Are you thinking about using a recruitment agency to find a graduate job or part-time work? This page tells you exactly what they are, when to use them and how to make the most of them.
Recruitment agencies work on behalf of employers to find people to fill job vacancies. They are essentially middlemen between job seekers and employers.
When an employer has a job vacancy, they sometimes task an agency with finding suitable candidates. The recruitment agency will search its pool of CVs and sometimes post the job advert online to find more candidates. The agency will then usually shortlist candidates and organise interviews.
The service is free for jobseekers, although they may charge for additional services like providing CV advice. Remember, you can get this for free from us, even after you’ve graduated. Agencies make their money by charging employers.
Employers use recruitment agencies for many reasons:
There are benefits of using recruitment agencies, but it shouldn’t be the only way you look for work, especially if you’re searching for a graduate job. Here are some benefits of using recruitment agencies:
Agencies can be national or local. They can be focused on a specific industry or job sector, or they can cover a range of sectors. Websites like Agency Central and CV Library let you search for relevant agencies by location and job sector. If you’re looking for science agencies, read our recruitment agency information for STEM students.
If you’re struggling to find relevant agencies, talk to us.
Before you start using an agency, check whether it’s reputable. Websites like Rated Recruitment have reviews. Some agencies will be members of The Recruitment and Employers’ Confederation, although if they are not that doesn’t necessarily mean they are untrustworthy.
You can join most agencies online by sending your contact details and a copy of your CV. Use the CV help from us before sending your CV, so you feel confident it’s up to standard.
It’s important to make sure you are using a reputable agency before you send this information. They’ll then be in touch with you to discuss what kind of jobs you’re looking for.
It’s fine to join more than one agency, but don’t get carried away. Only join agencies that you trust and that can help you – you don’t want to be inundated with calls and emails for irrelevant jobs, or receive multiple calls about the same vacancy.
When dealing with the agency, try to:
Things to bear in mind: