Recruitment advice, job seeker support and company news

Making A Good Impression

6th February 2014

With so many different ways to find a new job and fill vacancies these days it's important that you choose your method wisely.

Chris Clark, Business Manager, Commercial Contracts

Many people use a recruitment agency - but how to decide which one? Here we share some pointers to give you the confidence that you are choosing the right recruitment partner for you, one which has all the experience and contacts to find you the most suitable next career move or new recruit.

First of all, if you are a job seeker, don't be shy to ask questions and a good place to start is to find out whether the agency has a successful track record.

Does your chosen recruitment agency know the local market? Do they have knowledgeable, locally based consultants who visit their clients and really get a feel for the organisation that you are applying to?

It's also important to think about your skills and polish up your CV, some people find this surprisingly hard, to "sell" themselves, but a good recruitment consultant will help you do this well, part of their job is to help you make a good impression.

It's worth pointing out that CV ownership is critical. This means it is important that you always know which companies are receiving your CV, and of course, which roles you are being proposed for. Don't be afraid to tell your consultant not to forward your CV if you're confident it's not a vacancy you're interested in!

Remember too that your consultant will often know more about the vacancy and organisation you are interested in than what's provided in the job specification. So take their advice and find out from them as much as you can about the position. The chances are they may also be able to advise you on roles which you might have discounted, provide guidance on salary expectations and, when you successfully fill the role, how to professionally resign from your old position.

The effective recruitment of both permanent and temporary staff remains one of the key challenges facing most companies. If your business is thinking of hiring a recruitment firm careful consideration still applies as there are lots of things which might raise alarm bells!

Here are some tips:

You are paying for a service to save you time and money, so you don't want to be wading through applications which are not relevant to the job specification. For instance, if you receive CVs without comments justifying the candidate's suitability it's likely that your consultant has not spent time getting to know their candidates thoroughly. Also ensure that the agency performs reference checks on candidates who have been successfully selected by you to fill a contract position.

We would also advise that clear communication is vital from the beginning. From comprehensively understanding your role requirements and company culture to preparing an accurate job specification, arranging interviews and providing feedback, it all must be discussed.

You should also understand how your company will be portrayed to potential candidates and how your vacancy will be filled. Agencies may have large databases but that does not mean they are necessarily full of active candidates, find out how effective their new candidate search strategies are.

Does the agency practice what it preaches? Does it believe in developing and training its own staff? It's really very important. To maintain high levels of professionalism, your agency should be investing in comprehensive staff training and development.

It might be worth considering if the agency offers a payroll service for temporary workers, relieving the burden of payroll management and advisory services.

Remember too that your consultant should be very knowledgeable on the local market. They should also know of skills gaps and be able to advise on remuneration packages and trends, and finally, understand how the fee structure works - there shouldn't be any surprises when your vacancy is successfully filled!

Good luck!

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