Careers Service Recruitment agencies
A recruitment agency is an intermediary between an organisation looking to employ someone and an individual who is looking for a job. They can be useful to you in your job search.
Agencies can provide a gateway to unadvertised vacancies and more specialised posts. Larger companies can outsource graduate recruitment to agencies. Others may use agencies to conduct the early stages of their recruitment.
Recruitment agencies can also help secure work experience through temporary or vacation work.
Finding suitable agencies
Some recruitment agencies specialise in a particular type of work. For example, information technology or hospitality. It's worth taking time to identify the best recruitment agency to contact:
- recruitment agencies in Scotland - search by specialism and location
- use Agency Central to identify agencies in particular sectors or locations in the UK
- Recruitment and Employment Confederation has a directory of recruitment agencies in the UK
- register with more than one agency - three or four is a manageable number. First contact by telephone or e-mail. You may then be invited to visit their office to register. Take the most recent copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) with you, but be prepared to fill out the same information on agency forms. Tell each agency which ones you have registered for and which roles or firms your CV has been forwarded to. This avoids duplication
- give the agency a good CV - see our advice on CVs and cover letters
- be proactive - recruitment consultants can be very upbeat about finding you a job. Yet, they can forget about you as soon as you leave their office. Secure a contact name and phone regularly to ensure you are at the forefront of their minds when jobs come in
- use an agency that charges you a fee to be matched to employers
- be talked into taking unsuitable jobs
- move forward for a job without reliable information about the company or the job
- be pressurised into changing your CV into one that fits the agency but you are unhappy with. Remember, it's your CV