Last month’s post listed the benefits of approaching employers directly when applying for a job. The findings were clear: the second point in the post asserted that targeting employers is quite simply the best way to find a job. This is true if we consider the high percentage of unadvertised jobs. Recruitment agencies can generally only access jobs which are advertised on the open market. Therefore, using their services means that the job applicant is only applying for at most 40% of the actual jobs available. This seems to be a dreary forecast for this post. However, it must be taken into account that many of the unadvertised positions are kept quiet for a reason; usually because the company with the opening already has someone in mind for the job and is keen to hire internally. Employers like to know who they’re dealing with and they would rather promote a member of staff who has already shown dedication than hire someone new. Ultimately, then, these unadvertised posts aren’t really tailored to suit the average job-hunter. As a result, this post examines the benefits of using recruitment agencies for advertised positions, as these are the ones that are relatively unbiased and focus predominantly on education and experience over a person’s existing relationship with the company in question. The following points address the advantages of sending job applications via a recruitment agency:
1. Specialised knowledge and access
Recruitment agencies add valuable expertise to the job-hunting experience. They possess a high degree of knowledge about the labour market including employment patterns and what it truly takes to make you stand out. They are a valuable asset to the job applicant who gets to take advantage of their services for free. They will be honest and forthcoming about the strength of your application and often help you strengthen your Curriculum Vitae. This is all for free!
2. You know where you stand
If you aren’t suitable for a job, it is common for recruitment agencies to inform you very early on in the process. When you apply directly to an employer, you often wait for months to hear about the status of your application. In today’s job market it is increasingly common to never receive a response at all. This can be very disheartening for an applicant who has taken the time to compose a thoughtful, tailored application. At least with a recruitment agency they will tell you early on in the process what’s wrong or missing from your credentials.
3. Multi-tasking experts
If you have signed up with a recruitment agency for a particular job position being advertised, they will often go above and beyond what is required of them. It is in their best interest for companies to hire out of their agency so you will never find a more enthusiastic supporter of your goals. They will communicate frequently with the job applicant and keep them posted about other relevant positions as they arise. With your permission, they will send your CV to many more relevant employers than the original posting you signed up for. They basically do all the work for you and have access to a large network through existing clients on their database.
As you can see, recruitment agencies are a valuable resource for job-seekers. It remains true that many job postings will remain unadvertised and recruitment agencies can never substitute the personal touch that comes from targeting an employer directly. At the same time, however, the 40% of total jobs that do make their way onto job sites can be handled very efficiently by recruitment experts. My advice would be to combine both methods: make use of recruitment agencies when you want to apply for jobs in bulk, but never stop researching and contacting employers on your own to show extra interest. Also, make sure to take advantage of a recruitment specialist’s knowledge about the practical side of job applications. They will be more than willing to look at and edit your Curriculum Vitae, for example. You could use their skills to strengthen your application and then conduct in-depth research in order to find positions/companies that you are passionate about. Good luck!
Copyright Gillian Rixey, Company Jobs Direct Ltd.