Recruitment Agencies: How Do They Work?

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How do recruitment agencies work?

Recruitment agencies act as the middle man between the hiring company, and the job seeker who is looking for their first, or next, role.

Of course, every recruitment agency is different in how they work, but the process tends to follow the same format across the board.

If a company gets in touch with a recruitment agency with a new role, it is the recruitment consultants job to source suitable candidates. Recruiters will do this by looking at their current database of candidates as well as posting job adverts online and proactively calling candidates from CV sites such as Secs in the City. 

Once they have met with the candidates, spoken through the role and received their candidates permission, the recruitment consultant will then put the candidate forward to the company recruiting. Once the company has decided who they would like to meet, the candidates will then go through the recruitment process, with the help of their recruiters.

If a job offer is on the table, the recruitment consultant is on hand to negotiate the particulars, such as salary, start date and benefits.

How to use a recruitment agency

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 fulfill 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.

Five benefits of using a recruitment agency

1. Recruitment agencies have a wealth of knowledge

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.

2. Recruiters can help you think creatively

Good recruiters will help you to think creatively by presenting you with opportunities that perhaps you haven’t thought about. These ‘left field’ opportunities stem from that initial meeting between you and your recruiter which is why it is vital to meet face to face. As recruiters, we are trained and experienced enough, to read between the lines and offer up opportunities that could lead you to your dream job. 

3. Recruitment agencies can actually save you time in the long run

A good recruitment consultant can help speed up the entire process. What would have taken you months can be achieved in weeks or even days with a good recruiter fighting your corner.

4. Recruiters can help you with the negotiation process

Getting a job offer is always fantastic news, but salary negotiations can feel awkward and intimidating for some. This is where your recruiter comes in – they are your chief negotiator, working hard to ensure you get the best deal when it comes to salary, bonuses, incentives, start dates and holiday entitlement.

5. Recruitment agencies can help you prepare for your interview

Interviews can be daunting, but your recruiter is on hand to help. They have the inside scoop on what to expect, what questions may be asked, what the employer is looking for and what will make you stand out – which is of vital importance in such a crowded jobs market.

Finding the right recruitment agency for you

So, how do you know which agency is the best represent you on your job search journey? 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 investment in your recruitment agency

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.

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.

**If however, you feel working with a recruitment agency is not the best route for you, you may find our following articles helpful:

The Job Hunting Process: 5 Steps To Your Success.

How To Secure Your Dream Job: The Art Of Creating The Perfect CV.

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@localhost, or by phone at 020 7292 8748.

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