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Job Hunting: What to look for before registering with an agency - Signet Resources

Candidates - 4th September 2015

I have worked in recruitment for years, too many to boast about now as it shows my age…

In that time I have worked with hundreds of candidates and whilst the three businesses I have worked for have all been strong, ethically driven recruitment business; I have heard talk of businesses whose morals don’t always meet standards.

However, if you are looking to work with a recruitment consultancy to find that all important next role, what should you be looking for before agreeing to be represented by them?

Stay away from….

  1. Anyone who asks you to pay a fee to register.

Recruiters are paid by the client not the applicant; to be asked to pay a fee either up front or post securing a new role is very unusual and I’d give a wide berth to.

2. Anyone who sends your CV  to a business without your permission.

Client are often put in an awkward position when they agree to work with a recruitment business but then receive unsolicited CV’s from other agencies.  It looks poor on all parties if you agree to be represented by one recruitment company and another sends in your CV and opens up a can of worms as to who actually represents you.

Before agreeing to work with an agency ensure that you get to approve every business and role they are recommending you for, rather than being used as a blind marketing tool.

3. Recruiters who try to force you into a role

Your relationship with your recruitment consultant should be two-way.  They should listen and advise, and you should take on board their suggestions whilst staying true to your own objectives.  Roles suggested to you should match your long-term career aspirations as well as short-term needs.  If you feel pressurised to move forward on a role that doesn’t feel right to you, the odds are you are working with the wrong agency.

Photo courtsey of free digital photos, taken by Iosphere
Photo courtsey of free digital photos, taken by Iosphere

Head towards….

  1. Agencies who invite you in for an interview.

Meeting people is crucial in our industry, and although you can mimic this with Skype based appointments, nothing really works better than a good old-fashioned face to face meeting.  Recruiters who interview on their client’s behalf have a stronger relationship with the businesses they source for.  The interview should cover competencies for the role you have applied for, and also spend a detailed time on what you are looking for long and short-term.  That way, your recruiter can assess if the role will meet your own ambitions as well as the clients needs.

2. Recruiters who tell you about the job before you meet.

If not how do you know the role is real?

Most recruitment agencies only advertise ‘real’ jobs, but the rumour mill still states that some are fabricated in order to try to attract candidates.  If you are being invited in for an interview with a recruiter, probe what the role is, ask for company details so you can do your research, this way you can impress more and know your time is not being wasted.

3. Those that return your call…

Because if they don’t do it straight away, what does that tell you?


By Jane Pettit; Project Manager at Signet Resources


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