When thinking about the experience of using recruitment agencies, do either of these quotes sound familiar?
‘They said they were going to call me – but they haven’t.’
‘I sent my CV for that job and I’ve heard nothing.’
If you haven’t made these complaints about a recruitment agency at some point, it is almost certain you know someone who has.
The job-hunting process can be an emotional rollercoaster and, as a candidate, it might sometimes seem as though the recruitment agency has forgotten about you – leaving candidates feeling frustrated and deflated.
Try these 5 tips for candidates to make the most of an agencies expertise.
1: Be focused: A candidate who has a good idea of what they want to do is going to be taken more seriously than one who is vague. A short covering letter accompanying your CV which explains your journey to date and what you are looking for next is useful. If you have a list of your ideal companies you would like to work for to pass on to your consultant then that’s even better! Being specific about what you would like to do it will help place you in the mind of the Recruitment Consultant should a suitable vacancy come in. It will also allow a consultant to be proactive on your behalf.
2: Be realistic: It is going to be most straightforward for a Recruitment Consultant to place you into a new role if you are either looking to take the next logical step in your career or make a logical sideways move. Unless you are applying for an entry level role (which may have more flexibility), make sure your skills and experience are relevant to the role you are applying for and that you are not asking for a role too far from your reach right now.
3: Be flexible and reliable: Job interviews will inevitably sometimes fall during office hours and it can be a hassle to take time off if you’re already working. However, it’s a necessary part of getting a new job and if you are serious, you need to have some flexibility in your week to attend interviews. If your consultant secures an interview and you agree to attend, make sure you arrive on time and are prepared! If you arrive late (or not at all), don’t expect a second chance unless you have a very good reason!
If you keep your phone switched off at work, try and check it in your lunch break for messages and return your agency’s call if they have left you a message. It is very helpful if your consultant can contact you relatively easily. Remember, a good consultant will always have a good number of candidates to introduce to their client, so don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by being hard to speak to!
4: Accept things change: The world of recruitment is ever changing. The reality is that during the recruitment process, the emphasis on different skills and experience can change; a role can be withdrawn or the client’s demands may change. It can be frustrating but remember, when one door closes, it won’t be long until another one opens!
5: Let the agency do their job! Recruitment agencies earn money by placing candidates so it’s in everyone’s interest that the right candidates are sent for the right jobs. Recruitment Consultants are very busy people, constantly working to keep their clients and candidates happy. If you would like to have regular updates with your consultant, it’s a good idea to agree a suitable time and preferred method of communication with them when you register. Good consultants will be very busy making sales calls and visiting clients and by default, very hard to speak to. Agree a communication schedule upfront to save any frustration.
By putting these tips into practice, your experiences of dealing with recruitment agencies should start becoming much more positive.