Tips for Working with Employment Agencies

Employment AgenciesWhen the job search stalls, an employment agency could be the shot in the arm that a job seeker needs. An employment agency helps employers fill their vacant positions. They do this in two ways. First, they screen and submit the best job applicants and they serve as an advocate for job applicants. They do this by promoting the job applicant’s credentials to the employer.

There are many myths about how an employment agency works with job seekers. Understanding some of the terms  used in the staffing industry helps clarify some of the myths.

Key terms in a job search

  • Headhunters work exclusively for the company. They do not work for the job seeker.
  • Contingency recruiters will get paid if they score a placement with a company.
  • Employment recruiters will help you with a resume, assess your skills or practice interviewing.

Tips for working with employment agencies 

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 recruiters and employment agencies through the job search. Staffing professionals work with the resumes at the top of the pile.

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

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

5. Listen to the advice that employment agencies give you about what to share and not to share in the job interview. Employment agencies know their clients.

6. Ask questions about the employment agency process. Ask about payment and what they expect from you as the job seeker.

7. Ask people for referrals when you are looking for a recruiter. An employment agency builds its business on having good professional reputations and through word-of-mouth.

8. Look for employment agencies that specialize in your particular industry.

9. Use social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to locate employment agencies in your area. Staffing recruiters on LinkedIn might publish testimonials from satisfied job seekers.

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

As one recruiter said to me, “Recruiters and headhunters can be great resources, but only if you understand how they work and know how to utilize them.”

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