What will it cost me? Will using an agency really help me find a job? Welcome to the job-seeker’s definitive guide to using a recruitment agency.
My name is Julia Aaltonen, and I’m the Head of Permanent Talent at Sidekicks. I’ve been successfully finding people jobs in London since 2005, and to me the huge benefits to candidates of using a recruitment agency are very clear.
However, recent analysis of search terms leading people to our website revealed that variations on “how much does it cost to find a job through a recruitment agency” are amongst the most commonly searched phrases. So, as a first time job seeker contemplating registering with a recruitment agency, how do you know what the cost is, what “good” looks like and which recruiter to choose?
The short answer is it costs nothing to use our services as a candidate, but as with most things in life, you get out of the process what you put in!
How It Works
Recruitment agencies differ from careers advisors, who might well charge a fee to their candidates for their advice and knowledge. Here at Sidekicks, we do not charge fees to our candidates, and no good agency ever will.
Recruiters earn their fees from employers paying them to find the best candidates for their jobs: this means that, whilst they are not obliged to find work for job-seekers, good agencies need good candidates to present to their clients. Therefore, the best agencies take a very proactive approach to nurturing and looking after their candidates, to support and encourage them to fulfil their potential and meet their clients’ needs.
Good agencies will always meet with you face to face and get to know you as a person, as you are more than just the sum of your experience on your CV. At Sidekicks this is critical to our reputation for a very high success rate, as the skill in what we do lies in ensuring the all-important personality and culture fit in addition to assessing your hard skills, both of which are impossible if we don’t know you properly.
Why Use an Agency?
Good agencies are experts in their field with huge market knowledge and the inside scoop on what employers are looking for: how often specific vacancies arise in any given industry, information on salary benchmarking, timelines, any training or experience required, good relationships with the best companies and access to jobs that aren’t available on the open market.
Furthermore, your chances of securing a job through an agency are generally much higher than applying to companies speculatively, because you’ve hopefully been thoroughly prepared, and the agency should know exactly what it is the employer is looking for.
So, how do you know which agencies to choose to represent you? Do your research: ask your friends and colleagues, look on job boards and read reviews until you find one that resonates with you. This could be because of the type of jobs they have on or the salaries they achieve, for example, but they should always have a reputation for treating you like the individual that you are and putting your interests first and foremost.
Your relationship with your agency will set the tone for your job search with them. Mutual trust is very important to recruiters, after all you are representing them and their business every time you interview through them.
Here at Sidekicks we put a huge amount of work into developing our candidates, by providing advice, constructive feedback, mentoring, CV help and more to improve every candidates’ chance of success – and we love working with people who help us to help them.
Make time for your recruiter so they can get the information they need, answer their questions openly and honestly, work with their timelines, take up offers of help and be responsive. The best investment you can make is to be a ‘good’ candidate and work with your recruiter.
It’s a myth that all recruiters want to do is push you into any old job in order to collect a fee. At Sidekicks, our reputation for high quality, long-term employer/candidate matching is hard-earned, and we’d never do anything to jeopardise that! It’s therefore very much not in our interests to simply slot you into a job that isn’t right for you long term.
This means that we’re always working with your career objectives and aims very much at heart, so the best thing you can do is help us to help you. For example, if your recruiter calls you with an idea for a job that seems a little left-field, keep an open mind and work with it! It’s our job to think creatively to get you to where you want to be.
Finally: if you come across an agency that wants a fee to represent you, run a mile! Good agencies will invest in you; the best advice I can give you is to invest in them too.
An outstanding recruiter with an impressive track record filling roles across a breadth of industries in both the creative and corporate worlds, Julia holds a Masters degree in Real Estate and Law from Cass Business School and is passionate about secretarial recruitment done properly, with integrity. Having started her career in 2005, Julia cut her teeth in secretarial agency, establishing herself as a top performer and trusted ally to both employers and talent, whilst getting results. Julia knows her market inside out and is experienced at working at Chairman and CEO level, possessing a thorough understanding of the day to day demands placed upon senior management and how an effective PA can transform working lives.
Julia can be reached on Julia@sidekicks.london, or by phone at 020 7292 8748.