The era of Information technology has greatly changed how a lot of things are done. This is especially true in the case of the recruitment and job placement landscape. The internet has given prolific rise to job boards which have greatly helped to match job seekers to employers and helped them find the best fit.
These job boards work with employers and recruitment agencies. We know what job boards are and we also know who the employers are, but what do recruitment agencies really do? How do they operate and how do the fit into the recruitment and job placement jigsaw. In this article I shall be talking about recruitment agencies and how they operate as well as the different kinds of recruitment agencies.
What is a Recruitment Agency
Before we delve into the different kinds of recruitment agencies, let’s try to understand what they are and the primary role they play. Recruitment agencies are basically third party agencies that actively search for candidates to fill the vacancy of an employer. But let’s not confuse a recruitment agency with an employment agency. They are two different kinds of agencies with clear cut distinctions.
Recruitment agencies sole purpose is to find a candidate to fill the role an employer has a vacancy for. On the other hand, an employment agency fills a vacancy of an employer using one of its agents. So in essence if you are with an employment agency, you work for the agency and not the employer directly. The difference lies in who becomes your actual employer. Please note this very well and let it help you make your decision when choosing one of these two companies.
Types of Recruitment Agencies
There are several kinds of recruitment agencies which a deal specifically within a preferred space of recruitment. Some of these are Mass recruitment agencies, Marketing recruitment agencies, Media recruitment agencies, Executive recruitment agencies, Professional recruitment agencies and even International recruitment agencies. Most of these are easy to understand by the names. But just make it clearer I will try to expand on each type.
Mass recruitment agencies
Mass recruitment agencies, simply refer to agencies that recruit en masse for all kinds of organizations across any industry. They usually have a huge database of applicants and jobs. They then match the best candidate to each job and then let the employer make their choice.
Marketing recruitment agencies
Marketing recruitment agencies as the name suggest are the agencies that deal solely in the area of marketing. This means that the business landscape is their primary domain. Linking qualified candidates in that area to employers and jobs that best fit their career ambitions.
Media recruitment agencies
The next group we have is the media recruitment agencies. As the name suggests, they too deal primarily with the media. Having a career in the media can prove to be fast-paced. It is also quite exciting as the new trends and stories keep flooding headlines. However, it can be an extremely competitive sector. With the high demands and standards at all times including long hours and travel, it is an industry that needs specialization.
Executive recruitment agencies
The word executive, denotes a high level of professional and expertise. That is exactly what an executive recruitment agency aims to deliver. They deal exclusively with filling top management positions across all industries. They do not deal with entry level or mid-level job seekers. Their job is to fill the positions that require great experience and high qualifications to provide the much needed boost in a company.
Professional recruitment agencies
Professional recruitment agencies deal with professions such as doctors, nurses, lawyers and others who have a special skill set that cannot be replicated by anyone else. This is their aim, to help employers fill vacancies that need the particular expertise in a specific field. This kind of agency deals with job openings that actively need such people.
International recruitment agencies
The last kind of agency we shall talk about is the international recruitment agency. These are agencies that are not geographically tied in a single location. They may be available in several countries and provide jobs across those nations. They usually deal with multinational companies that have interests in several countries and need people to fill those vacancies as and when they arise. These agencies are usually not industry specific and can perform the tasks of the other previously mentioned agencies.
How do they Operate
Now that we have spoken a bit on the types of recruitment agencies, let us now talk about how they work. Most often, the recruitment agencies, get lists of job opening from various employers and companies. This list is then used to place adverts on online job boards and other avenues to attract qualified and interested candidates. They also monitor and are always on the lookout for new and interesting resumes being uploaded onto the online job boards.
All through this process, they try as much as possible not to expose the actual employer to the candidate. This is done because they get paid only if they are able to bring the employer a successful candidate who gets the job. So most often you would notice that such very few adverts would have the name of the direct employer.
Some of these agencies, also take the resume of a candidate and send the employer an edited version. Studies have shown that this is the primary reason why most job boards only accept resumes in the Microsoft word Format. They would usually remove your personal details so that you cannot be directly contacted by the employer. However, no reputable agency should change the contents of your resume without your consent.
Reasons to use a Recruitment Agency
Most employers prefer to use recruitment agencies for various reasons. But this is often because recruitment is a long process and it involves a lot of time, money and effort. It also involves having to sift through numerous applications to find the right candidate for the role. This is the part that the employer usually wants to avoid and this is where the recruitment agencies step in.
The recruitment agency have a specific job, which is to fill the vacant position with the most qualified candidate. Employers need the right people for the job. But most often they do not have the time to find these people because of other engagements. They use the recruitment agencies to help them in the selection process, so that they can have time to interview the qualified applicants.
As an employer before you consider using any recruitment agency there are some few questions you should ask. Ask if they have knowledge of the market. Do they know how your industry works? Do they know the exact kind of person you need to fill that role? The next thing you should look out for is if they have an extended reach in order to find a bigger pool of candidates. Look at your resources and budget, then determine if it matches the asking price of the recruitment agency.
Now for the job seeker, should you use a recruitment agency at all? It is imperative to know when and how to use a recruitment agency if you are to have any true success with them. My personal advice is this, if you know the employer and they receive direct application, then there is no need for you to use a recruitment agency.
Recruitment agencies can be a great avenue to get employed but the truth is this, most companies use recruitment agencies in order to avoid wasting time and resources. However, if they were not useful, there would not be so many of them. Most recruitment agencies charge substantial amounts when they work for an employer unless they have an exclusive contract with the employer. This means that the employer uses that particular agency for all of its recruitment and all applications to the company must pass through the agency.
I hope this article has been helpful in educating you about what recruitment agencies are and how they operate. Understanding how they work and knowing when and how to choose recruiting agencies could be the key to getting your dream job or perfect candidate.