Have you ever wondered what a recruitment agency is, how they work or who uses them? This article will answer all of your questions – and more.

What is a recruitment agency?

A recruitment agency is a firm that acts as a liaison between organisations looking to recruit staff and individuals who are looking for a new job. They employ experts who are skilled at sourcing the most suitable person for the vacancy at hand, people who are educated and adept in utilising psychological metrics, advanced interviewing techniques and a wide network of contacts in order to match the right person to the right job.

How does the process work?

Every recruitment agency has its own methods and tactics, but the following is the general pattern.

  • The agency receives a job description of a currently vacant position at a firm.
  • Their experts then look at the pool of CVs and talent that they have in their database, looking for candidates who would be a good match. They will usually send these CVs on to the firm. (They will also sometimes contact these selected candidates in advance in order to further vet their suitability for the role).
  • The firm selects their favourites, and the recruitment agency arranges (and sometimes even conducts) an interview.

Why do organisations use recruitment agencies?

To put it simply, many organisations choose to use recruitment agencies because they are good at what they do and they help to find great candidates that are well suited to vacant positions.

If you are hiring an individual you are placing a lot of money, time and energy on their shoulders – if you hire the wrong person, you’ve squandered those resources. Recruitment agencies help to lower the rates of bad hires and are likely to help with staff retention. Turnover costs you money, and these agencies can help.  

How can I get my CV on these databases?

Perhaps you are looking to find a new position rather than to fill and existing one at your organisation? If so, you may want to consider working with a recruitment agency in order to help you find a new job. Begin by contacting these agencies by phone or via email, and then be prepared for a short phone interview so that the recruiting experts can learn a little bit about you and assess your personality. This will all help them to find you suitable matches in the future.

Do I need to pay a recruitment agency?

The answer to this question depends greatly on what side of the hiring process you are on. If you are seeking employment, you should never have to pay the recruitment agency a fee – if you are asked to do so, this should be a warning sign and you should look for a more reputable agency.

If you are the organisation seeking to recruit, then you will enter into a payment agreement that will be based on many factors – ask your agency for more details.

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