The Talent Development Centre is loaded with advice for working with recruitment agencies: How to choose an agency, how to grab a recruiter’s attention, questions recruiters will ask you, questions you should ask a recruiter, how to follow-up with recruiters, etc. But for newer job seekers and IT contractors, there are more basic questions that need to be answered: What does a recruitment agency do and why should I even work with them?
How Does a Recruitment Agency Work?
Recruitment agencies (also known as Staffing Agencies, Employment Agencies, Head-Hunters, etc.) help companies and organizations find workers, whether it be as full-time employees or for temporary, contract positions. Some agencies take a focused approach and recruit a specific skillset for their clients (for example, the majority of Eagle’s services centered are around IT contract professionals) while other companies take a broader approach and source a wide spectrum of talent for clients.
Recruiters at an employment agency usually conduct the complete recruiting and screening process for their clients, which includes not just searching, but also resume screening, interviewing, reference checking and negotiating with applicants. They continuously build relationships with professionals to understand their skills, interests and availability which ensures they can present candidates to a client as quickly as possible after receiving a request. Therefore, the end result of recruiters properly serving clients is that they also help job seekers find work.
How Do Recruitment Agencies Make Money?
Staffing agencies are always paid by the hiring company, and never by the job seeker.
In the case of permanent placements, the client usually pays the agency an agreed upon fee, which varies based on agencies, industries and roles. When a recruitment agency places a candidate in a temporary or contract position, the agency will hire that individual as a temporary employee or as an independent contractor in a business-to-business relationship. The agency then signs a contract with the client, stating they will provide somebody to perform the work. The staffing agency pays the individual for doing the work, and bills the client for both the cost of the individual and the cost of recruitment efforts. Hiring companies can be billed as a flat fee or an hourly rate that gets added to the worker’s hourly pay rate.
Should You Work with Recruitment Agencies?
You should cover every possible base when looking for a job and that includes talking to staffing agencies. Of course, applying to jobs directly and networking with people in your industry needs to happen, but so should building a relationship with a recruiter. They add value and help with your job search by providing access to unpublished job opportunities, providing advice to improve your resume, giving feedback on your interview skills, and connecting you to business resources such as contractor insurance (just to name a few).
Next time you’re scrolling through a job board and come across a bunch of postings from the same employment agency, don’t assume the situation is too good to be true. Apply to the job and meet the recruiter. While the job you originally applied to may no longer be available, you will be surprised at what else they can provide!
Do you have any other questions about staffing agencies and how they work? We’d love to clarify them for you! Just leave your questions in the comments below.