If you are or have been a job seeker, chances are you have encountered a recruiter in a staffing agency. To many people, “recruiter” seems like a 4 letter word. Most job seekers I have talked to have not had a great experience in dealing with this resource. Having spent several years as a recruiter, I would like to provide some hints on how to turn that enemy into an ally.
How do I choose an agency? Not all agencies are created equal – There are hundreds of staffing agencies in the GTA. The trick is to find the one that will have the most opportunities for the type of job you are looking for. Many of the mainstream agencies (Manpower, Robert Half, Kelly Services, Randstad) have specialized divisions that cater to specific sectors like IT, Health or Finance. If there is a specific sector you are looking into, try to find an agency that caters to just that industry. It’s more productive for your job search to connect with an agency that gets 5-10 jobs per week in your sector than one that generalizes in everything and might only get the 5-10 jobs that are relevant to you in a year.
Never heard of that agency – Many recruiters have started their own companies and concentrate on a specific niche of the market. These boutique agencies are an excellent source of industry information as they only make placements in that sector. They would have a high degree of knowledge in what is happening for that particular area, what the job market looks like and what skills and experience the employers are looking for. If your job goal is in a specific area then give these smaller agencies a try.
I registered with an agency and they never got back to me — too many times I have heard this complaint. Keep in mind that this is your job. As a recruiter I would talk/correspond with hundreds of people per week. There is not time enough in the day to connect with every single person. Many of the people who called were not my ideal candidate, and time would only allow me to concentrate on the ones that were. To keep your name in the recruiters mind, I would call them once a week to advise on your status. That way there is a better chance for them to remember you when a position becomes available.
Recruiters only help those people who will make them money – Well, yes! Commission is a part of or the entire way a recruiter makes money. It’s how they earn their living and keep their jobs. There is a huge amount of pressure to make the placements each month and achieve the numbers. No one will spend time on a product or service that does not deliver the goods. The recruiters have to send the best of the best to their customers to earn the fee they charge. Second rate won’t cut it. This is why it is so important to find an agency that specializes in your field and considers you highly marketable.
I have to pay how much for you to help me find a job? – If you hear this, run. You should not have to pay anything to register with a staffing agency or to have them place you in employment. The agencies charge a fee to the employer for finding you; that is where they make their money. If you are told you will receive $15 per hour or $35,000 salary, that’s what you should get. Now there are career professionals out there that provide very detailed and personalized job search services. In this case you may be required to pay a fee for their help. Most people will be using the typical staffing agency, so — Buyer Beware!
As in any industry, there are the few that give the majority of hardworking and dedicated people a bad name. Do your research, be careful and take ownership over your job search. A recruiter can be a great resource in your job search and the better news is that you can utilize more than one at a time. Several sets of eyes helping you find a job leads is better than doing it solo.