When a recruiter reaches out to you for the first time, you may feel a little intimidated. If you feel like this, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Recruitment is an industry that outsiders have very little understanding of and, therefore, minimal trust. If this sounds familiar, we wrote this article just for you: To explain what to expect from a recruitment agency, and how Recruitment Consultants can help boost your career.
What Do Recruitment Agencies Do?
Recruitment agencies act as middlemen between companies with vacancies to fill and job seekers looking for new jobs. The next question people usually ask at this point is, “Why does there need to be a middle man? Why can’t companies just fill their jobs with candidates who have applied to them directly?” And that is an excellent question!
The answer simply comes down to time and money. Most companies don’t have massive advertising budgets to help them fill their vacancies but need them filling urgently.
From publishing a job advert to finding a suitable candidate can take a business several months, sometimes even years. The less well known the employer, the longer it can take.
For example, if Google published a job advert for a Software Engineer, it’s likely applicants would flood their inbox to bursting within an hour. If Stan’s Spectacular Software Company issued the same job advert, it’s unlikely they would receive the same kind of response. For Stan to compete with the likes of Google, he would need to spend a fortune on advertising.
For as long as Stan’s vacancy remains unfilled, he might lose vast sums of money in lost revenue. What’s more, he may miss project deadlines, which can negatively impact his reputation with clients and lenders.
Recruitment agencies have access to vast databases of candidates, not to mention those active on LinkedIn. This gives them access to a far greater number of suitable matches than Stan could ever have. Therefore, by placing his job advert with a recruitment agency, Stan can reduce his time to hire substantially.
What Can They Do For Candidates?
Before you speak to them, it helps to understand what to expect from a recruitment agency including what they can and can’t do for you. They can match you with jobs that will fulfil your ambitions and satisfy your financial and work-life balance needs. But only if they have the positions available that will allow them to do so. What they won’t do is go out and find you a job that’s not currently on their books.
It probably helps at this point to understand how recruiters make money. They are paid by their client – aka your potential new employer. Meanwhile, you benefit from their services absolutely free! However, even though you don’t pay them a penny for their services, what you can get from them can be invaluable.
Accelerate Your Job Search
For a start, they get to work matching you to the best available jobs they have. Quality recruiters aren’t just about getting bums in seats. It makes sense for them to pair their candidates with job roles that will fulfil their ambitions and provide career longevity. Why should they care? Because the recruitment industry thrives on reputation and the agencies with the happiest candidates are the ones that achieve the greatest success.
They Can Get You a Substantial Payrise
Many job seekers don’t fully appreciate what their skills and experience are worth. So if they were applying for jobs directly, they might be happy with a 5% increase on their previous salary. Upon speaking to a recruitment consultant, they might realise that they’re selling themselves short and actually, their next job could result in a 20% – 30% pay increase.
They Can Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired
Recruiters won’t help you lie to get a job, nor will they tell you what to say in a job interview. However, they will help you prepare as well as possible for any interviews they put you forward for. That might include anything from giving you background information on the company to providing a practice interview before your face to face meeting with their client.
A Few Common FAQs About Working With Recruitment Consultants
While some candidates have absolutely no idea what to expect from a recruitment agency, others have overinflated ideas about what they can and can’t do. Below are the answers to some popular recruitment FAQs that candidates are sometimes too scared to ask.
How to Approach a recruiter on LinkedIn For a Job
Recruiters spend their lives trawling LinkedIn looking for suitable candidates, and this is where they post details of their latest offerings. However, it is uncommon for candidates to contact a recruiter first. So if you do see them posting about a job you like the look of, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here’s an insider secret – they love it when you do this!
Hover over a recruiter’s name on any of their posts, and a button will appear. The quickest way to contact them is to click this button.
How to Answer an Email From a Recruiter
One word answer – POLITELY! So the job they’re contacting you about now may not be the best match for your skills. Or maybe you have the best job in the world, and you’re not looking for a new one at present? Either way, manners cost nothing, and while you may not need them now, you never know when you might find yourself out of a job. It’s easier to decline politely now than to have to go grovelling and beg them to help you in future.
Why Do Recruiters Ask Such Awkward Questions?
Before putting your CV forward for a vacancy, they will need to get to know you and your work history. As they speak to many candidates in one day, their time is quite precious, so they need to get to the point. Therefore, their questioning can sometimes seem very direct and maybe even a little intimidating. While they don’t mean to be, they just need to get the information they need from you to present you in the best possible light to their clients.
During your initial conversation with a recruitment consultant, they will ask personal questions about your skills, salary, ambitions and any other jobs you’ve applied for. Candidates often don’t feel comfortable giving out this kind of information. However, the more detail you give will improve your chances of getting your ideal job.
Can You Register With More Than One Recruitment Agency?
The short answer is yes. You are free to register with as many recruitment agencies as you like. However, it’s vital to bear in mind that there are pros and cons to this. In fact, it can have such an impact on your job search that we wrote an article dedicated to this one topic. You can find it here if you’re interested: The Pros and Cons of Using Multiple Recruitment Agencies.
A Few Final Thoughts on What to Expect From a Recruitment Agency
Recruitment agencies can vary wildly in quality. The above is a guide of what you should get from a quality consultant. Therefore, it pays to do your research and make sure you register with the best in your niche. Understanding what to expect from a recruitment agency before you engage them will help you get the most out of the working relationship.
However, the most well known are not necessarily the ‘best’; that will depend on the role you’re looking for. Google rankings are always a good indicator of quality. So a quick search for ‘x jobs’ ‘y city’ or ‘x recruitment’ ‘y city’ will likely give you a good idea of which agencies you should be speaking to.
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