What is a recruitment agency? A recruitment agency acts as an intermediary between an organisation that is looking to employ someone and an individual who is looking for a job. A recruitment agent’s main function is to source the most suitable person for a job vacancy that they have been asked to fill.

How does a recruitment agency work? Recruitment agencies differ in their approach but the general pattern is as follows:

  • The agency is sent a job description from the organisation that has an open position
  •  A shortlist of applicants is drawn up by the agency who selects individuals from the pool of CVs that they hold on their database.
  •  The organisation selects their preferred individuals from the CV selection and asks the agency to arrange and coordinate an interview.

What’s the advantage of using a recruitment agency? Using a recruitment agency can be a useful tool in searching for a job. Agencies often have in-depth knowledge of their employer so can offer inside information before an interview. Reputable agencies will prepare you for a meeting with the organisation, offering tips on what to ask and sharing information on the history and culture of the organisation. They can sell your candidature in the early stages and even negotiate on your behalf if you succeed to the later stages of an interview. Some agencies have exclusive access to jobs that would not otherwise be found through an online search.It is important to use an agency as part of your search rather than depend on them solely to secure a position.

How long do I have to wait until I get an interview? This completely depends on your experience and whether it matches the requirements on the job description and also on how the job market looks overall. Summer and December can often be quiet times for agencies due to the holidays, whereas there is often an abundance of new positions around September-October and January. In order to improve your chances of being short-listed/chosen for an interview it might be an idea to join an agency that is more streamlined to your own profile/careers goals: eg. a graduate employment agency, a financial employment agency, an agency that has offices in India etc. Another tip is to call the agency every other week to express your ongoing availability and to check to see if any new positions have arisen recently.

Can I sign up with more than one recruitment agency? Yes. There is no rule that says you are restricted to signing up with one agency. It is wise, however, to make sure that you don’t allow your CV to be submitted to the same employer for the same position by more than one agency. Duplications of your CV can make you look like you’re desperate to get a job rather than appearing selective and professional. Always ask your agency representative to tell you if he/she puts forward your CV to any employer and keep a note of the organisation name and the date your details were submitted.

Here are a few tips that will give you an idea of what to expect from an employment agency.

  1. The employment agency works for the employer seeking qualified candidates, not you. The agency representative is merely the “middleman” between you and potential employers. The agency earns a fee, paid by the employer, when they successfully fill the position by referring the best candidate. Submitting your resume to multiple agencies is fine, but let each agency know that you are working with more than one agency. This may motivate an agency to work harder to get you a job. Likewise, let any agency you’re working with know if

you directly apply for a job so that they won’t submit your resume for that particular job.If you submit your resume to an employment agency and don’t hear anything, call them to follow up and see if they received your resume. You can inquire about where they submitted your resume and any feedback they received. Don’t be a nuisance and call the agency every day. It’s just annoying the representative and reflect poorly on you. Check in weekly to see how things are progressing.Dress appropriately for an interview with a recruiter. How you present yourself to employment agency representative is an indication of how you will present yourself to prospective employers. Make sure your resume is up to date and be prepared to ask questions about the employer and the job. No matter where you are in your career, employment agencies have quite a bit of influence with employers. First impressions are lasting ones.

  1. If a recruiter tells you to revamp your resume, don’t take it personally. Your resume may be sending the wrong message to employers, and a recruiter can help you tweak your resume to make it stand out among the hundreds or thousands of resumes employers receive every day. If you’re just starting out in a new career, employment recruiters can help you avoid many newbie mistakes when job hunting.
  2. If using online recruiters, submit your resume in plain Word or text format. Use sites with job alerts to keep you abreast of new job openings. Keep active, detailed profiles and join networking groups. Don’t put your home address, cell or phone number or social security number on your resume if you make available to the public. Use an email address with a name that isn’t cutesy or risque. Lastly, get rid of ring tones or voice mail greetings that blast loud rap or rock music when someone calls. Your friends may think they’re cool, but it may turn off a potential employer.

Recruitment and employment agencies can be a great way to network your way into a new job. They have access to jobs that you might not be able to find on the net – jobs are often so time-sensitive that employers fill them before they are even posted. Having a solid recruiter by your side can be a great boon to your career. If you treat the relationship respectfully, it is possible to develop a long term business partnership with mutual benefit. Agencies cannot guarantee any job, as jobs depend on cvs and interviews. (Info available on google )