Employment agencies often get a bad rap from job seekers, who view them as spammy and incompetent. This perspective often isn't too far off from the truth, with many agencies hiring poorly qualified individuals to serve as recruiters. But having a strong relationship with an effective employment agency can be beneficial to your job search.
The core function of an employment agency is to perform the selection and recruitment processes for companies that don't have sufficient resources, expertise, or time to manage them on their own. Building relationships with these agencies will give you a direct pipeline to their clients, allowing you to increase the number of companies you reach.
Here are five ways that your job search can benefit from the help of an employment agency.
They're well connected
Many job seekers don't have the advantage of insider knowledge of a large number of companies looking for new hires. Most of the openings they find are from ads placed in newspapers and online job boards. This information is accessible by all, including employment agencies themselves. But what job seekers don't know is that there are jobs offered by companies that never make it to these distribution platforms. Companies often don't place an open call for a role because the candidate they want to hire is needed to fill a highly specialized position.
This is where employment agencies come into play. These agencies bridge individuals with certain skills and talents to the companies that need them. Headhunters are sometimes contracted by companies exclusively to fill specialized positions that are not common in the general market. Agencies and headhunters also work with one another in order to recommend suitable candidates for a certain specialist job, splitting the commission among one another.
This means that employment agencies have knowledge about a larger number of career opportunities that you as a job seeker will not have in your own solo search. Because they are well connected, agencies will have a better chance to help you score a higher paying and more specialized position, especially when you have unique skills and qualifications that are sought after in a particular job opening.
Staffing agencies can negotiate on your behalf
Some employment agencies will undertake the role of being your personal talent agent and coach. If you encounter problems with your placement, salary, or benefits, the agency will work with you to solve them. Sometimes, a prospective employee may be at the losing end as they do not have enough credentials or job experience to build substantial bargaining power. With a wealth of experience, the employment agency can negotiate with the employer to help you nail a higher salary. This benefits both you as a job seeker and the staffing agency's bottom line.
Employment agencies prepare you well so that you can impress potential employers
It's in the best interest of every employment agency to train you well for a job in order to ensure you are able to prove yourself worthy for a high paying position. If you feel that your resume is not up to par, the agency can help you rework it so that it fits the job you are applying for. Simply put, if they do their jobs right, you will never go into a job interview blind. This factor is very beneficial for people who don't know how to market their skills effectively.
What's more, if you're working with contract-to-hire agencies, the stakes are even higher for the agency to prepare you well for a that type of role, as you are temporarily on their payroll instead of the employer's payroll.
Employment agencies help you to build up your skills through interim work
When you are seeking jobs through an employment agency, you can partake in interim work in the form of short term projects. These projects are typically used to fill vacancies quickly for short term employer needs or to replace a permanent employee. If you are constantly involved in such projects, you will have a chance to gain more technical skills and sharpen your current skillset. These new skills can then be used to command a higher pay grade from a future prospective employer.
Employers trust employment agencies
Employers trust employment agencies for a variety of reasons. They often work with recruiters who they have prior relationships with, and thus have already established trust. They can hold the agencies liable to fill a vacancy under contract.
Employment agencies are often perceived by their employer as reliable and dependable to fill a vacancy in a matter of days or even hours. And they can trust them to provide high quality candidates, because to do otherwise would be detrimental to their relationship and reputation.
As companies only want to hire qualified and capable individuals through a trusted source, they will turn to agencies to help them conduct initial interviews and screenings. This helps the employer avoid the hassles of sifting through countless resumes and conducting time-consuming interviews before finding the right fit. When you are backed by an employment agency, your chances of landing that dream job significantly increases.
Although it is true that employment agencies may not be suitable for everyone, they are an important option if you want to speed up your job search. So if your job search feels like it's stagnating, or if you need someone on your side to go to bat for you, do your research and give a good employment agency a call. You have little to lose, and a whole lot to gain.