How to Choose a Recruitment Agency

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The dynamic world of recruitment is a confusing and difficult place for prospective candidates and employers, especially when you consider the number of employment seekers versus the number of vacancies. Employers and prospective candidates often ask what is the right path to take? Do you go it alone or do you employ a recruitment agency?

There is little doubt that a good recruitment agency can make a world of difference for the whole recruitment process, which will benefit both employers and candidates. As more and more companies start outsourcing the recruitment function the industry has become flooded with recruitment agencies. For the job hunters, recruitment agencies provide an "inside track", often knowing who is hiring and for what positions before it is publicly announced. Making a positive impression with a recruitment agency is an essential part of your job search. However, it is pretty foolish to assume that a recruitment agency is your personal recruitment service searching for employment opportunities 24/7. The truth is that the role of recruitment agencies is to find candidates for companies rather than the other way round. Essentially, if your skills or experience is in demand recruitment agencies will contact you; if they are not then don't expect your phone to ring. As a work seeker you will need to continue your job search in conjunction with recruitment agencies. Diligence is the key to any success, by keeping regular contact you are more likely to receive more offers.

While there is a fundamental difference between the way employers and candidates utilize recruitment agency services, there are also key aspects which both should look for when deciding on which recruitment agency to enlist. Here are some clues to finding a recruitment agency that will suit your needs.

Company Background

Research recruitment agencies thoroughly. Look for a well-established local or global company with numerous clients and offices in different cities, provinces or countries. This will definitely be a better option than a start up agency or one that has only a single office.

Company Reputation

The internet is an amazing resource to find information about recruitment agencies. Reading newspapers and magazines is also a good way to find out the type of publicity an agency is getting. Word-of-mouth is another way to find out how people perceive agencies, so speak to family and friends.

Company Branding

Websites are a clear indication of the professionalism of recruitment agencies. This is the platform for interaction and the face of the company which reflects how the agency portrays itself. Social media presence, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is another indication of how current and proactive a recruitment agency is.

Agency Response

Recruitment agencies that answer phone calls and reply to emails quickly is a good sign that the agency takes what it does seriously. A polite and professional manner in which they respond toward you is an indication of how prompt and proficient their service is.

Agency Staff

The way recruitment agency consultants present themselves is a reflection of the company image. You should evaluate and assess the performance of consultants in all aspects. Does the consultant look the part, act professionally, is knowledgeable about the industry, clients and job functions. Does the consultant listen and offer advice. You should ask questions to determine if the consultant has the ability to represent you effectively.

Combined these key aspects will help you identify a recruitment agency that will provide professional, efficient service and with which you can build a lasting partnership.

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