Recruitment agencies have been around for many years, and yet job seekers often don’t fully understand the positive impact these agencies could have on their careers. Similarly, some employers often choose to handle the recruitment and appointment process themselves, potentially because they don’t have a full grasp of the benefits of using a recruitment agency.
In this article, we will explore the reasons and benefits of using a recruitment agency – both for the job seeker and the employer.
Why would individuals use a recruitment agency, and how does it benefit them?
1. Recruitment agencies can be helpful when you’re job hunting
Job seekers – further referred to as candidates – use recruitment agencies when seeking employment (or alternative employment). Searching for jobs on your own is often a lengthy, frustrating process that involves a slew of rejections and leaves you with little room for negotiation about your remuneration package. If you need a job relatively quickly, you might struggle to find one that suits your particular skillset and experience, leaving you with no option but to apply for roles that are only partially suited. That’s where recruitment agencies step in.
2. You only have to register your CV or profile
The process starts by registering your CV or profile at the recruitment agency of your choice. Some require you to only send your CV or create a profile on their website, while others merely need you to reach out to them. They would then reach out to you and help you create a profile on their database. This profile would include your education, skills, experience, and aspects that determine the vacancies for which they recommend you such as your ideal job, desired renumeration, willingness to re-locate, and more.
3. Matriculants and graduates can quickly enter the workforce
Matriculants and college graduates often struggle to get employed, as many industries require some experience or workplace-readiness skills rather than educational knowledge on its own. Getting any kind of workplace experience while still in high school can prove invaluable when looking for postgrad internship opportunities, which can be hard to find because there are many more graduates than there are entry-level jobs. In addition, internships often don’t provide noteworthy (or any) remuneration. Registering with an agency during your final year could help you receive an internship or entry-level job by the time you need to enter the workforce. Getting employed early on grants you a great jumpstart in terms of experience, employability, and future salary growth.
4. Job hunting and interviews are handled for you
Once registered, the recruitment agency takes over the process of matching you to appropriate vacancies on their system, or ones that come in later on. If your profile matches the requirements of one of the vacancies they are working on they add you to the shortlist of candidates sent to the employer (with your permission). All you need to do then is consider the vacancy and, if you’re interested, prepare yourself for an interview scheduled by the agency. In other words, you don’t have to spend hours on end searching online for vacancies that interest you, and you save costs by not having to call and email to follow up on applications.
5. You gain access to specialised job opportunities
Some vacancies are available only through recruitment agencies, especially if the employer needs to fill a vacancy quickly and with the right candidate. This grants you an advantage over other job seekers, especially if the vacancy is specialised. In addition, some agencies specialise in particular industries, which means that you could find a job in your area of specialty much faster. If you are at the top of your industry, finding a suitable vacancy in your remuneration bracket could be difficult without the help of someone who could lobby for you.
6. The agency stays involved until you’re employed
Employment contracts usually have a standard probation period during which you and your new employer can determine whether you’re both happy with the fit. If either of you choose not to continue past the probation period, the contract is discontinued, and you go back into the agency’s talent pool. The agency stays in touch during this period – with you and the employer – and handles some contractual and human resources aspects.
Why should candidates use a recruitment agency?
- You save much time and effort.
- You can be registered without actively searching, until the right vacancy comes along.
- You gain access to specialised vacancies.
- Vacancies presented to you would match your specific skills and needs.
- When invited for an interview, you already know that you’re potentially a good match.
- Probation periods allow you to move on to other opportunities without a record of resignation.
- It’s free! You don’t pay for any services – the employer does.
What are the benefits of using a recruitment agency for candidates?
- You don’t have to send your CV to employers that might not have vacancies.
- There’s no need to desperately apply for any/all vacancies just to get a job.
- Matriculants and graduates could potentially find internships or entry-level positions easier.
- Agencies could help you move between jobs quite quickly, which grows your remuneration at a speedy rate.
- The probation period gives you the opportunity to re-enter the talent pool and find another job that better suits your needs.
- You can register before actively searching for a job.
Why would employers use a recruitment agency, and how does it benefit them?
1. Recruitment agencies help you fill vacancies quickly
Employers would approach a recruitment agency when seeking suitable candidates for vacancies at their company. Searching for suitable candidates yourself can prove difficult and extremely time consuming. While online recruitment sites such as Careers24, Indeed, and even LinkedIn have hundreds of potential applicants, you might not always have access to their profiles. This might leave you filtering through a lot of applicants to get to the candidates you may want to interview. Recruitment agencies, on the other hand, have a vast talent pool of candidates from which they create a shortlist based on your vacancy’s needs. All you need to do is interview the shortlisted candidates and choose your new employee.
2. You are the agency’s client and main priority
The agency puts great effort into helping candidates create a CV or eye-catching resume, but you remain their client. Their efforts to support candidates serve only to ensure that you can quickly find the candidate who is the best possible fit for the job. To that end, the agency appoints an account manager to handle all vacancies. They get to know you, the culture of your company, and the type of candidates in which you may be interested. Building such a relationship helps to increase and improve the speed and quality of candidates you get over time.
3. Agencies provide expert legal advice
Recruitment procedures have to meet the standards provided in various legislation, including the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). These laws require the entire process to be free of direct and indirect discrimination, among many other considerations. Trying to navigate these laws during recruitment could be difficult and time consuming. The recruitment agency provides expert advice on all such considerations, leaving you free of concern about facing legal reprisal.
4. Agencies are a positive aid when negotiating remuneration
Your recruitment agency is an excellent source of market intelligence when it comes to salaries and benefits being offered to skilled personnel in the current market. They are usefully equipped to act as an intermediary in the package negotiation process when negotiating the remuneration package, thereby allowing both parties in the negotiation to share their concerns and/or considerations openly, which will usually help the parties to get past any sticking points.
5. Costs are dependent on successful employment
Recruitment agencies generally work on an appointment-only basis. You would pay the agency a predetermined percentage of the appointed candidates’ annual remuneration package. If a hired candidate is not permanently appointed after the probation period, the percentage payable for that candidate is reduced (also by a predetermined percentage). That’s a great part of why your account manager has a vested interested in finding the right candidates for the job the first time around. Some agencies require an upfront administration fee or retainer, usually associated with more senior level placement projects. This might also happen only for companies that have an abnormally high staff-turnover rate or an international workforce that needs speedy growth.
Why should companies use a recruitment agency?
- Agencies save you time and effort as they handle all the administration and protect your goodwill in the process.
- You receive expert legal advice on recruitment legislation.
- They’re an excellent source of current market intelligence regarding personnel availability and market salaries
- They work hard to ensure successful hires – after all, that’s how they get paid.
- You receive a shortlist of high-quality candidates instead of a high quantity of ‘blind’ applications.
- The relationship with your account manager ensures that candidates increasingly meet your company’s culture.
What are the benefits of using a recruitment agency for a company?
- Administration on your side is minimal.
- You have peace of mind that recruitment follows legal requirements.
- The recruitment and appointment process progresses efficiently.
- Your recruitment costs are optimised, as you pay only for services delivered.
- Temporary or contract vacancies can be filled quickly as some candidates are searching only for such roles.
- You remain the agency’s priority, as any assistance to candidates are for your benefit.