Job search: How to choose the right agency

By on 30 June 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5-7 minutes

Looking for a new job can be a daunting task.

With so many options available, it is crucial to choose a recruitment agency that will not only provide access to job opportunities that align with your skills and experience but also provide reliable support from professionals in the field, facilitating a smooth transition in your career. In this article, we cover an overview of recruitment agencies and points to consider during your job search.

Types of recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be broadly classified into two categories: large-scale comprehensive agencies and small-to-medium-sized specialized agencies, each with distinct characteristics.

Comprehensive agencies:

These agencies cover a wide range of industries and job types, and they are known for having a large number of job openings. They are suitable for job seekers who are open to various industries and considering career changes.

While they offer the advantage of a wide selection of job opportunities, they may have limited knowledge in specific industries and provide support that is more general and limited to job seekers.

Specialized agencies:

These agencies specialize in specific industries or job types, providing in-depth and tailored support in career transitions.

With career consultants possessing specialized knowledge, experience, and networks in their respective industries, they offer meticulous and comprehensive assistance.

These agencies are ideal for mid-career professionals who already possess specific skills and want to enhance their expertise, as well as job seekers targeting specific industries or positions.

Specialized agencies may not have the same volume of job opportunities as larger agencies, but they typically offer higher-quality jobs with competitive salaries due to their focused expertise.

Support services provided

Recruitment agencies typically offer the following types of support. It is advisable to confirm the specific support services they provide in advance in order to choose an agent that suits you best.

Career Consultation:

Through face-to-face meetings, agencies conduct career assessments, clarify past experiences and career inventory, conduct interviews to determine the strengths of job seekers, and help determine the direction of their job search.

Resume Review:

When applying for a job, you may get advice and editing support for resumes to effectively appeal as a strong candidate and pass the document screening.

Interview Preparation:

Career consultants at recruitment agencies have regular communication with companies that have job openings, allowing them to have a good understanding of skills that they’re looking for as well as interviewers' information for specific positions. Therefore, you will have access to information in advance from career consultants and have mock interviews to help you better prepare for the actual interviews.

Interview Coordination:

If you apply for a job through a recruitment agency, the agency will coordinate schedules for interviews and other processes between job seekers and companies. They also provide follow-up support regarding the interview results, ensuring a smooth interview process overall.

Negotiation of Salary and Terms:

One advantage of conducting job searches through a recruitment agency is that the agency can represent job seekers in negotiating terms such as salary. Career consultants, who are familiar with industry and job salary trends, negotiate based on job seekers' preferences and advocate for their interests using their extensive negotiation experience.

Transition Support:

When a job offer is secured, recruitment agencies provide support to ensure a smooth transition, assisting job seekers in completing necessary procedures for leaving their current position and starting work at the new company. They can provide advice on documents and procedures required for resignation and onboarding.

Types of job openings:

When selecting a recruitment agency, one crucial aspect to consider is the volume of job openings they offer in relation to the quality of those offers.

A reputable agency with strong industry connections and an extensive network will have access to a broader range of job openings. This can significantly increase your chances of finding the right fit for your skills and career aspirations.

While quantity can be enticing, the quality of available job opportunities is highly important to consider.

An agency that successfully strikes the balance of being a well-connected agency in addition to providing a focus on high-quality positions can significantly improve your job search experience and increase the likelihood of finding the right fit for your career.

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Tips for selecting the right recruitment agency

Considering the overview of agencies above, following are 5 tips for choosing the right recruitment agency that suits you:

1. Communication and transparency

Clear and effective communication is a two-way street between job seekers and the recruitment agency. To receive job openings that match your preferences, it is important to clearly communicate your career plans and what you want in the next position to your agency.

Similarly, ensure that the agency maintains open and transparent communication. They should provide regular updates on your application status, offer feedback after interviews, and be responsive to your queries. Clear communication helps build trust and keeps you informed.

Pro tip

  • Make a list of your desired salary, industry, position, company culture, work style, and other factors you seek in your next job.
  • It is also recommended to identify priorities and non-negotiable criteria.

2. Personalized approach

Look for an agency that takes a personalized approach to your job search. When speaking with career advisors or consultants, consider the following:

  • Are they attentive and easy to talk to?
  • Do they understand your unique skills, experiences, and career goals?
  • How well do they understand the industry, job positions, and trends?
  • Do they introduce job opportunities that align with your preferences?
  • How responsive are they to inquiries?
  • Do they provide honest advice even if it doesn't benefit the agency?

3. Reputation and reviews

Conduct thorough research on different recruitment agencies. Look for online reviews and testimonials to get insights into the agency's reputation and track record. Additionally, seek recommendations from friends, colleagues, and professionals in your industry.

4. Explore multiple agencies and compare

Exploring multiple agencies and comparing their services can provide diverse perspectives and information, helping you find the agency that suits your needs best. While registering with too many agencies can be overwhelming, it is advisable to start with 2-3 agencies, referring to the above checklist, for an initial comparison.

5. Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts when evaluating an agency. Pay attention to how they interact with you, their level of professionalism, and their commitment to your success. Choose an agency that makes you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to support your job search.

Robert Half is a specialized recruitment agency that provides support for job seekers. With highly knowledgeable and professional consultants specializing in specific industries and job roles, we will listen to your needs and provide support that you need throughout the job search process. For more details about the services that we provide and how we can support you, click the button below:

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