The problems with recruitment agencies are many. Yes they need to find work for people in order to make a living. It is the way that some go about doing this that gives me cause for concern. This article tries to offer some advice when dealing with recruitment agencies so you don't waste precious time gooing for jobs that do not fit the requirements you want. Here are some good tips to take on board prior to meeting with a recruitment agency in London, or anywhere in the world.
- When you meet with a recruitment consultant, make sure you are very specific, regarding the work you are looking for. You should be clear about how much you are looking to earn, and what you are not prepared to accept. You chould also clearly stipulate the hours, and package you are looking for. If you leave gaps in your requirements, they will be filled in by the recruitment consultant to suit their own needs. Do not be bullied into looking into vacancies that are of no interest to you. Usually agents will try to push unpopular vacancies, or ones that maybe meet a couple of your criterion, just to get a quick fix, and make some quick money. This will not suit you in the long run.
- If you do opt to do temporary work, whilst you wait for the right position to become available, make sure that you are earning a fair wage for what you are doing. A lot of temporary work is paid badly, even if the permanent positions are paid well. The agency will also be making a very health profit on what you are paid. I would always advice you negotiate strongly before taking temporary work, to make sure that you get paid as much as possible per hour. Make sure that the agency is still lokking for permanent work for you, if that is what you are after. It is worth signing with a number of agencies to ensure that one or more agent is always looking for permanent work for you, if that is your eventual goal.
- Before you go on any interview, make sure you run down your requiremenmts with the agent offering you the chance to meet with a particular organisation. There is nothing worse than going for a job interview, only to find it is not offering many of the things you have stipulated to be necassary. It is not the recruitment agencies place to waste your time, just to put bums on seats for a particular position. If you go through your requirements prior to going to an interview, it gives the agent a chance to re evaluate whether the position offers all the things you deem to be important.They will have to lie to get you to go if it doesn't offer what you require. If you can get an e mail communication stating the details of any job you go for an interview for, you can hold the recruitment agent to account easier, if they have mislead you once you have been to the interview.
- Always negotiate the salary. Recruitment agents often offer the least money to try and curry favour with the employers. If you have impressed enough in the interview that the employer wants you, make sure you are happy with the pay and conditions. Do not be afraid to play hard ball with the agency to get them to negotiate on your behalf. Getting maybe 5% more money in your salary would surely justify putting pressure on your recruitment agent in the long run.
I am not advocating being unreasonable when dealing with recruitment agencies. I am just stating that these agencies are businesses, that make money by finding you work. They should place just as much importance on you being happy in your work, as they are in the employer being happy with his new recruit. Why should you suffer in work that does not match your requirements, just so a recruitment agent can earn his comission pushing you into that job? If you come accross as desperate this is a likely scenario, so always negotiate as is you have other options in the pipeline. Don't be afraid to make the agency work hard to earn its money, if it suits you. Work might be in short supply in many places, at the moment, but employers will still value highly the right staff. Do not undervalue yourself.