Whether you’re considering working with a recruitment agency to find your next job, or you’re considering hiring a recruitment agency to support your businesses recruitment process: You might be wondering how exactly a recruitment agency works.
Because working with a recruitment agency to find your next job can give you a serious advantage over other job seekers. Or if you’re a business looking for your next new hire, we can give you that market insight that gives you the advantage over your competitors in a competitive labour market.
Well lucky for you, we’re here to tell you just how recruitment agencies work, so you can understand if working with a recruitment agency is the best way to support your own recruitment efforts.
What is a Recruitment Agency?
A recruitment agency is a company that specialises in helping businesses find the employees they need, and helping professionals find their new jobs.
For businesses, a recruitment agency is often used to support, or even replace, their own internal recruitment efforts. The agency will offer insight into the state of the hiring market, and offer support around finding candidates who fit their business, and arranging interviews.
For professionals and job seekers, recruitment agencies support you in your job search. But they can do much more than just finding you a job. Here at Dynamic, we help you to update your CV with the most relevant information, find you roles that match your career goals and ideal company culture, and coach you throughout the interview process.
Recruitment agencies can be general recruitment agencies that cover a broad range of industries. These can be a strong option if you’re looking to explore new career options, as they can advise you on what kind of roles your current skill set will support you to obtain.
Another option is specialist recruitment agencies, or talent acquisition partners, like us here at Dynamic. We recruit only IT professionals across Networks, Infrastructure, Cyber Security, Software Development and IT Sales. This means that we have a greater understanding of our market, and are experts at finding the right candidates for our clients.
How do I Register With a Recruitment Agency?
You can first register with a recruitment agency by reaching out by phone or email. It’s a good idea to also inform the recruitment agency of what you’re looking for, as well as give a quick overview of your skills and experience.
The next step will be a video or phone call from the recruitment agency, to gain a greater insight into your situation and to discuss your career plans. This is so that when the agency finds you a role, they’ll have all the necessary information to find the role that is best for you.
Should I Register With More Than One Recruitment Agency?
Yes, you can register and work with as many recruitment agencies as you like. However some recruitment agencies may ask you to work exclusively with them for a period of time, but you’re under no obligations to say yes.
However there are also dangers with working multiple agencies. If multiple agencies suggest you for the same vacancy you run the risk of looking unprofessional, or even desperate.
And you should aim to only work with agencies who you trust to have your best interests at heart, instead of simply finding you a job and securing their placement fee.
How do Recruitment Agencies Work?
Before you put your faith in a recruitment agency, whether you’re a business or someone looking for their next job, you may want to know how recruitment agencies work.
1. The Introduction
Your first contact may be a message on LinkedIn, an email, or a phone call from a recruiter wanting to work with you. If you applied to a job that a recruiter is working on behalf of for a business, and could be right for the role, then you are likely to receive a phone call from a recruiter.
Even if you haven’t applied to any jobs, a recruiter may find your profile on LinkedIn and reach out to you if they have some roles they think you may be interested in. If you work in a niche industry or have a valuable skill set, then you may regularly be approached by recruiters wanting to work with you.
The first phone call will always be aimed to find out some key information from you: Employment history, skills and experience, career goals and what you are looking for from your next role.
2. The Recruiter Will Reach Out To You
Once the recruiter has your details, they will start looking for the roles that fit your requirements. Once they have something that could be relevant to you, they’ll reach out to confirm your interest before sending over your CV.
A recruiter can also help you to improve your CV. Because they have a relationship with the hiring manager or business, they know exactly what they are looking for, and can help you highlight the most relevant parts of your experience in your CV.
Additionally, the recruiter will follow up the CV they sent to the hiring manager with a phone call or email, to argue why you’re a great candidate for the position. It’s the small things like this that can give you a huge advantage over other applicants to the role, who don’t have someone arguing their corner.
3. They’ll Support You Through the Interview Process
If the hiring manager is interested, the recruiter will help to arrange interviews by getting your availability and the hiring managers.
The recruiter will also offer support throughout the process by giving you insight onto what the hiring manager wants to see from their ideal candidate: Which experiences you should focus on, and what to prepare.
4. They May Negotiate Salary and Other Benefits on Your Behalf
Recruitment agencies can even handle salary negotiations on your behalf. Salary negotiation is not something that everyone feels comfortable doing, but is absolutely a possibility for the majority of professionals.
A recruiter knows the available budget for the position they’re assisting with hiring, and can negotiate for you, with your blessing.
Of course you may prefer to negotiate your own salary. We’ve written a guide here, to give you some tips on how.
Do Recruitment Agencies Take a Cut of Your Salary?
No, recruitment agencies never take a cut of your salary. Recruitment agencies are paid by the business or agency they work with. Recruitment agencies are generally paid a fee percentage, that is proportional to your salary. But don’t worry, what the recruitment agency gets paid won’t come out of your salary.
For more information on how recruitment agencies get paid, you can see our guide here.
What this does mean, is that the higher a salary the recruitment agency can get for you, the more they will get paid. Which creates an incentive for the recruiter to get you the highest salary that they can.
