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Good source of introduction
Recruitment Agencies in general
Member Name: Yorkiebee
Recruitment Agencies in general
Advantages: access to a range of vacancies
Disadvantages: will not get you a job
I have used recruitment agencies in the past and have had reasonable success with them. I have found them to be useful in finding me temporary positions and when the economy was good found that they would not leave me alone and would contact me to try and offer me what they thought were suitable roles.
Recruitment agents are essentially sales driven and know when they successfully place a candidate in a vacancy they will be entitled to commission from their client so there is some incentive for recruitment agents to work with you. Some recruitment agencies will insist on meeting you face to face to try and give a more personal service but the few that I have worked with are happy to deal with you over the telephone and by email.
The advantages of using recruitment agents are that they have access to a range of vacancies and can place candidates in temporary or permanent positions. Recruitment agents are also the most likely people to know of vacancies first and once you have built up a rapport with them they are more likely to remember you and pass your CV to potential clients. Contrary to popular belief recruitment agents are not there to find you a job, a lot of this is down to you but they are useful for making applications on your behalf and limiting the work you have to do for yourself.
In my experience I have found that recruitment agents will work for you as long as you keep in touch and make the effort to call and talk to them. You have to know what it is you are looking for and be open to suggestions. A good recruitment agent will know of their available vacancies and will be more willing to pass your details on to clients if you are courteous and reasonable. When you use a recruitment agent do not expect them to do all the work, it is a two way street and they, just like everyone else, like to be treated as normal human beings. Also, do not expect all recruitment agents to be the same, there are those who will work with you and those who just call you up to build up their database of prospective candidates and do nothing for you. You will only know which falls into the latter when you never hear from them again.
There is a misconception that recruitment agents will find you a job but in reality this is not the case. Recruitment agents have access to vacancies and can put your CV across but how you fare to prospective employers is down to you. You should always put together your own CV as recruiters use this to pass onto their clients and a good CV which you prepared will hopefully get you an interview. Once you have an interview it is down to you to prepare for it.
I would not recommend you to sign up with every recruitment agency in the area. Prospective employers contact several agencies in the area with the same vacancy and there is no added advantage of having several recruitment agencies send out your CV for the same role.
The recruitment agents I have used would contact me with details of the interview times and I always ask them for any information on the particular person they deal with at the other end (knowledge is power!) and then make my own preparations for the interview. After the interview it is always useful to contact the recruitment agent to update them on how it went and to request the agent contact their client for feedback.
Even if you are unsuccessful at the interview do not blame the recruitment agent for 'not doing their job'. Recruitment agents have no influence over their client's decision making process and therefore it is not their fault if you did not get the job - it may be down to how you came across at the interview.
I have had one bad experience with a recruitment agent who told me I should only sign up with their company and not with anyone else. Her manner of dealing with me was abrupt and disinterested and she made out that she was doing me a favour by passing my CV onto her client. I was unhappy at the manner in which she treated me and instructed another agent but this just led to more rudeness from the recruitment agent which really surprised me and made me realise I was right not to use her.
In summary, recruitment agents are an excellent source of introduction to get you access to some of the vacancies advertised by prospective employers but you should not expect them to get you a job. You are still expected to do the bulk of the hard work yourself.
Summary: job hunting still requires a lot of effort