Mention employment agencies and you’ll hear both positive and negative stories. Just remember that this is the case with anything in life. Our opinion is that agencies are an integral part of the recruiting process. If you understand what recruiters do, what they need and how to choose a good one, you will likely have an excellent experience finding a career through one. This article gives you tips on doing just that.

Types of Applicant Services

We cover these services to give you an idea of the different services available. But, these are not traditionally considered employment agencies. So, the information in this article does not really pertain to these services.
Resume Services – Resume services write resumes for applicants for a fee paid by the applicant. They actually work for the applicant and are not considered employment agencies.

Career Consultants/Coaches – They give applicants advice and step them through the employment process for a fee paid by the applicant. They traditionally do not have contact with the employer like an employment agency would. They actually work for the applicant and are not considered employment agencies.

Types of Applicant Services

Types of Employment Agencies

Temp – Temp agencies hire employees for short-term assignments for the agency’s clients. Even though you perform your duties for the client company, the temp agency is legally considered your employer. The agency makes money by charging the employer a mark-up above the employee’s hourly pay. Temp agencies usually hire administrative, blue collar, customer service and other front line positions.

Contract – Contract agencies hire employees for assignments with a set term. While these employees perform duites for the agency’s clients, they are considered employees of the agency. The agency makes money by charging the employer a mark-up above the employee’s hourly pay. Contract agencies normally deal in higher-end specialized positions like computers and engineering.

Permanent – These are the traditional recruiters or headhunters. They work with employers to find the right employees. These are usually higher-end positions. The employer pays a fee to the recruiting firm. This fee is usually based on a percentage of the employee’s salary. But, this fee in no way reduces compensation to the employee. It’s just considered a cost of the recruiting process.

Know the rules and regulations

The Department of Labor in most states regulates agencies. While there are not many regulations, it still wouldn’t hurt to know the rules in your state.

Who pays the fee?

An applicant should never pay a fee to anybody for getting a job. Sure, it is legal for authorized agencies to do this. But, you should stay away from agencies that make you pay a fee. Keep in mind that we are not referring to resume writers or career coaches. They are not employment agencies and are always paid by the applicant.

You should also never agree to reduce the salary, bonus or relocation expenses to make up for the fee. This is no different than you paying the fee. If the company asks you to do this, communicate the facts to your recruiter.

Who pays the fee?

Hiding the placement from the recruiter. The recruiting firm got you the job. So, it deserves to get paid. Some employers try to hide the fact that they hired the applicant to avoid the fee. This is flat out stealing. If you help the company defraud the recruiting firm, you could find yourself in a legal situation with the recruiting firm. Besides, would you really trust an employer that does this. We recommend communicating these actions to your recruiter and looking for a different employer.

What to expect from a recruiter.
Good recruiters are experienced professionals who are concerned about doing what is best for the applicant and company. They have a large network of contacts and have spent years building valuable relationships with employers. This is an extremely valuable resource for highly qualified applicants. So if you get a chance to work with a recruiter, you should remember that you’re getting all of this at no cost simply because the recruiter believes in you. The recruiting firm only makes money if they place an applicant that is successful in the position. So, they have to wisely manage their time and not spend too much time with the wrong kinds of applicants.

To be successful over a long period of time, recruiting firms have to make solid placements and take care of applicants and employers. Even though they do want to take care of your best interests, don’t forget that they actually have no obligations to you. Even so, some applicants feel that they should get a lot of personal attention from the recruiter. Some actually try to get aggressive and control the process. A good recruiter will not let you do that. Any experienced recruiter will drop you immediately. Recruiters are the experts. Each firm has its own methods for balancing the massive amount of applicants and clients. So let them do their job.

Remember that a recruiter only needs to make about one or two placements per month to make a good living. In addition, most have refund policies. So, they want to make sure that each placement is long-term. If you appear to be a bad risk, the recruiter will pass you up for one of the other thousand people waiting behind you. If a recruiter is personally working with you, consider it a compliment and a good opportunity.

Letting the recruiter know what you want

Letting the recruiter know what you want

A good recruiter wants to find the best career opportunity for you and the best employee for the client company. This means the recruiter needs to understand exactly what you want and need. Being honest and realistic with a recruiter from the beginning is of upmost importance.

The recruiter wants to make sure you are realistic and flexible with salary, geographical preferences, job duties and all other factors that effect your options. If you are wanting to change to an industry where you have no experience and get a 20% increase in salary, recruiters will not want to waste their time.

Good recruiters only want applicants who know what they want. Every recruiter has had at least one applicant go to the exact job they said they wouldn’t take. So, they’ve learned to sense applicants who are not reliable in expressing their needs. If a recruiting firm sees you wavering, they will lose faith in you and drop you as an applicant.