What To Remember When Dealing With Recruitment Agencies

Apr 9, 2021 | Finding a New Job

We recently received an email from an IT contractor, Alex asking for advice in dealing with recruitment agencies.

Alex told us he finds it annoying that he never gets an answer regarding whether he has been successful for jobs agencies put him forward to, and why they are always his best friend when they call him but gets the opposite approach when he calls them? Alex wanted to know the best way to get agencies to update him and call him regularly. This was our reply…

Dear Alex,

Thanks for the email. There is no sure way of dealing with a particular agency as there are varying service levels in every type of industry, good and bad. Maybe you are just having bad luck? I understand your problem, below is our best shot at helping your predicament.

A recruitment agency is a sales organisation. It is there to make a profit. As such, their consultants are given typically high sales targets because they naturally have to concentrate their efforts on candidates they can sell into companies or are of appeal to the clients they deal with or actively recruiting for.

A recruitment agency generally makes its money in one of three ways

Contract placements

The agency pays you fifteen pounds per hour and charges the company twenty. For every hour worked, they make five pounds profit.

Permanent Placements
The agency charges a fixed fee based on the annual salary. For example, you get paid a £35,000 salary, the agency charges a 10% fee with a profit of £3500.

Account Managing
The agency looks after one company’s recruitment, for which they will either charge a fixed fee or a pro-rata rate based on the number of people they place within that business over, for example, a year.

In answer to your question, there is an exact way of securing success. Of the things you can do, the first and most important thing is to beat them at their own game. Market and present yourself in the best possible way. Or basically, get your CV / Resume up to standard. It is the first impression that they get of you and as such is the most important.

1) Make sure your CV stands out. Presentation and grammar are key. If a CV looks bad, you look bad.

2) Spelling the same thing. In the age of spell check, there is no excuse.

3) Keywords. Many agencies use keyword database searches when looking for potential candidates. Primarily this is used for specific qualifications, skills or levels of experience.

Secondly, be friendly with your consultant. If polite, you will be amazed by how much recruitment consultants will try and help. They deal with many rude people who expect them to have work available (whether they are qualified for it or not) and get annoyed if there isn’t. Treating a consultant with the kind of consideration you’d extend to any human being works wonders. They will remember your behaviour later when they are deciding whom to offer a great opportunity to. Mistreat them, and they will assume you possess the calibre of manners that are fit for only street cleaning.

Finally and the most crucial aspect of dealing with agencies is covering your bases. Recruitment consultants will soon forget about you unless you are of commercial value. Keep your options open. Don’t rely on the fact that one agency will find your next job. Register with at least three agencies and two of which should be specialist recruiters for the industry sector you wish to work in. That way, you will ensure you have good expertise working on your behalf.

If you need help regarding a new position, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Take a look at our services below.