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What makes a good recruitment agency? - The facts

By Sarah Bloomfield on 21.10.15 in Your Job Search

Whether you are a candidate seeking a new role or a client looking to hire, identifying a good recruitment agency is the first vital step in making this often tedious process a pleasant and fruitful experience. 

These days applying for a job is hard work, time consuming and extremely competitive. Despite having an outstanding CV, hiring managers may never get to see it even if you have the right qualifications and experience. In order to maximize their chances, candidates are turning to recruitment agencies to help them in their search for their dream job. 

So, how should you go about identifying a recruiter who is right for you? A quick Google search will bring up a myriad of results, and a scan of positions available may be one way of choosing who to entrust your CV to, however, this isn't necessarily the best approach. When you research agencies, many of them will have things in common - but you need to find the one that will best serve you in your search for a new job. 

The first thing to consider whether you are a client or candidate is the agency's approach. Do they really care about you? A good agency will be keen to speak to you, find out about you and your motivations behind looking for a new job as well as quizzing you about your career goals. In the best instances, they will invite you in for a face-to-face consultation. The same principle goes for clients who are looking to place a role with a recruitment consultant. Recruiters should be inquisitive about your organisation, the sort of culture you have there and the type of person that would fit in, as well as the usual job description. 

An ability to sell is essential in a recruiter. They are your representatives in front of your potential new employer and as such, when they find you a great role, you want them to pitch you as the perfect candidate, with the right skills and personality for the role on offer. 

Furthermore, you need to conduct your job search with an enthusiastic recruitment agency. Job-hunting is not an easy process, so working with someone who is positive and who motivates you when the going gets tough will make life better all round. 

A recruitment agency that has genuine experience in the sector you are interested in is vital. They must understand the jobs they are recruiting for and the needs of the client entrusting them with finding the perfect candidate. Look for agencies whose team used to work in that industry and have forged strong links within it. There is nothing worse than being put up for a job by a recruiter who doesn't understand the industry they are recruiting into. 

You want to choose an agency that has been around for a while. It is important that they don't have a high staff turnover - if they do, then the recruiter assigned to you may not have been developed sufficiently and will not have the connections you need. As a job seeker this could be the difference between an interview and your CV landing in the bin. 

A good agency should be able to help you tailor your CV so that it stands out and meets the employer's needs, as well as offering you tips for interviews. They should be able to get you in front of great companies, respect the confidentiality of your CV and only send your details to companies with your permission. 

So in short, you are looking for a recruitment consultant who is enthusiastic and highly motivated to help you develop your career. They should take the time to understand your experience and requirements, and offer you advice and support throughout the process - helping you secure your next brilliant role.