Recruitment agencies, in a nutshell, are outside firms that basically play matchmaker between companies looking for employees and individuals in search of employment. These agencies perform all the recruitment processes on behalf of their clients including sourcing, screening, interviewing, background checking and reference checking candidates to ensure the potential employees are a match for the client, i.e. in terms of qualifications and work culture.

Although external recruiters are primarily contracted by firms to help them acquire employees, they are also useful to job seekers looking for employment. Their extensive knowledge of the job market coupled with their huge client networks gives them exclusive access to jobs making them indispensable for job seekers.

How can recruitment agencies help employers?

To the majority of employers, finding high-quality workers is a long and expensive process that, more often than not, fails to produce the desired results. Recruiting is a complex process that involves sourcing, screening, interviewing, reference and background checking candidates – all activities that make the process very tasking. Using recruitment agencies helps employers side-step the process leaving it to specialised firms that have the capacity and experience needed to recruit effectively and efficiently.

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Recruitment firms help employers cut through much of the red tape associated with hiring and satisfy their staffing needs without the hassles of recruiting. They’ll help you (the employer) fill all kinds of positions, from full-time to temporary in varying career fields. Here are some of the ways you will benefit from using a recruitment agency to get employees:

  1. Market knowledge. All good recruitment firms will have a finger on the pulse of the labour market of the industry segments they specialise in. They are aware of the currently available talent, how and where to source talent, prevailing salary rates, available skill-sets, career expectations, and the hiring complexities and how to deal with them. With all this knowledge, recruiting companies will be able to provide you with valuable advice and offer alternative solutions when you’re hiring for positions that are difficult to recruit for. Working with a recruitment agency provides you with a collaborator and partner who acts as your ears and eyes in the labour market. 
  1. Extended reach. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to find suitable candidates for a certain position. Potential candidates could either be selective or passive making it difficult to get quality applicants. If job advertisements don’t get responses either because the target candidates are too busy to reply, or don’t see themselves as part of the “target pool”, the chances are that your recruitment agency can use their established relationships to get to them. The extensive networks of recruitment agencies will help you connect with individuals with varying skills and experiences, most of who would be inaccessible to a hiring manager or in-house hiring team. 
  1. You get candidates instead of applicants. When you’re recruiting directly, your job advertisements are geared towards attracting applicants. A big chunk of these applicants will not be good matches for the role and will, therefore, waste a lot of your time when filtering, assessing and evaluating their fit. When you use a recruitment agency to hire employees, you only get candidates who have already been pre-selected and deemed to match the criteria you put forward, and who are worth consideration and interviewing. 
  1. Assistance building your employer brand. While large companies spend a lot of resources developing their employer brand, small and medium sized outfits lack the resources for similar initiatives. A recruitment agency can help you improve your employer brand by providing candidates with real insight into your company – what it is like working there, career openings and benefits available, and what your corporate culture is like. Your recruitment agency will closely partner with you so as to understand your business as well as your key managers so that they’re able to present you as an employer of choice to prospecting candidates. 
  1. Reduced recruiting expenses and time. Employers can significantly reduce the cost of recruiting employees as well as the time taken by using recruitment agencies to source for labour. Thanks to their established networks and streamlined processes, recruitment agencies will quickly provide you with a shortlist of prequalified candidates from which to choose from. This means that you can keep your recruitment team as small as possible which reduces your overall recruiting costs.

How can recruitment agencies help job seekers?

The process of searching for the dream job is often daunting for job seekers. By registering with a recruitment agency people in search of employment can significantly increase their chances of landing the kind of job they are looking for quickly and easily. There’re a number of benefits for using recruitment agencies to look for a job, these include:

  1. Extensive market knowledge and access to many jobs. Since recruitment agencies are experts in their field, they’ll be able to provide you (the job seeker) with advice and insight on the job market. Your agency will provide you with free assistance as you explore the job market and advise you on the current market trends and the roles and companies that will suit you best. Their relationships with many employers also enable recruitment agencies to get access to jobs that are not widely advertised which increases your options and your chances of landing that unique job you’ve been searching for.
  1. Saves you time and effort. When you are looking for a job, a lot of your time will be spent sifting through numerous vacancies advertised on different platforms, applying, and interviewing for jobs that are not suited for you. By going through a recruitment agency, you’ll get a consultant that will use their extensive market knowledge and recruitment experience to find you jobs that you’re more likely to be selected for. This ensures that you only focus your efforts on jobs that match what you’re looking for and jobs that you have a realistic chance of getting. 
  1. Free expert guidance and advice. When you deal with a recruitment agency, you get a consultant who you can rely on to mentor you through the job search. For example, your consultant will use the knowledge they have acquired from years of sifting through CVs to help you craft a good CV that will make you stand out from the rest. 
  1. Professional guidance on how to interview. If you’ve interviewed before, then you know prospective employers rarely provide any useful feedback when you don’t ace the interview. This means that you’ll probably keep making the same mistakes going forward which makes it difficult for you to land a job. Because recruiting companies have close ties with their clients, they’ll often be able to follow up on your performance on interviews and give you feedback that you can use to improve yourself for future interviews. 
  1. Help with salary negotiations. After going through the entire recruitment process successfully, sometimes the salary offered might not match what you were looking for. For most candidates, the thought of requesting more money and negotiating for a better pay can seem like a daunting prospect. Many end up turning down the job or accepting the low salary without any prospect of a future raise. With a recruitment agency, you’ll have a consultant who will oversee and manage the negotiation process on your behalf to ensure you get the best deal possible without putting your relationship with your future employer in jeopardy.

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