Why bother going through a recruitment agency when you can just get the job yourself?
Finding the right job is no different to finding the right partner: on first impressions - do they appeal to you? Do you have shared values and ambitions? Are the basics right – gender, age, location? If you simply went for profiles that ‘looked okay, you’d waste years and your search would end in frustration. Wouldn’t it be easier if, say, a friend knew you both and thought you’d get on?
TIME AND EXPERTISE
This is where the best recruitment agents come in. I have been both a recruiter (for building and a candidate (education). In my experience, when the agent knows both their client and you well, they don’t waste time putting you forward for unsuitable jobs and often make the right matches first time. They will have spent time talking to the employer, understanding their requirements and getting a feel for the sort of character they want. Sometimes you just know, instinctively, who will fit the bill. If the applicant’s skill-set is right and they follow your advice at interview, they will get and keep the job. This can save hours of writing, travelling and interviewing. I advise using a specialist recruiter as they will have more expertise in your sector, resulting in less misunderstandings or wasted applications.
‘Recruiter’ is not a bad word. If they didn’t do a good, fair job, there wouldn’t be so many recruiters still in business – in 2018, Companies House had nearly 40,000 UK registered agencies. Don’t forget, agents' services are FREE for the candidate and good consultants may save you money too by placing you quickly; they often have access to jobs before they hit the national platforms.
We’re not talking illegal trading here! It is tricky for an applicant to access real understanding about how a company works and the personalities they employ but an agent can do this for you. After a substantial registration interview, they will know if your skillset, personality and experience are right for the position. They will also know if the employer has the right environment for you. As a result of networking and building a good relationship with their clients, the recruiter will know if you will ‘fit’ in, and ‘speak the same speak’ as the company? A young and lively crowd may want an enthusiastic, chatty and driven candidate. A more traditional, older business may want someone more reserved, a ‘head down’ type of worker.
INTERVIEWS, FEEDBACK AND NEGOTIATING
What about the interview? Your consultant can guide you through this process and run through what you should and shouldn’t say. They need you to get the job– they only make a living if you do! After the interview, they will know when to chase feedback, relaying this to you honestly. Finally, if you do get the position, you may find a recruiter is able to negotiate the terms and salary for you, thus avoiding an awkward start to your new career. In my experience, if you are the sort of person who is willing to work with an agent and follow their advice, you would do well to use one.