The highly competitive nature of the current job market has resulted in a dramatic proliferation of recruitment agencies, all competing to fill a small number of vacancies from a vast applicant pool. Whilst recruitment agencies have historically played an integral role in linking employers to potential employees, the increase in qualified applicants, coupled with the rise of social media, has lead many observers to question whether it is worthwhile for graduates to use them at all. Despite this however, whether you’re looking for a banking, hospitality or social care job, recruitment agencies are still a worthwhile route to go down for jobseekers, providing they know how and when is best to use them.
How to Best Use Recruitment Agencies
The most important bit of advice we can give you is to not rely on recruitment agencies alone. Whilst it can be effective part of your jobhunting strategy, the fact is most employers don’t use recruitment agencies to fill vacancies and so relying solely on this greatly narrows your scope. Recruitment agencies are used mainly by large employers who wish to cast their net as widely as possible when recruiting graduates or specialists, and by small companies who don’t have the capacity to carry out their own recruitment. Agencies will put forward candidates who meet the skills and experience required for the job and so your opportunities may be restricted if you have limited work experience. If you believe you could benefit from using recruitment agencies, it is now time to consider how best to go about it.
Once you have decided whether using recruitment agencies will be worthwhile for you, the next step is to research the agencies that are most relevant to you, considering factors such as location and sector, and contact several different agencies to increase your chances of success. If an agency believes you are suitable, they will contact you and ask for more information about your personal circumstances and career aspirations. If you meet all their requirements, you may then be asked to attend a screening interview where the agency will determine whether you are suitable to send to interview with their client companies.
Finally, make sure you are not charged by agencies for their services as they receive a fee from the employer whose vacancy you are applying for. It is also important to remember that the most popular and competitive sectors for graduates, such as journalism and the media, do not use agencies as they fill vacancies through speculative applications. If you are considering a career in these sectors we would advise you not to bother using recruitment agencies and instead contact employers directly.