There are many types of staffing organizations that exist and can assist you in your job search. Whether you sign up with a temporary placement agency, recruiting firm, or executive search firm, any of these groups can help expand your network and hopefully land you the job you want and deserve. The following dos and don’ts will make the most of the experience and increase your chances of getting placed.
- understand that agencies are employer paid
- check in regularly
- sign up with more than one agency
- consider contracting or temp to hire
- be honest
- push back when necessary
- pay an agency money
- go behind their backs
- flake out
- expect an agency to be a career coach
You are the commodity that agencies sell to make their money. All agencies are employer paid, and their job is to find the ideal match for their clients open positions. If you are the right fit for a particular position, then they will do everything in their power to make you look like the ideal candidate for their client. If you are not the right fit, they will likely add your resume to their database for future searches.
While an agency may have your resume in their database, mark your calendar to follow up on a regular basis. Candidates who are front of mind are more likely to be contacted when opportunities come available than those who sit quietly in the background. If you’re working with a temp agency, it may be appropriate to email or call your representative weekly, while with technical or executive recruiting firms once a month may be more appropriate. Your representative should help guide you on how their firm works.
Because agencies are employer paid, you never know which agencies have agreements with which companies. If there are specific companies that you want to work for, ask the agency if they staff for those organizations. The more agencies you sign up with, the greater your chances of getting contacted.
If you’re not currently working, consider temping or contracting. Not only does this put money in your pocket, but it allows you an inside look at companies, which will help you learn more about their culture. Getting out of the house and working keeps your skills current, grows new skills and allows you to continually be meeting people in the working world who can help you network for the right opportunity.
Recruitment agencies are your staffing partner, and the more you can build a trusting relationship with your contact, the better job they can do finding you the right opportunity. If a position they’re describing does not sound like a fit, explain so, and then share what would be a good opportunity for you. Keep them abreast of what you’re doing on your own with your job search so that they can better assist you.
Some agencies use high pressure tactics when working with you. If a position doesn’t feel right, you should say no. If a recruiter is pressuring you into starting a new position earlier than you’re ready, push back. Recruiters often manage the communication between you and the desired company, so make sure they hear what you want, and are acting on your true interests.
Since agencies are employer paid, any company that wants to charge you might be a scam. The only time you should pay money in your job search is for assistance with such things as preparing your resume or getting coaching support on interviewing.
When you accept an interview or an assignment from an agency, you’re committing to not solicit employment directly with that agency for a period of time (often six months or a year). Honor this and don’t go behind their backs. While it might lead to a job, it’s a very unethical way to land a position.
Once an agency submits you to a client they are acting as your agent. Be a true partner and show up for interviews whether they are over the phone or in person, and follow up afterwards with your recruiter to provide feedback. If you cancel at the last minute, or don’t make it to an interview, the recruiter will have a difficult time rebuilding trust with their client and likely won’t be as excited about working with you again.
Agencies will help you locate work in your field of expertise. If you are interested in a career change, you are better served by finding a career coach. Career coaches can administer career assessment tools and provide counseling. They usually operate privately, but may also be found through schools and non- profit agencies
Don’t overlook the value an agency can provide in broadening your job search. Agencies can be particularly beneficial to those who are still working and don’t have time to conduct a full job search. When working with agencies, do be explicit in what you want, understand that they are paid by the company, check back with them on a regular basis, work while you look and be honest. Agencies will bring opportunities to you, present you to their clients and arrange interviews on your behalf. Follow these dos and don’ts and an agency may end up being the perfect partner to help you in your job search.