Dance With The Devil - Recruitment Agencies: Should I Use One?

Dance With The Devil - Recruitment Agencies: Should I Use One?

Saturday 8th January 2022
Jamie Hughes - CV Writer and Career Coach For Your CV Consultant

About the Author

Jamie Hughes is a published author relating to CV Writing and also Career Coach and Senior CV Writer for Your CV Consultant. In his book, Marginal Gains: 88 Ways To Improve Your CV and Kick Start Your Career, he offers some great tips and advice which is a must read before you send off your next CV. Jamie also completes Skype CV Packages helping to propel your career to the next stage!

Recruitment Agencies: Should I use one?

My answer would be yes. With careful thought and by abiding by a few simple rules it is well worth registering with a couple of recruitment agencies.

People are very wary of engaging the assistance of recruitment agencies but when you are on the candidate side of the fence there is very limited downside.
Recruitment agencies offer a number of distinct advantages:

They know the local/national recruitment market. They know who is recruiting and who is not.

They have access to a number of employers and contract points you normally would not have access to. They may even have contracts with major employers which will mean that agency is the ONLY way you can work for the company.

You get a consultant who works for you to get you a new job whilst they get their fee. It really is a win win situation.

They will work with you even if you are currently employed and you want to discreetly test the market for better offers or promotional opportunities.

There is no cost when you register with a reputable recruitment agency. Anyone that tries to charge a fee to you personally should be avoided.

Recruitment Agencies: Choosing the right one

For me there is no distinction in service levels and success rates between the major players such as Adecco and the smaller local recruitment agencies. The national players may have access to some of the larger contracts with national/international organisations.

My advice here is to do your research. Review vacancy advertisements of all the local recruitment agencies in your area and assess who is recruiting most in your field. Many local areas will have agencies that have begun to focus on specific areas of expertise such as finance, engineering or care.

Don't be put off that agencies will very rarely say who the job advert is actually for. This is to prevent other agencies poaching their vacancies not to be deceptive or misleading.

A few minutes of reviewing vacancies will quickly give you a sense of the agencies to approach with your CV.

Recruitment Agencies: How do they work?

Recruitment agencies generate income in two ways:

Permanent recruitment is recruiting for organisations for permanent staff who will be on that company's payroll.

The recruitment agency takes the job description and finds a short list of suitable candidates for their client to interview.

The client then selects the candidate following their normal recruitment process.

They then pay a fee to the agency of somewhere between 10-40% of the first year salary of the candidate. This is not paid by the candidate nor does it come out of their actual salary. The salary is simply used as a barometer of value of the candidate to set the fee.

The advantage of working with a consultant on the vacancy is that they will be working on commission that they will only get for you being placed successfully. They will be highly motivated to make sure you are as informed and prepared on interview day as possible and this can include some helpful insider knowledge.

The downside of going through an agency is that the organisation will have paid a fee for you so may have higher expectations of your performance.

Temporary recruitment is loaning staff to work for an organisation but who are paid and 'on the books' of the recruitment agency.

Temp workers are often brought in to cover maternity leave, sick leave or short term contracts. For you it can be a very useful way to gain valuable experience in a number of companies in a short period of time without damaging your CV.

The agency makes its money by paying the candidates the appropriate rate for the job but billing the company a higher rate thus making a margin. Again no costs should be incurred by you.

The downside is that temp recruitment can be short notice, erratic and inconsistent with temp workers often not getting as much respect in the company as full time staff.

Recruitment Agencies: Registering

It is fine to register with a number of agencies.

If you are a high calibre candidate they may ask for exclusivity (meaning you only register with this agency). If this happens I would recommend you say yes but only give them four weeks to come up with the goods. This means they are highly motivated and you have a way out if they are unsuccessful. Otherwise it is worth having two to three agencies you are working with.

They will ask you to come in for a short interview. During this time they will request your CV and your proof of right to work in the UK documents (covered in the next section). At this time you will meet your consultant and give them a sense of what you are looking for or will consider.

They may also ask who else you are with and what interviews you have been for lately. Be discreet. They are trying to find out some leads from you on companies that are recruiting locally and what rival recruitment agencies are up to.

If you would like to read more 'Marginal Gains' these can be found in Jamie's book, Marginal Gains: 88 Ways To Improve Your CV and Kick Start Your Career. In addition if you would like to discuss your CV in more detail email and see how we can help you to kick start your career!