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Tips for Working with Employment Agencies

When the job search stalls, an employment agency could be just the shot in the arm that a job seeker needs. An employment agency can be a valuable resource for job seekers since agencies assist employers to fill open positions by screening and submitting the best job applicants. Additionally, an employment agency can serve as an advocate for job applicants by representing the job applicant’s credentials to the employer.

There are many myths about how an employment agency works with job seekers. Sometimes the confusion really boils down to some of the terms that are used in the staffing industry.

Key terms to understand if using an employment agency in a job search:

– Headhunters work exclusively for the company.

– Contingency recruiters will get paid if they score a placement with a company.

– Employment recruiters work in employment agencies and will do everything from help you with a resume, assess your skills or practice interviewing.

10 tips for using an employment agency in a job search

1. Don’t sign any exclusive contracts with an employment agency. It is your job search and you need to stay in charge of the process.

2. Stay connected with the employment agency throughout the job search. Staffing professionals are always working with the resumes at the top of the pile.

3. Find out which employment agency a company works with and connect with that employment agency if you want a better chance to get into a specific company.

4. The employment agency will hold a portion of the amount the employer pays for their fees. Deal with it. The employment agency has to be paid too.

5. Listen to the advice that the employment agency staff is giving you about what to share in the job interview. They know their clients.

6. Ask questions about the process that the employment agency will use to assist you to find employment, about payment and what is expected of you as the job seeker.

7. When looking for an employment agency, ask people for referrals. Employment agencies build their businesses on their professional reputation and word-of-mouth.

8. Look for an employment agency that specializes in your particular industry.

9. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to locate an employment agency in your area. Staffing recruiters on LinkedIn might even have recommendations you can read from satisfied job seekers.

10. Find employment agencies through professional member associations such as the American Staffing Association.

In a comment on my blog at TheHBCUCareerCenter.com, Adrienne Graham, Chief Talent Acquisition Consultant at Hues Consulting & Management Inc says, “Recruiters & headhunters can be great resources, but only if you understand how they work and know how to utilize them.”

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