how to use a recruitment agency

You have been searching for that dream job for months, but it seems like there isn’t a suitable job out there for you. The job search process can be time-consuming and tiring. Wouldn’t it be great if someone else could manage the process on your behalf?

And someone else can. This is where recruitment agencies come in.

Many job-seekers go down the route of searching for a job on their own, and few know how to tap on the expertise and network of recruitment agencies to find their next job. The role of a recruitment agency essentially revolves around working with employers and job seekers to facilitate a successful job match. In short, recruitment agencies can be the key to unlocking great job opportunities.

How recruitment agencies work

To be successful in your job search, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how recruitment agencies work. Think of a recruitment agency as a partner in your job search. They can not only connect you with prospective employers but act as a guide, helping you to refine your resume, market you to employers and give you advice on your career path.

After submitting your CV or applying to jobs on their website, recruiters will contact you if there is a suitable match or potential job opportunity. Also, recruiters may reach out to arrange a preliminary interview to find out what your career aspirations and motivations are, and where you fit into an organisation for your current role. Once a successful job match has been found, and you have an interview session scheduled with your prospective employer, recruiters may provide interview coaching and help you negotiate a compensation package with your prospective employer. When working with a recruitment agency, you know that someone is following up on your application.

You may also wish to choose a recruiter with whom you can build a rapport. Spend some time connecting with a few recruiters and interviewing them: for example, find out how long they have been with the company and how they usually market your resume and present it to potential employers. Network with colleagues and acquaintances to get recommendations and have them refer you to a recruiter.

There is no harm in connecting with more than one recruiter. Still, it is important to take note that getting double-submitted by multiple recruiters, i.e. having two different recruiters submit you for the same job, may damage the recruiter’s and your reputation as it makes you look like you’re trying to game the system and up your odds at an interview. At the end of the day, the question to ask is if you really need more than one recruiter, assuming that you do your due diligence to find a recruiter who is experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable.

Remember that working with a recruiter is a two-way street. You’ll need to build a good professional relationship with your recruiter. And you can help recruiters help you by making yourself employable – this means completing basic tasks such as updating your CV or cleaning up your LinkedIn profile. You should also need to be flexible by broadening your criteria for the new job and by being willing to compromise on interview timings.

Get the most out of a recruitment agency

There are many reasons why those searching for jobs apply through a recruitment agency. The main reason is that recruitment agencies can tap on the wealth of information and experience they have from working with companies across different industries and sectors. As companies outsource hiring to recruitment agencies, they not only do the job hunting for you but have access to job vacancies that may not be advertised elsewhere. The best part is, recruitment agencies are free to use by job-seekers.

On top of that, you can also get insight into hiring requirements that are not listed nor obvious in job advertisements, preparing you for your interview with a prospective employer and increasing your chance of getting hired.

Finally, be honest with the recruiter and utilise their expertise. Try and identify what it is you’re looking for in a job and ask lots of questions. The more honest you are, the better they understand you and are able to help you find the best match.

Start your job hunt now

Most recruiters are open to connecting via LinkedIn or through word-of-mouth recommendations. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them as they are constantly seeking out potential candidates. Recruiters often use LinkedIn groups to connect with and monitor potential candidates, so join professional and industry associations as well as alumni groups to get in touch with them.


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