How to Choose and Use a Recruitment Agency That’s Right for You in 5 Steps
Armed with the knowledge of how recruitment agencies work for you, it’s important to go out and pick the agency that is right for you and your career. So here’s our 5 step guide on choosing a recruitment agency that is right for you:
1) Choose The Right Kind of Agency For You
This one sounds a bit on the nose. But there are a few different kinds of agencies for you to consider:
- Graduate Recruitment Agencies: Agencies like Inspiring Interns or the Graduate Recruitment Bureau specialise in supporting those who are just starting out in their careers.
- Then there are your large, generalist recruitment agencies. These typically cover a large range of industries, giving you more choice to choose from. If you’re looking to explore new career options, they can be a good choice and can give you general careers advice. They will also have a larger pool of talent that they work with, so if you’re a business hiring for a less specialised position such as an office admin, they could be a strong choice.
- There are also your specialist recruitment agencies like us. Here at Dynamic Search Solutions, we’re specialists across the IT market: Meaning we’re experts and a great choice for IT Professionals, but probably not for anyone else.
Next up after deciding on the kind of recruitment agency you want to work with, is to search for individual recruitment agencies.
You’ll want to look at reviews left on their website and social media to find one that offers a high-level of candidate care. After all, you want to work with an agency that will have your interests first.
2) Reach Out to Your Recruitment Agency of Choice
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to reach out to your agency or agencies of choice. (While an agency will want you just to work with them, there’s nothing stopping you from working with multiple agencies.)
The agency will ask you for some key details around your employment history, skills and experience, and your career goals. They will also likely ask for a copy of your CV, so it’s a good idea to update your CV with your most relevant employment history.
While the recruiter will represent you to the best of their ability, they will need to know some key details around what it is you are looking for. So it’s a good idea to have a think on exactly what roles you are looking for, what your career goals and plan is, and your salary expectations.
If you’re a business looking to recruit, then the same as above applies. Except you’ll need to brief the recruitment agency on everything they need to know about your recruitment process, and exactly what you’re looking for from your new hire.
3) Be Prompt With Replying and Staying in Touch With the Agency
From time-to-time, the agency will reach out to you with roles that may be of interest. Hopefully after your earlier conversation, these roles will be ones that are highly relevant to your career goals.
If you are interested in a role, then you want to be prompt in replying to the recruiter. Or even if you’re not, a quick text saying why it’s not right for you would help the recruiter refine their search so it doesn’t happen again.
And if you’re not replying to the recruitment agency, they may think that you’re no longer interested and stop sending you roles. By replying, you’ll always be at the front of the recruiters mind when new job opportunities come onto the market.
Similarly for hiring managers or business owners, communication with your recruitment agency is key. If you’re not giving prompt feedback about CVs, candidates or interviewees that a recruitment agency sends you, they’ll likely stop sending you candidates and may choose to not work with you again.
4) Be Ready for Your Interviews
When it comes to interviews, the recruitment agency will take care of all of the arranging for you. You just have to turn up!
Even better, the recruiter will help support you through the process by coaching you on any presentations or tasks you need to complete, and give you insight into the questions you’ll be asked.
Sometimes you may need to cancel or rearrange interviews. Obviously it’s not ideal, but it does happen. However, missing an interview completely can irreparably damage your relationship with a recruiter. If they see you as unreliable, they may be less likely to put you forward for roles in the future. After all, they won’t want to risk their industry reputation on a flaky candidate.
Similarly for businesses, being a no-show to an interview with little to no warning can damage a recruiter and recruitment agencies reputation, and they may choose to not work with your business again.
5) Be Honest and Upfront With Your Recruiter About What You’re Looking For
Understandably, you may have reservations about giving all of the details about your life and career to someone you haven’t met before. But a recruiter is there to fight your corner for you.
They can only represent you to the best of their ability, if you’re upfront and honest about what you’re looking for. If you go through the interview process and at the end decide the salary they’re offering isn’t good enough, despite you saying that it was at the start of the process, the recruiter may be less likely to work with you again.
And the same is true for businesses. If a business is hiring for a role and isn’t upfront about the responsibilities of the job that needs filling or about the salary available, then a recruitment agency won’t be able to properly support the business.
Is it Worth Working With a Recruitment Agency?
We would argue, yes, working with a recruitment agency can save your business money, save you time and effort allowing you to grow your business in other ways, and find stronger candidates that you can on your own. Working with a recruitment agency however, does take time, money, and is a commitment.
Agency fee’s are typically negotiable. But if you financially can’t afford to work with a recruitment agency, then you can’t afford it.
And working with a recruitment agency takes time. If you don’t have the time to review CV’s and give interview feedback quickly, recruitment agencies may be less willing to send you their best candidates.
But working with a recruitment agency can be a huge boost to your business, for all the reasons above. And best of all, there’s nothing to pay until you’re happy.
For more information on whether recruitment agencies are worth it, you can look at the advantages and disadvantages of working with a recruitment agency here.
If you’re looking for your next job in IT, from Networks and Infrastructure to IT Sales and Account Management, you can see what we can do for you here.
But if you’re looking to hire an IT Professional for your business, have a look here at how we work to support the businesses we work with, and how we can support you.