There are numerous recruitment agencies with some being specialists for particular industries, whilst others are generalists. Whether the recruitment agency recruits for permanent, contract or temporary staff, there are always tell-tale signs that will show whether the agency is efficient and acts professionally with both candidates and client companies.
Recruitment agencies should know where to advertise particular vacancies; whether it be in a specialist magazine or on a particular job board. In addition, a recruitment agency should know which registered candidates to contact for particular vacancies and to fully understand any candidates requirements, experience, specialities and ambitions. In addition, the agency should spend time with all candidates, preferably face-to-face, to fully grasp all this information and even help with resume writing.
Below are three real-life examples of when things have gone wrong due to the recruitment agency failing to act efficiently and professionally:
1) A candidate, currently working as the HoD (Head of Department) for a telecoms carrier registers their resume with a recruitment agency. A few weeks later, the recruitment agency phones the candidate with the news that a HOD Carrier vacancy has occurred and to check whether the candidate wants to apply for this position. Being that a HOD Carrier is a person that carries bricks to the bricklayer on a building site, it is obvious that the recruitment agent had used keyword search and identified the words HoD and Carrier in the resume. Had the recruitment agency actually read and understood the resume, such a farcical mistake would never have happened.
2) A contractor had secured a role with a major systems integrator and the contract between the contractor and the company included a notice period of four-weeks from either side. The systems integrator later lost a major contract with one its customers and requested that the contractor be given only two-weeks notice (instead of the agreed four weeks). When questioned by the contractor, the recruitment agency replied that it did not want to lose the custom of the systems integrator and that there was nothing the contractor could do, other than take very expensive legal steps. This is an example of a recruitment agency that always puts the wishes of the client company first and that of candidates second. Candidate focused employment agencies are more likely to provide happy and satisfied contractors to the workplace which allows for more long term engagement. This can massively reduce ongoing costs for recruitment.
3) A company had engaged with a recruitment agency for an engineer. The recruitment agency then advertised the vacancy and a number of engineers applied. After a couple of weeks, one applicant received an email stating that their resume did not show the relevant experience and the role was allocated to another person. The applicant did actually have the relevant experience but the recruitment agent had used some of the keywords from the job description to select candidates instead of also using alternative words meaning the same thing. In this case, the recruitment agency should have had sufficient knowledge to understand the technical jargon plus alternative words meaning the same thing.
Working with a reputable recruitment agency will help you to avoid these kinds of situations when employing new staff.
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