15/06/2017

Should I use Recruitment Agencies?

Recruitment agencies seek out job opportunities and match them to candidates who have registered with them for work. This article provides an overview of the benefits and potential pitfalls for new career entrants regarding using agencies to help them find work.

Recruitment agencies specialise in recruiting staff for employers on either a temporary or permanent basis. If you are employed on a temporary contract you will often be contracted via the agency, fixed term and permanent contracts are usually directly with the employer.

There are different types of recruitment agency, generalists, or high street agencies such as Adecco, Manpower and Randstad, cover a wide range of disciplines. There are also specialists who work with in specific industries or job types (such as accountancy or graduate recruiters). It’s important that you know what you want to achieve and select an agency that has a good track-record that meets your needs. There are both benefits and drawbacks in using a recruitment agency to find work.

Benefits

  • Agencies can help you gain some useful experience for your CV. Particularly if you are looking to gain experience in a specific industry but don’t have enough experience for permanent jobs. Employers may ask agencies to find staff to cover holiday/sickness cover or to help the employer cover seasonal peaks.
  • You can gain good advice from recruiters.  Recruiters who specialise in the sector you are interested in often have a good broad knowledge base of the roles they recruit for. They also manage jobs in that industry daily so can help you with interview techniques, or provide vital information to build the right type of experience to achieve your goals.
  • You can find temporary or summer work fast. Agencies contact employers daily looking for new assignments for their base of candidates. Signing up with an agency for summer or temporary work will increase your chances of finding employment quickly in your summer holidays or for part time work around your studies. The more flexible you can be to undertake assignments at short notice, the more opportunities you will have.
  • A chance to impress: Agencies may open the door to interviews by using their relationships with employers to convince them to see you if you demonstrate good enthusiasm and potential. Also by undertaking temporary work you have an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to employers who may be impressed enough to offer you more work.

Drawbacks

  • Agencies charge the employers for their services. If you are looking for a permanent role, RecruitsMe would suggest you try to apply speculatively to companies you are interested in working for. They may be more likely to take a chance on less qualified/experienced applicants if a fee is not on the table. You can access client profiles on RecruitsMe for businesses interested in recruiting fresh talent.
  • Don’t get caught in Temporary / Fixed Term cycle. It is important to gain work experience. However, taking on too many temporary or fixed term assignments may give other employers the impression that you are “job hopping”. You can combat this by highlighting on your CV when the role was temporary or fixed term and by where possible ensuring that the assignments you accept add valuable skills to your future career, increasing your employability.
  • Managing your job search whilst on temporary assignments. Taking on the right temporary work will boost your CV but will mean that you have less time to look directly for permanent work or find it more challenging to get to time to attend interviews. Most temporary recruiters and employers will offer reasonable time off for interviews, but you will need to give as much notice as possible. If your goal is to find permanent work, set up email alerts on job boards to send you roles of interest and set time aside to check your inbox at least a couple of nights per week.