Why Should Job Seekers Use A Recruitment Agency?
Searching for a new job can feel like a full-time commitment in itself. Scouring job postings, filling out endless application forms, tailoring CVs, creating cover letters, preparing for interviews – the admin is seemingly never ending. Not only is it a mammoth task, it can also be an emotional rollercoaster likely to leave you feeling mentally drained. Like any challenge, job seeking is all the more daunting if you’re tackling it all alone. With this in mind, let’s take a look at six reasons it makes sense to team up with a trusted recruitment agency, along with some qualities you should be looking for when it comes to choosing a recruiter.
1. You’ll save time
The average job seeker will spend 11 hours per week scouring job boards looking for opportunities that match their requirements. This is a serious investment of time, especially when you consider that most are already in full time employment and juggling other life commitments. By teaming up with a recruiter, you can split the workload. You’ll have access to a team of people who understand your requirements, have an in-depth understanding of the job market, and spend a minimum of eight hours per day looking to match candidates and clients. Using a recruiter can also be a real time-saver when it comes to filling out application forms and cover letters, too; because recruiters have an established relationship with their clients, you can be accepted for an interview on the basis of your recruiter’s recommendation, meaning you can bypass the initial application stage entirely.
2. You’ll receive personalised support and guidance
A good recruiter will take the time to get to know you on a personal and professional level. They’ll aim to understand exactly what you’re looking for in a new role, what you’d like to avoid, and your aims in terms of future career development. They can also suggest roles you might not have considered before, or may not even have known existed. If you’ve been applying for roles independently without much success, a recruiter can use their skillset to get to the bottom of where you’ve been going wrong – are you showcasing the right skills on your CV? Are you applying for positions you’re overqualified for? Recruiters have an in-depth understanding of the job market within your specific industry, know what skillsets employers are looking for, and can help you to develop your personal brand to stand out from the crowd.
3. You’ll get access to jobs not advertised elsewhere
The hidden job market is a term used to describe positions that aren’t advertised or posted online. In fact, it’s estimated that 70-80% of all jobs are never made public. These positions tend to be highly sought after. Some of these are filled internally, through networking, or through employee referrals. The majority, though, will be filled through recruitment agencies. Many clients prefer to work with agencies exclusively as they know that their chosen recruitment team has an in-depth understanding of their organisation, knows exactly what they’re looking for in a candidate, and can therefore act as the first stage in the selection process. When you choose to partner with a recruiter, you’ll be able to double or even triple the amount of roles that are potentially available to you, rather than competing with thousands of other candidates on LinkedIn and other job boards.
4. You’ll have access to inside knowledge
Most of us have been through the struggle of trying to gain as much insight as possible into a company prior to an interview simply from scouring their website or employees’ LinkedIn pages – it can be tricky to do all the necessary detective work, especially if an organisation’s online presence is limited. This is another area in which the guidance of a recruiter is invaluable. Consultants will have spent a great deal of time speaking with their client, getting to know their company culture and values, and understanding exactly what they want from a new employee. They’ll be all too happy to share this information with you, which will help you to give impressive and well-informed answers at interview. When speaking with your recruiter before an interview, be sure to ask as many questions about your potential new employer as possible, and don’t miss an opportunity to show off your knowledge once you’re in the hot seat.
5. You’ll receive detailed feedback
Job interviews can be mentally and emotionally draining, and it can be difficult to learn that you haven’t been successful, especially if you feel everything went well. It’s even more difficult, however, if you’re braving the recruitment process alone and have no way of obtaining honest feedback as to why exactly you’ve been rejected. When you choose to work with a recruiter, they’ll be able to pass on detailed feedback obtained from the client as to how you performed during your interview. This way, even if you’re unsuccessful, every job interview will still be a learning experience, and a chance to further hone your technique. A skilled recruiter will know how to deliver constructive criticism in a manner that’s actually helpful, rather than demoralising, and will be able to offer practical guidance to help you improve until you land that dream role.
6. You’ll develop a useful ongoing relationship
Many people find themselves sticking with the same recruitment team throughout their working lives. This is because, once you find an agency that really cares about you and your career progress, you know you always have someone you can rely on when the time comes to make a change. Your recruiter will come to know you very well, and will be able to anticipate the types of roles that will be a great fit for you, along with the type of career progression you might be looking for. Developing a lasting relationship with your recruiter is also a great way to keep your ear to the ground when it comes to the job market – it doesn’t hurt to have someone with whom you can check in every now and again to see if any interesting new roles are on the horizon.
We’ve covered some of the ways in which working with a recruitment agency can make the job seeking process much easier. However, looking for a new job is a very personal process, and it’s understandable that many candidates want to be thoroughly reassured that a recruiter has their best interests at heart before accepting help. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the qualities you should be looking for in a recruiter:
Honesty. It goes without saying, you should be looking for a recruitment partner who’s genuinely willing to invest in your career, and has your best interests at heart. A good consultant will be open with you about your chances within a particular role or industry, salary expectations, company cultures, and much more. There should be enough trust between you and your recruiter to have tricky conversations without feeling uncomfortable or pressured.
Great communication. If you’ve ever been ghosted by a recruiter, you know how frustrating such unprofessional behaviour can be. A good recruiter will keep you informed at every stage, keep you updated on opportunities as and when they arise, and be able to deliver feedback promptly and tactfully.
Excellent listening skills. Recruiters certainly have a reputation for being able to talk the hind legs off a donkey, but it’s just as vital they’re able to listen and put their clients’ and candidates’ priorities first. Your recruiter should take the time to have a thorough conversation about your career goals, and demonstrate that they’ve paid attention by putting you forward for roles you’re excited by.
Motivated. A recruiter isn’t going to do their best work if they aren’t excited by the challenges their work presents. You should feel that your recruiter is just as enthusiastic about your job search as you are, and that they aren’t put off by small setbacks.
Integrity. This quality plays a starring role in providing clients and candidates results that meet or exceed their expectations. A good recruiter will do the right thing even when it’s uncomfortable, such as delivering bad news over the phone wherever possible. They’ll also give a transparent appraisal when it comes to aspects of employment such as a company’s working culture, so there aren’t any unwelcome surprises later down the line.
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