branches, so you can meet them at your closest convenience.
How can I find a job using an agency?
There is a multitude of ways of finding a job with an agency.
First and foremost, your consultant will act as the middleman between you and their clients, sending your details along and gathering feedback. They will likely also share your details with other consultants within the agency so you are exposed to as many opportunities as possible.
The agency will also likely have jobs advertised on their own website – have a look once or twice a week and apply for jobs that interest you. If the consultant agrees you are a good fit, you should hear from them soon.
If your application is successful and the client wants to see you, your consultant should help you with any interview preparation and anything else that may be required; directions to the interview expected dress code or any valuable information that may be advantageous for you to know.
Should I use a recruitment agency?
As well as matching you to appropriate jobs, there are several other benefits to agencies. For anyone looking to enter a specialist sector (Employment-related services, STEM fields) there are a number of specialist agencies that have expert consultants and a strong knowledge of their industry. These people are the best to advise you on ways to break into a particular career.
Recruiters also tend to have very strong networks, so as well as being put forward for any open vacancies they have, your CV could be sent speculatively to a variety of different employers. Your consultant should also be able to offer advice and tips to help you improve your CV/cover letter as well as giving you tips on your interview technique. If you interview for a position but are unsuccessful, the agency will usually be able to provide constructive feedback.
A few final points:
Only register to one agency! When you register with an agency, they make sure your application has all information a potential employer could need. If another recruiter puts you forward for a role, the details they have for you may be incomplete or simply wrong. Once an employer has accepted this, they will not re-take your CV, meaning without your full details, you are not being portrayed to the client in the best way possible.
As a jobseeker you should never be charged for using an agency, this is a completely free process from your perspective
Manage your expectations. Understand that a recruiter is likely doing everything they can to find you a suitable role that fits both you and the client. They shouldn’t ever put you in a role that doesn’t fit just for the sake of placing you.
For any further questions about recruitment agencies or how CMD can help you, please visit our FAQ page.