Using a recruitment agency to find a job is a typical way especially to find temporary work and jobs in specific sectors. So knowing how to find out about recruitment agencies and how to make best use of them is a wise move for many job seekers.
A recruitment agency can help you by finding you vacancies for employers who are contracted to that agency. The recruitment agency advertises vacancies covering permanent and temporary positions.
Employers use recruitment agencies in order to:
- recruit for a new type of post for which they have no expertise
- minimise publicity when recruiting in one area of work while losing staff in another
- conceal recruitment activities from competitors
- get help with the recruitment process - eg if they don't have enough staff to deal with it
Many agencies specialise in certain types of work, within certain sectors or in particular geographical areas. The employer pays the agency to assist them in filling a particular job. You should not be asked to pay the agency for finding you work. When registering with agencies remember that the employer is the agency's primary client and not you.
Many agencies are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which is the national body that represents the recruitment industry. Recruitment agencies are a popular tool for finding a job, and, used properly, they may be able to help you in your search for a graduate career.
You can search for Recruitment agencies that specialise in a particular type of work, on the website of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
Agency Central is another source which provides access to thousands of recruitment agencies and job sites. It is searchable by industry type, skills that agencies look for, and by location. Yellow Pages also allows you to search for recruitment agencies by location
Some agencies just exist online and enable you to post your application form on the site for employers to view. You need to check the security of the site, as you are supplying personal information.
Staffing and contract agencies
The agency compiles a pool of candidates with qualifications, skills and experience and will supply staff to an organisation for a specific contract (anything from one day to several months). You will be paid by the agency for the hours that you actually work - you are not paid for holidays or sick pay. Employers might use staffing or contract agencies in order to:
- find staff to cover sickness and holidays
- tackle specific projects such as computer system re-organisation
- avoid having unnecessary staff
What are the advantages of using agencies?
- If you're working full time, the recruitment agency can be working on your behalf while you apply for jobs directly.
- Specialist agencies may be able to offer advice about their sector.
- You can work through staffing and contracts agencies to gain varied short-term experience with several employers.
- You may be able to set up work in advance of arrival in a new town.
General rules for using recruitment agencies
- Supply the agencies with a careers consultant checked CV
- Tell the agency about any important factors - are there any constraints?
- Tell the agency if you don't want them to send your CV to particular companies such as your present employer!
- Keep chasing the agency for progress - ring or call in on a regular basis.
- Don't rely on agencies as your only means of finding a job.
Recruitment agencies deal with jobs from all employment sectors and advertise vacancies covering permanent and temporary positions. They are a popular tool for finding a job and, used properly, they may be able to help you in your search for a graduate career. There are many agencies with offices in the North West that specialise in particular employment sectors.
Here is a list of primarily North-west agencies. This list is only intended as a sample of recruitment agencies, and is by no means exhaustive. Appearance on this list does not mean that Careers & Employability recommends these agencies above others.
- Search over 2000 roles in the UK and overseas
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Page Updated: 23rd April 2015(HB)