Job Search

How to Work With Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies are essential, but you must interact with them in the right way to reap the reward. Below are 5 considerations when working with agencies.

Take responsibility for your own career: Recruitment Agencies don’t find people jobs, they search for suitable candidates to fulfil their clients’ hiring requirements. The recruitment industry is hugely KPI and sales driven, so agencies are under pressure to perform.

You will still be able to find specialist consultants who are willing to give you personalised advice and assistance, but don’t set your expectations too high in terms of the success rates of your applications. Take charge of your own situation, give yourself the broadest possible exposure and don’t wait for them to call you, call them first.

Give yourself broad exposure: Register your CV with no more than 5 agencies by giving them a call to introduce yourself, don’t just register online and expect them to contact you. Recruitment is a numbers game and you will be successful if you embrace this in your job search. Make it easy for agencies to reach you, with ALL your up to date contact information on your CV.

Don’t apply for jobs that are not relevant: Read job advertisement and if you don’t fulfil the criteria, don’t apply. If you just apply to every single job you see, you may eventually be seen as an unfocused candidate and could even be taken off the agency’s database.

Keep track of the jobs you apply to. Agencies often advertise the same role on different sites; so if you have already applied through one site, do not send your CV again through another. You will save yourself time, your expectations will be managed and you will not create the impression of being desperate.

Build relationships: Choose agencies that operate in your specialist area, and make contact with an experienced consultant. It is better to deal with specialist agencies rather than generalists, as this reduces the level of risk in your application. Introduce yourself to the consultant, explain what you are looking for and ask their advice.

Also check how frequently they want you to check in with them for updates, and then make it a habit to have a quick catch up without becoming a pest. Remember, they are targeted and don’t have time to speak with you unless there is a real reason. You want to make sure you are top of their mind and on their database for the right reasons!

Working in partnership will give you a competitive edge: If an agency calls you, make sure you call back quickly or answer immediately as timing is crucial. If they arrange an interview, confirm that you have received the details and call them back straight after the interview. Give them your feedback concisely and be specific about what happened in the interview. Give them time to contact the client for feedback before you chase too hard.

This all helps to build a relationship with your recruiter and even if you don’t get offered the first role, if you do well in interviews they will certainly put you forward to the next suitable role. If you under perform at interview or commit some of the most common faux pas (E.g. Arriving late, not grooming appropriately, bad mouth your last employer) they will think hard before including you on a shortlist again.