People have controversial opinions on employment agencies. In the UK employment agencies usually do not charge you directly for employing you but they charge your employer what as a consequence usually has a knock on effect on your pay. On the other hand they are highly motivated to employ you. These days even chief executives look for the new job opportunities through the recruitment agencies. The majority of job advertisements which you find on the web are posted by recruitment consultants rather than by companies themselves.
My personal experience with employment agency is positive. I am not gonna go much into detail but I will say that recruitment consultants helped me to get my first professional job after I graduated. I got a temporary position to cover the maternity leave, however, in three months time I have been offered a permanent position where I currently work. Although my pay has increased significantly I am still grateful to the agency that has employed me since they gave me support to prepare for my interview as well as they helped me to improve my CV, and since the agency was a specialist on one particular area of the business, they gave me advice on what was relevant to the particular job role and how to impress future employers.
How recruitment agencies make money?
There two ways they make money from:
A. Recruitment agencies charge companies to find them suitable staff. Big companies are more than happy to pay money to agencies to find them appropriate staff. Going through thousands of CVs, various reference and criminal checks, as well as posting the ads and answering the calls from potential candidates is a time consuming and expensive process. In addition, as I already mentioned some agencies have specialist knowledge on particular business area (eg. construction business, finance, IT, catering) and can easily notice the talent and bring it to the employer.
B. Government in the UK has been heavily supporting employment agencies since they are facilitators of recruitment. There have been bonuses paid to the agencies for each person who got a job using them. I am not sure this is still happening but this definitely was one of the ways for agencies to make money throughout the economic downturn.
If you still think agencies are not motivated for you to get the job – you are wrong!
If you are looking for permanent job, recruitment agency might not be your best option but it is certainly an option. Think it the way that it will probably help you get a good temporary job and it will therefore be very easy to terminate the contract whenever you get a more inducing job offer. Temporary positions are usually not paid very well but they are better than no job at all.
Tips when using the agency
If you are looking for a job for the first time in the UK and you need it fast your best option is to go for the agency. You will get necessary experience, agency will help you with all necessary paperwork (National Insurance Number, opening the bank account, criminal checks, work permits, etc.).
Other tip is to get out of the agency as much as you can. If you are not happy with your job – tell that to your recruitment consultant and push them to get you a better position. Believe me – they are motivated to do this and to keep you with them as long as possible.
You can go through the list of the recruitment agencies in the agencycentral.co.uk website, they are conveniently listed by the business area they specialise on.