Choosing a job isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Considering you spend around 40 hours a week at work, it’s important to choose a position that makes you want to get out of bed on a Monday morning, and that decision starts by choosing the right recruitment agency.
Just like you shouldn’t make any rash decisions with your career, choosing a recruitment agency shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision either.
Instead, it should be a well thought-out strategic move - and you should aim for just one agency rather than a few. It’s all about quality over quantity in this process, and spreading yourself thin across too many different agencies can be detrimental to your job hunt, not to mention incredibly time-consuming.
How to Choose the Right Recruitment Agency
1. Choose an Agency That Specialises
There are hundreds - maybe even thousands - of recruitment agencies out there, many of which specialise in specific industries.
Before you decide to go ahead with one, ask yourself whether they specialise in the industry you’re looking for work in.
Ideally, the agency you go for should have a deep sector knowledge of your chosen industry.
Because they’ll be able to better place you in the right position, and they’ll have connections with top brands in that industry.
At RSL, we specialise in construction and engineering disciplines within the Rail, Power and Built Environment sectors, and we’ve spent years building up key connections with businesses in those areas. That means our candidates have a wider selection of positions to choose from and, because we know the industry well, we can give them personalised advice.
2. Choose An Agency That’s Transparent
The job seeking process isn’t easy, so you want to choose an agency that will make it less difficult.
How do you do that?
Go for one that treats their candidates with respect and integrity, and check that they operate with transparency.
This means they’ll make sure you’re comfortable at every step of the process and will be open and honest about the positions and companies they have on their books. They will be happy to answer any questions you have and alleviate any fears and concerns you might have along the way.
At RSL, we create transparency by developing meaning, long-term relationships with our clients and candidates, and wewill always seek to work with candidates based on their aspirational requirements.
3. Speak to a Real Person
Once you’ve established that an agency has deep connections in the industry you want to get into and determined that their process is transparent, it’s time to take things up a notch and speak to a real person.
You want to go for a recruitment agency that you can connect with and who gets you what you want, and in order to do that you need to get to know them and they need to get to know you. In other words, a consultant that is consultative, as opposed to someone who simply spams your CV to the general marketplace.
It’s easy to shoot emails back and forth, but if you want to make a deeper connection so the agency can understand your wants and needs better, it’s important to have a real conversation with a real person.
They should have lots of questions to ask you about the kind of role you’re looking for, and they should be eager to build a rapport with you. Good recruiters are great listeners.
4. Take Testimonials Into Account
There’s no one who can vouch for a recruitment agency better than their previous candidates. These are the people who have been through the process before you and can offer guidance on what it was like to work with the agency.
Most high-quality recruitment agencies should have a dedicated section for testimonials on their site.
Once on the page, you can devour what previous candidates had to say and pick out any points that you think might be important.
At RSL, an entire section of our site is dedicated to a range of testimonials from our previous candidates. This shows future prospects we do what we say and that we’ve had lots of successful candidates in the past.
If you can’t seem to find any testimonials on site, don’t be afraid to reach out to the agency and ask to see some or, better yet, ask if you can take a look at any case studies they might have produced, or better better still, ask for some points of reference that you can call and speak to. What do they say say about the agency when none of their recruiters are in the room should help you determine whether or not you wish to engage with this agency.
The key here is to determine how effectively the agency controls the process and what their success rates look like.
Remember: your goal is to land the job of your dreams, and you want a brand that’s successful at doing that.
Take Your Time Choosing the Right Recruitment Agency
It can be tempting to go with the first recruitment agency you come across - after all, you might be in a rush to find a job.
But if you want to be paired up with businesses that are a great fit for you and your skills, it’s important to choose the right agency, not the first one that comes along.
Once you’ve established the criteria for your job search, you can then choose an agency that specialises in that area and has a strong reputation that you can check out. But before you dive right, make sure you check their working process, speak to a real person, and that you do check out the experiences of previous candidates.
All of these working parts will come together to create a solid overview of each recruitment agency so you can select the best option for you.