The people who complain about recruitment agencies are usually the unlucky ones who have had a bad experience. And by people I mean the two different types of customers that agencies have: the employers and the job seekers.
And why wouldn’t they complain? I know that as a customer I’m certainly not slow to give my feedback if I feel like I’m getting a shoddy service!
In my experience, the two biggest mistakes people make when using a recruitment agency is that they either pick the wrong one, or else they don’t engage properly in the process. Both errors will most likely result in failure, frustration and financial or career pain.
Picking the wrong agency is an easy one to explain, but it doesn’t stop people from making that mistake. You shouldn’t use a recruiter if they don’t specialise in your area. They might be excellent at recruiting accountants for example, but they might not have a clue about what a procurement manager or a .net Developer does. Taking a doctor analogy, it’s like asking a podiatrist to fix your head!
As Red Adair famously said “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.
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The big error of selection made by many is going for the cheapest option available. Instead of just looking at a rate, examine what service is being offered and with what resources and what support. A good recruitment agency will always add value. They should be a strategic partner for either your career development or your talent acqusition programme, and if this isn’t being done it can cost you a lot more in the long run.
Here are my three golden rules which will save you time, money and will make sure that you don’t pick the wrong agency:
1. Don’t use an agency who doesn’t want to meet you
If they refuse to give you that face time they simply don’t care enough. They should want to know who they are representing, and equally you should want to put a face to the name who will ultimately be representing yours!
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2. Don’t use an agency who isn’t honest with you
If they don’t tell you the truth about the companies or the candidates they represent, just start running! Not telling you the name of the company they represent is usually a big red flag; but if they don’t deliver on what they promise, it’s time to walk away. Look for client testimonials on their website to see who they are working with for example.
3. Don’t use an agency who you aren’t prepared to work with
That means you have to give them some of your valuable time. It means wanting to meet them. It means giving feedback and preparing properly and being honest back.
Do your homework on the agency who will be representing you and then work with them.
The best advice I can give anyone (employers or job seekers) is to do your homework on the agency who will be representing you and then work with them. Remember, there’s always Google to allow you to run your background check. Your brand is unique and invaluable, so be careful who you attach it to.