When job hunting gets too difficult, most job-seekers turn to agencies that can assist them in finding employment.
Most employment agencies are perfect for landing a job without putting much effort into finding one.
According to a Washington Post article by career coach Joyce E.A. Russell, most people are curious "if these agencies can help them out and how to best use them if they decide to seek professional assistance."
Here are a few useful tips, courtesy of Russell. Hopefully, they will help you decide if using an agency is an ideal option during your search.
1. Be Familiar with the Different Types of Agencies
First off, become familiar with the different titles agencies use. Some refer to their establishment as a recruitment firm or a search firm. However, most companies commonly identify their business as staffing agencies and temporary agencies. While some are led by the public sector, others are mainly private agencies.
For example, seasonal jobs are usually found through a temp agency. This type of agency recruits workers on behalf of a company looking to hire new employees. Job advertisements are typically posted and made available through online job boards. The agency will conduct the interview and any other consultation before deciding if the person will be best fit for the employer.
There are also agencies that specialize in recruiting professionals who are experts in their field—including mid- to high-level positions. Instead of posting job announcements, these leading recruiters contact candidates directly for certain industries and career fields.
2. Know the Benefits of Using One
In addition to finding a job, agencies are helpful in placing you ahead of the competition. Between 90 to 95 percent of job placements have been through the use of recruitment firms. While some applicants may apply to a position directly with the company, others are applying through a staffing agency that has an advantage in choosing the right candidate for the job. You could be that selected candidate.
Additionally, Russell notes that most agencies are useful when "the demand for candidates exceeds the supply of qualified candidates." You can usually find this in hard-entry jobs related to science or computer technology.
3. Figure Out Why and How You Should Use One
Job agencies can be very rewarding for students or retirees, especially if you’re in search of something impermanent. In desperate times, this could be your best bet as well. It’s recommended that you research agencies that possess good reputations with minimum complaints.
The most important part of working with an agency is to consistently stay in touch with the representative. Be completely transparent with him or her about what your interests are and what you’re looking for in a job. Literally dress-to-impress and be as professional as possible. Remember you represent the agency that discovered you, so be on your best performance.
4. Understand How Payment Works
An agency can be paid through a "non-fee paid" or "fee-paid" position. A "non-fee paid" position is when an applicant pays the fee. A "fee-paid" position means an employer has already covered the fees. The value of these fees can vary, depending on what type of agency you’re using or job you’re pursuing.
Overall, there are several ways an agency is compensated for its recruitment service:
- An agency may charge a fee once a candidate has been hired on a job.
- The agency will get paid after a candidate completes a probationary period.
- An agency receives a percentage of the referral’s check.
- The agency agrees to earn a payment based from the candidate’s hourly work.
After taking into consideration some of the points listed—especially the payment options—it’s up to you to decide if this is the best route to take. If so, you may just find that job placement agencies are truly beneficial.