What are the benefits of using a recruitment agency

By Ben Leeds, Divisional Manager, Networkers

Over the *gulps* nearly 20 years I’ve been in IT recruitment, I’ve seen huge changes. The industry itself has undergone a dramatic transformation, recruitment technologies and communication methods have evolved and the economy has repeatedly gone from boom to bust, impacting demand and supply in the jobs market. On top of that, I’ve significantly more grey hairs than I had before.

Fundamentally recruitment should be about saving time for both the person seeking a job and the employer looking to hire, facilitating an effective process and getting the best deal for both parties. I’ve always maintained the opinion that our key aim as recruiters is to help individuals improve their lives by helping them find a job which enables them to progress, be it technical development, managerial progression or an enhanced financial position, and, most importantly, makes them happy.

With this in mind, here are five reasons why you should consider using a specialist recruitment agency to help you find your next position:

1) Get insider knowledge about roles & companies

A good consultant should be in-the-know when it comes to companies. They should be able to tell you who is expanding, what key projects they’re working on now and have planned for the future, why you might want to work with them and what it’s actually like to work there. After all, with the average person spending a third of their life working it’s important that you find a job which you love and an environment which you really enjoy working in.

All these points provide a much bigger picture than a job advert with a salary, location and a job role can. The aim of a consultant should be to partner with their client, so they can fully appreciate what the business has to offer you; being a cultural fit for a business is just as important as having the right skills.

2) Let us promote you more than your CV can

Your CV is a great tool to showcase your education, experience and to some degree, your personality. But it is two dimensional and no matter how well you write it, it can never sell your strengths as well as a person who knows you can. As the middle ‘men’ between employers and those seeking work, recruiters know the role as well as the client does and will get to know you so they can really promote you to the end client. Your experience may not be an identical match to the job specification but if we know more about your other strengths and attributes then we can confidently fight your case to secure an interview. This is where choosing to work with a specialist recruiter can really help as you will be speaking to a consultant who truly understands the technical aspect of your skills and experience and can effectively sell the benefits of your background and personality on to the client.

3) Help with interview preparation

As Benjamin Franklin once said “failing to plan is planning to fail”. You may also be familiar with the more trivial 7 Ps (Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance). Either way, both demonstrate the importance of planning ahead. Part of a recruitment consultant’s role is to make sure that you shine at an interview. Not only do they want to help you get the right role for you but also the agency is only paid if you are successful in getting the job. If you’ve worked with agencies in the past and entered an interview unsure about what to expect, then the consultant hasn’t done their job properly. Some interviewers have odd habits, likes/dislikes, hobbies or set questions that they usually ask and if your consultant can share insight on these things it will put you at an advantage from the outset.

4) Let someone else negotiate a good deal for you

To put this into context, think of yourself as a professional footballer – your aim may be to play for one particular club (Leeds United, probably) or you’re happy to play for a number of clubs. You, personally, wouldn’t have time to approach and negotiate a contract with all of your preferred options, which is why you’d use an agent. Give them the pain of those discussions and focus your time on your strengths – in this case football. They may also know of a club ready to invest heavily that you wouldn’t have considered beforehand. Think of Roman Abramovich wanting to spend his life savings winning the Champions League.

I’ve heard feedback of “but they’re taking from my pocket” but this isn’t the case - most agents agree a fixed percentage up front with a client. Generally speaking the more you end up getting, the bigger the fee the agent will charge, albeit working in conjunction within the end client’s budgetary constraints. A good recruiter will strive to get you the best rate or salary they can.

5) Support throughout your career

Establishing a working relationship with a recruitment consultant can help you not only find current opportunities but also future opportunities when the time comes to move jobs or when your circumstances change.

By having a good relationship with a recruiter and keeping in touch with them even when you’re not actively looking for work, you will be the person they think of when a new, specific role comes up. You can get the heads up on roles before they are publically advertised.

These are just a few reasons why getting in touch with a recruiter can help you take the next step in your career although I believe there are many more. If you’re still unsure, why not give us a try?

For more advice on applying for a job, career planning and leaving a job, visit our career advice pages.

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