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Recruitment agencies - how do they work?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by turtle, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. turtle

    turtle New Member

    I've been job hunting for about 2 weeks and recruitment agencies are driving me up the wall! I have 3 years of development experience, so far I've applied to about 80 jobs and had about 30 agencies calling me but I haven't got a single interview lined up. I'm just wondering if anyone knows how recruitment agencies work, are they really forwarding my CV to the client?

    I've had situations where an agency calls me, they sound very enthusiastic and really sells the job to me. I send them a copy of my CV and they say they'll forward it onto their client. I never hear back from them. I tried calling some of them for feedback but they always come up with some excuse like "the client is still seeing more CVs..." So whenever I don't hear back, I assume I'm not shortlisted and don't chase up the agency.

    Another experience I had, agency 1 emailed be about this job and they didn't specify which company it was, I replied and said the job sounds interesting, I'll call them back to discuss it further. Then later agency 2 calls me, they told me the company name and job role, it sounded great and so I agreed to have my CV put forward. The next day, agency 2 calls me back and said "another agency has already forwarded your CV, can you email the client that I was the first recruitment agency who contacted you and I'll represent you". So agency 1 must have forward on my CV without me knowing! I don't want to annoy either agency, who do I want to represent me? Agency 1 who is bigger and has more jobs advertised or Agency 2 who is more friendly and helpful? I don't want to piss off either agency.

    And another experience, agency 3 calls me about a job and they said they'll forward my CV to the client. The next day, agency 4 called me and tells me about the same job, I told them that I've already had my CV put forward to the client by a different agency. Then 5 minutes later agency 4 calls me back and says "I've just checked with the client, they haven't got a copy of your CV yet. Do you want me to represent you instead?" Is agency 4 being truthful? I mean, it only took him 5 minutes to check with the client and call me back. What do I do? Use agency 3 or 4?

    It's so frustrating and so much hassle. I don't know which agency to use. I mean, I don't know who's really forwarding my CV to the client. And the agencies seem to always check with the client that they haven't got my CV and need me to confirm which agency I'm using to represent me. I don't want 2 copies of my CV with the client, else they'll going to think "why is he applying to this job so many times, he's too desperate?" It's holding me back cos I gota sort out which agency to use etc. It'll be so much easier if there are no recruitment agencies and I can apply directly!

    Recruitment agents are so competitive, and there are too many agencies. For example, for one job opening, there's 5 or 6 recruitment agencies looking for candidates for that one client. At the rate I'm going, it's going to take me forever to get a job.

    What do recruitment agencies do? They call up as many people as they can, and to each candidate they'll pretend that they'll forward on their CV. But really what they're doing is collecting as many CVs as possible and then selecting the best 5 or 6 CV to submit to the client? I wonder how much money these recruitment consultants make. Maybe I should change career and be an IT recruitment consultant!
  2. G1BB0

    G1BB0 Nibble Poster

    funnily enough i was discussing this at work last night (12hr night shift can be a tad boring at times lol)

    the only jobs I have had via an agency is when a mate has told me of a position and who the agency was so I went direct.

    I am registered on every online recruitment site and noticed certain jobs keep coming up day after day... 90% of these must be made up just so us punters can forward our cv's onto the actual recruitment agencies, they then hand pick 4 or 5 applicants to put forward for the roles that do exist, the rest are probably filed for a later date or if they have lesser roles coming in (hope that doesnt sound detrimental to yourself as its just an observation/hunch)

    it is very frustrating because i have even started applying for roles I am more than qualified/experienced to do and not great money and still dont hear nothing back (I wouldnt take them any, was testing the water)

    maybe someone has some inside information they can enlighten us with.. lol

    anybody can be an IT recruitment consultant in my eyes, just need a few contacts, phoneline, mobile, a pc and website lol... give me a shout and we can both set one up although I am sure it would be done exactly the same as existing ones, after all I bet they get a lot of dross apply aswell so they have to have some filtering method - mine is probably filed under B as usual hehe
    WIP: N+ & CCNA
  3. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

    The sad fact is, to an agency, all you are is potential commision, nothing more, nothing less. An agency makes it's money by taking a percentage of the wage offered to a position, so say an agency finds a candidate for a role for a company and the wage is 16k, then agency will take something like a 5% cut for their fee

    So what they try and do is get as many possible CVs and details as possible, a job comes up, they shove loads under the nose of the company that is recruiting and they pick and choose from there. Obviously, the more names they have on their database, the more potential they have to fill positions

    They forever say to 'Here's a perfect job', give you the details, tell you you're ideal, forward your CV along with a load others to a company, the company turns you down, the agency never get back to you as they're busy chasing their next green sheet.

