WASTE OF TIME – OR WORTH A SHOT?
Are you a recent graduate looking for a job? With only 60% of university leavers finding work in the first six months after graduation (according to the Higher Education Career Services Unit), you’ll need to be smart about your job hunt. You’ve probably heard mixed stories about recruitment agencies – so what’s the truth? Is it worth signing up, or are you better off going it alone? Graduate Fog speaks to Marie Warren, a careers adviser and blogger who works for the recruitment agency recruitmentrevolution.com
What is a graduate recruitment agency?
“A graduate recruitment agency is a business that specialises in working with employers to place a graduate into a role that suits the candidate. Graduate recruitment agencies can often take two forms: those that specialise in a single area e.g. teaching, IT or marketing, or those that cover a wide range of industries.”
How is going via an agency different from applying to the employer directly?
“Working with a graduate recruitment agency is slightly different from applying for a normal job because it will usually consist of an email or, more likely, phone interview with the recruitment consultant so they can ascertain your skills, experience and preferred your career path. The consultant will then forward on your CV to any relevant jobs and, because they are working closely with the organisation, can help prepare you for an interview if the application is successful.”
That sounds great – so they work on a graduate’s behalf, to find them a job?
“No, not exactly – although that’s a common misconception about graduate recruitment agencies. A recruitment agency will be paid by the company, not the graduate job-seeker, once a candidate it successfully hired. Their goal is to fill their vacancies, not to find you a job. But obviously if you’re a good fit for one of their vacancies, then it’s a win-win.
What are the benefits of signing up with a graduate recruitment agency?
“It may seem like more effort than a traditional application but it can significantly increase the chances of a graduate attaining a position. The other bonus is that it won’t cost you anything – and even if you don’t get the job you’ll gain insight, advice and tips about future applications from the recruitment consultant who will also give you plenty of support as you go through the application process. At the very least, you’ll come away with some free CV advice and some fresh interview tips.
“The jobs they’re looking to fill may not be ones you’ll hear about otherwise – this is because graduate recruitment agencies often have strong links to the industries they recruit for. Some graduate recruitment agencies are actually the preferred provider of recruitment services in the industry and therefore are better positioned to place a candidate’s details in front of the correct people.”
Anything else we need to know?
“Never be tempted to fib to a recruitment consultant about your skills, qualifications or experience. It is much better to be honest. This will ensure he or she has the correct information to hand and that you won’t be put forward for a job you don’t want or aren’t right for.
“Remember also that graduate recruitment consultants will often be working with several candidates at once. Don’t sit by the phone waiting — after a couple of days, call them to check on the application and ask for verification about when and where your details have been sent to prospective employers.”
(Please note this is a “Graduate Fog Classic” article from our archives, originally posted in March 2013 and refreshed on 25 March 2014).
*HAVE YOU HAD ANY LUCK WITH GRADUATE RECRUITMENT AGENCIES?
Did they help you find a job – or was it a waste of time? What advice would you give to graduates considering signing up with a graduate recruitment agency?