Opinion

7 Steps to finding the right recruitment agency

Embarking on the job hunt can seem like climbing a huge mountain, but a good recruitment agency can help remove some of those big boulders blocking the way to the top.

If you live in the East of England, working with a recruitment agency in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich or Norwich can make your job search more focused – especially if you’re unsure what you want do next. If you’re open to ideas, an experienced consultant can help you identify jobs that suit your skillset that you may not have considered previously.

With plenty of local and national agencies to choose from you need to do your homework before signing up. And following these simple steps will give you the best possible chance of finding the right agency and securing a fabulous job.

Step One: Look for a specialist agency

If you’re keen to stick to your current profession, but looking for a promotion or a sideways move, registering with a recruitment consultancy that has a team specialising in your field can help you find the ideal job quicker. A good agency will ensure that its consultants are fully knowledgeable about your industry both on a national and local level. So ask them for advice on great accountancy jobs if you’re a bit of a mean number-cruncher, for example.

Step Two: Read agency blogs

If an agency is on the ball they’ll probably have a blog. Reading the posts and comments will give you an insight into how reputable the agency is and how well they understand their candidates. If their blog is of genuine use to you then it’s likely that the agency is also genuinely interested in supporting job seekers like you.

Step Three: Get recommendations

Ask friends and former colleagues about the agencies they’ve used before. If they’ve had success working with a particular agency it may be worth your while following in their footsteps.

Step Four: Look online

If you don’t already have a Twitter account, sign up now! It’s become a quick and effective way for recruitment agencies to advertise vacancies. Look for keywords that suit your job search such as #marketingjobs #Cambridge or #hrjobs #Ipswich. Create lists and save your search results so you can easily keep a close eye on tweets from your favourite agencies. You can also contact consultants directly through Twitter.

LinkedIn is another great place to look. Follow agencies and join discussion groups where recruitment consultants may be posting opinions, comments and available roles.

Step Five: Networking

Local business networking events can help you connect with recruitment agencies face-to-face. Many events are quite informal, so you can have a relaxed conversation about your career goals over a drink. Ask people for business cards, but don’t let them forget you; Follow up on the most useful conversations as soon as possible!

Step Six: Call a consultant

If you’ve spotted a few interesting agencies submit your up-to-date CV and follow up with a call. Take notes so you can look back at each conversation and select the ones that best understand your goals. If you felt that a consultant wasn’t really engaged in what you were saying, focus your attention on the more positive responses! After all, getting it right is beneficial for everyone: you, the agency and, of course, your future employer.

Step Seven: Go to an agency interview

Once you’ve found an agency and registered your details, you’ll probably be invited to an interview with a consultant. This is when your job search is discussed in more detail, so before the interview think about your desired salary, location, type of contract (e.g. permanent or temporary), job role and responsibilities and other important issues. This will help you filter your deal-breakers from things you’re happy to compromise on.

If you’re looking for a senior executive role, you can benefit from bespoke guidance and closer relationship with your consultant. Why not enquire about this with your chosen agency?

So get out there and find a hard-working agency that’ll listen to your needs, find exciting opportunities…and help you conquer that menacing-looking mountain!