Let me start by saying this: yes, recruitment agencies are free to job seekers. In fact, I was shocked to learn that there were so many people who didn’t know this was the case. Why? Because it means there are a large number of professionals out there who are missing out on a brilliant resource for career development and progression for no good reason.
So, aside from putting you forward for roles, what are the other ways recruitment agencies can help you? And how do you go about approaching them for help? Continue reading to find out.
Are All Agencies Completely Free, Or Are There Exceptions?
Yes, there are exceptions. For instance, modelling or acting agencies run in a different way. But for professional recruitment agencies, such as IT recruitment agencies, there should never be any charge for providing job-search services in the UK.
From time to time, recruitment agencies will offer optional premium services that you will need to pay for. These can include CV writing, training and so-on. However, the charge should always be communicated to you before you use and are subsequently charged for the service.
What Are Some Other Free Services Recruitment Agencies May Offer
Recruitment agencies do not all operate in the same way. Some see recruitment as a box-ticking exercise. A client asks them to find candidates for a role, they find some seemingly satisfactory CVs, send them over and hope that one is good enough.
Others, ourselves included, take a far more comprehensive approach. We try to offer the best possible service to both clients and candidates. And, as part of this, we will coach and guide candidates where we can to ensure that they’re primed for success in the opportunity they’re being put forward for – and beyond.
Below are some of the ways in which we do this for our candidates:
Before submitting our candidate’s CV to a client, we will almost always provide some consultation on it; looking at content, layout and ways it can be improved. The reason for this is, although CVs are so critical in the job-search process, they’re something that we see candidates miss the mark with quite regularly.
However, we know what works when it comes to crafting a CV. We’re happy to look over the candidate’s CV and provide some constructive criticism on ways that it can be tweaked and improved for greater success in the job market.
When one of our candidates attends an interview with a client, we want them to enter it with their best foot forward. For this reason, we will often offer them some coaching beforehand.
Where possible, we will invite the candidate to our offices and sit down with them to talk them through what they should expect from the interview. If that isn’t possible, due to to geographical restrictions for example, we will talk to them over the phone or via video software such as Skype or Hinterview.
We like our candidates to walk into interviews feeling confident, prepared and ready to impress.
LinkedIn Profile Review
We understand that social media plays a part in a company’s consideration of a candidate, especially when it comes to LinkedIn. So, we will often give candidates some pointers on how they can improve their social media presence.
This could be something as simple as ensuring they’ve included all relevant details for their previous roles on their LinkedIn profile. When we feel there is room for improvement, we’re happy to give some guidance to ensure they’re selling themselves in the right way online.
When a candidate reaches out to us, if they have an outstanding CV and look to be somebody who would be an asset to a company, we won’t just leave them on the back-burner if we don’t have anything for them at that time. We will often represent them ourselves. We will reach out to our contacts within the IT sector and try and create an opportunity for them.
This can often be a great way to create new opportunities that otherwise would not have been available at that time. For example, it can be the driving force behind a company beginning their search for a new employee. Why? Because high-quality IT professionals don’t stay on the job market for very long, so companies know they have to act fast to secure the best employees.
Post-Placement Career Guidance
Once we have placed a candidate into a role, the services we offer don’t end there. We will stay in touch (if they’re happy for us to!) to give them useful advice that they can use going forward in their career.
Whether it’s how to make use of effective career planning, or leadership pointers when they’ve been promoted into a management role, we like to help candidates, past and present, achieve success throughout their career; whatever stage they’re at.
What Are The Benefits Of This?
There are many benefits to working with a specialist recruitment agency. Firstly, it is a source of industry-specific knowledge that you can draw upon. For example, we have been in IT recruitment for over 15 years. Naturally, in that time we have worked with thousands of clients and candidates.
We’ve seen candidate after candidate go through the recruitment process. We know what has worked well and what hasn’t. This goes for CVs, interviews, and any other part of the process.
As well as this, as a specialist recruitment agency, our clients choose to work with us for our expertise. So with this in mind, when we put a candidate forward, clients are more likely to give them thorough consideration, trusting that we know what to look for.
How Do I Approach A Recruitment Agency?
This is the best part. Agencies are always happy to hear from candidates, especially if they are passionate about what they do. So approaching them is really easy. All you need to do is contact them. Reach out; connect with them on LinkedIn, send them an email or give them a quick call.
Let them know who you are, what you do and send them a copy of your CV. And if you’re an IT professional based in the Midlands, we’d love to hear from you.
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