Why Should I Use a Staffing Agency in My Job Search?
The decision to start a job search is a very important one that is not easy. Whether you are starting a search for the first time or perhaps it has been awhile since you were on the market, working with an agency is something you may want to consider. CLICK HERE to download a PDF of this presentation!
How it works
First we want to address some frequently asked questions and misconceptions. Typically, the recruitment firm has been hired by the company to find qualified candidates for their open positions. When meeting with an agency, you should treat your phone calls and interviews as you would with a potential employer. The recruiter is screening on behalf of the company so you want to be your best self even through the process of working with an agency. They will only want to send their top candidates to their clients, so be prompt, professional, and help them help you.
Sometimes there is a misconception that the job seeker will have to pay a fee for staffing services. When you work with a job placement agency, the employer pays the agency. You as a job seeker should not be asked for any type of fee unless the agency is offering additional services, such as resume writing. The fee the company pays for you has usually already been agreed upon, so you shouldn’t worry about that impacting you.
How a recruitment firm helps a perspective Employer
If you are a job seeker, it may be helpful to understand the motivators behind why a company would hire a recruitment firm.
There are many reasons why an employer will work with an agency to fill their open positions. Most employers in this country are small businesses which means they probably do not have a recruitment team on staff. Other employees usually do not have the time or ability to recruit new employees since they are fulfilling their own job duties so they outsource this function to a professional recruiter.
Another reason is that many times, the company does not have the time to wait 30+ days to run an advertisement, review hundreds of resumes, and schedule interviews. Using an agency saves them a lot of time on screening and they are able to start interviewing pre-screened candidates within days if not immediately.
Additionally, companies like to utilize a recruiter so they can rely on their expertise. Sometimes they are looking for a unique candidate where the recruiter will need to work diligently around the clock to find someone that is a diamond in the rough.
Some agencies also offer skills testing so the company can have the peace of mind knowing that candidates that they are working with have been pre-screened on their requirements for the position. For example, if the company is looking for a Microsoft Excel pro, an agency should be able to test the candidate ahead of time to be sure they only interview quality candidates and do not waste anyone’s time.
How a staffing agency helps a perspective Employee
Talented recruiters are specialists in the job search and can be an invaluable resource to you. They can provide resume tips, interview preparation, and can talk through your questions and reservations throughout the entire process.
Another advantage of working with a recruiter is getting candid feedback. Sometimes when you submit a resume to a company directly, you never hear back and are not sure why. When working with an agency, the recruiter should be able to give you some feedback as to why you may not be moving forward. This can definitely help you improve your chances the next time and learn from a third party what road blocks you may be seeing in your job search.
Access to unlisted job opportunities is another very important reason why it can be beneficial to incorporate a trusted recruiter into your job search. Sometimes a company does not have job listings on their website and rely on their own referrals or an agency for their hires. If the recruitment firm has good relationships with their clients, they will be able to get your resume directly in front of the decision maker where the general public would not know the opportunity existed.
All staffing agencies are NOT created equal
Recruitment firms vary in size and are usually divided by what location, job type and type of employee they work with. For example, a larger firm will have locations all over the country, and might have different recruiters for different job functions (ie IT, administrative, accounting) A smaller firm might focus on one location and one job type. Some recruiters only do permanent roles, while an agency may offer contract or temporary positions as well. Just be sure you are working with a recruiter or agency that specializes in the job type you are looking for.
Let us also give you a warning. Just like every industry, there are some bad eggs out there. Be sure that the agency you work with takes great care in understanding you and what you are looking for in your next role. This can usually be identified with your own “gut check.” Does the recruiter ask appropriate questions and actually listen to your response? Do they meet with you in person and seem to care about helping you? Make sure you have a level of trust with your recruiter and they are working with reputable companies.
You might want to work with an agency if…
If you are new to a job search and want professional advice on your resume and job search, a recruiter is a great place to start.
If you are an active job seeker and would like additional job opportunities brought to your attention.
If you are unemployed and would be willing to work on a temporary assignment, an agency can help you stay employed. (And may even lead to a permanent role!)