    Whatever you do, don't put all your faith in agencies. You get their attention if you are in a position to command a job of say 25k plus, then they can take higher commission rates. Other than that you won't get their full attention. This is what I have learnt from past experience and nealry being employed by an agency

    Personally, I would ALWAYS follow up a company you have applied for, I have been told on numerous occasions that persistancy is a trait that people value.
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Actually, I've found that it depends on the agency. Some have been really good to work with and otherks suk. I'm currently on assignment through an agency that has treated me quite well.

    They saw my CV online and said they had a job I'd be well suited for. They forwarded my CV which resulted in a phone interview. The customer decided to pick up the contract and I was in.

    The recruiter took me down to the employer's main site, made sure I got my ID and parking sticker. They also accompanied me to the site I was to work at the first day and made sure I was put in contact with the appropriate people.

    They come and chat with me once a week when they bring my paycheck and take me out to lunch about once a month. They offer additional benefits such as training but I don't have time to take advantage of that.

    They are very relaxed about "contract-to-hire" so if (hopefully), the customer wants to hire me direct, there will be no issue on the recruiter's end.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

    Well yes, there are going to be some good ones there, that goes without saying, but unfortunately the majority - and especially ones that are not specifically geared for IT only - are good to throw your CV at on the offchance they come up with something, but certainly not anything to bet your chips on
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  6. turtle

    turtle New Member

    Recruitment agencies are driving me up the wall now, I can't take it no more. :x

    This is my 3rd week job hunting. On average, I get 2 calls per day from agencies and I still haven't had a single interview arranged. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I got all the skills and experience, agencies are interested enough to phone me but I havent heard back from anyone. This week I had calls along the lines of:

    Agency: "I saw your CV on Monster, I got a new job coming up, I'm sure my client will be interested in seeing you, it looks like you've got all the right skills"

    I say: "Great. Can you give me more details"

    Agency: "No problems, I'll email you the details straight away. I call you later to discuss the job role in more detail once you've had a look at it"

    I say: "Cool, that's great. I'll check my emails. Speak to you soon. Thanks"

    I sit there at work, checking my emails every 5 minutes and nothing. I never hear back from them again. I think that is their new tactic, make as many calls as possible to get in touch with as many candidates as possible, then select the best couple and then call them back and discuss the job roles further.

    What am I doing wrong? I'm not asking for too much, I got about 3.5 years experience and asking for a salary of 28-35k.

    Just wondering, if anyone is job hunting or found a job...how long did it take for you to get a new job? At the rate I'm going, there's no hope in finding a good agency. If I don't find something within 3 months, lol I'm seriosuly going to consider being an IT recruitment consultant!
  7. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    The agency debate has rattled on for many a year, the truth is that most companies benefit from the service of an agencies, and to be honest most clients do as well
    I see friends and stuff go through pages of adverts and circle them, and i thank whoever that I've never been subject to that kind of mass farming of my skills and time

    With limited experiance the balance is not in your favour, the agent may well find someone better and they have a better chance of getting him/her paid, its simple as that, its not harsh, its just simple economics!
    so you have to endure and plod on

    as your experiance puts you at the higher end of the pyramid, things start to move in your favour, as whilst you will get sidelined occasionaly your almot of likely to be the one sidelining other candidates

    how the agency handles letting you down or what not is just plain manners, some, have none! just as some people have none, they ignore you, dont return your calls, etc

    others on the other hand will get in touch, let you know why you were not sucessful and point you at other oppertunities they have

    I once got to a second interview with a financial in the city to get pipped to the post by an older yet less experienced chap (we had the same recruiter so i had it on good authority), the role however was for a high position in the operations chain and they were not keen on having someone in that position younger than most the staff down the ranks, whilst it sucked i can see the point! :)
    however that same agent was the one who landed me my current role and sent me a nice 100 quid bottle of bubbly (not bad if you forget the fact his agency gets 3 months salary which is a tidy sum)

    Both big and small agencies have the same problems as each other, attitude of recruiters etc, and a recruiter is always just a salesperson lest we forget that, however get yourself set up with a decent few, keep them aprised of your changing situation, and eventually they will be there for you when you need them

    good luck with the hunt! i know it can be a pain! :)
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0

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