Working with Recruitment Consultants
We all know the feeling.
Moments after selecting ‘open to new opportunities’ on LinkedIn, or uploading your new CV to a job site, your phone begins pinging endlessly with calls, connection requests, emails – and you know exactly who it is.
Suddenly, you’re inundated with job opportunities, people asking you for your ‘requirements’ (whatever those might be) and you’re suddenly wondering if you really need a job that badly.
Many people – and I have to confess that I include myself in that bracket prior to working in recruitment – have a view of agencies as cutthroat environments where consultants vie for commission and will put anyone in any role to ensure they’re meeting targets.
On registering with VWA when I was looking for a new role, I was reassured that wasn’t true and was delighted to discover upon joining that the primary focus was indeed on finding the right person for the right job – both for the sake of those we were supporting with their search, as well as for our clients (many of which had been clients for many years).
But for those who aren’t convinced – what are the advantages of working with recruitment agencies / consultancies, and how can you get the most our of the agencies you are working with?
What are the advantages of working with an agency?
While going through a third party can feel a little frustrating sometimes, working with an agency means you are often working with Consultants who have been working with a business for many years (and in our case, sometimes this can be 20+ years!). This means not only do we know exactly what our client is looking for, but also means we can give you an insight into the business, hiring process and tips and tricks for interviewing with them.
We take the time to get to know both our clients and candidates, meaning when it comes to arranging interviews we can advise not only on the kinds of questions and areas our clients will focus on in interviews, but also if there are any particular aspects of your previous experience that we would suggest highlighting during interviews. This may also include any feedback following your registration call with us and general advice on competency/based interviewing.
Being the first to hear about new roles
Being registered with an agency means you will automatically come up in searches for new roles as soon as they become available. This means that you can often be contacted about new roles that match your requirements within a few hours of the role going live – often before the role has been advertised online. Sometimes roles can be live for less than a week, so speed can be crucial!
Working with a recruitment partner who really understands you, and your requirements
Taking time to get to know us, and vice versa, means we are able to get a good understanding of you, your personality, your motivations and therefore which of our clients will be a good fit for you – and which won’t!
Building career-long relationships
One of the benefits of working with an established agency, and building a relationship with the Consultants that you are in contact with, means you can have a trusted recruitment partner throughout your whole career. In our 34 years, we have had many instances of candidates registering after their studies before coming back to us whenever they are looking for their next moves – in some cases this means that candidates become clients, or even refer their own children to us when they are looking for their first roles!
One of the trickiest parts of securing a role can come during offer stage – particularly if you have multiple offers and aren’t sure how to proceed. Many people, usually during the earlier stages of the careers, often go with the first role they are offered because they think it is their only choice. We can advise you of your options, and can also negotiate on your behalf to make sure you’re getting the right offer for you.
An agency can help by:
Encouraging clients to move quickly in a process by keeping them up to date with any other processes or offers you have (sometimes this can result in processes being shortened and offers being made at an earlier stage than expected)
Negotiating salary details – It is not uncommon that candidates can change their salary expectations in the time between first registering and being offered a role. A Consultant can help in negotiating this with the client on your behalf and navigating what can be a tricky situation!
Navigating counter-offers – if you are offered two roles, one of which was preferred but at a lower salary, sometimes a Consultant can help with counter-offer processes including keeping clients up to date and suggesting matching salaries, offering joining bonuses or other benefits.
How can I make the most out of working with a recruitment agency?
Perhaps the most crucial part of making sure you are getting the best out of the agency you are working with, and the primary factor in ensuring you have access to all the points above, is being communicative, responsive and – most important – transparent. If you aren’t interested in some of the roles we are sending you, or if your criteria has changed since our first contact – tell us. It will help to ensure we are only running the right things by you, while also letting us know that you are still actively looking for roles so you will stay at the forefront of our minds!
We can also communicate with you in whatever method works best for you – we understand that you can’t always speak over the phone (and that nobody listens to voicemails anymore!), so if you’d prefer to communicate over WhatsApp or email we are more than happy to do so.
Haven’t heard from the team in a while? Don’t be afraid to send a chasing email – we will always respond to you as soon as we can!
Take the time
We know that your time is precious when you’re in a busy role and active in your job search, but it really is crucial that we have time with you over a video call when you register so we can begin to build a relationship with you. If you can only take the call in a lunch break or before / after work, and have no more than 20-30 minutes, that’s fine – just let us know so we can keep an eye on the time!
Tell us what’s important to you
When registering with an agency, it’s always helpful to tell us what your important factors, or non-negotiables, might be for you. If you’re not entirely sure yourself what you want in your next role, that’s fine – but what other factors are important? Are you looking for hybrid working? Or to work in a team rather than being in a standalone role? What kind of companies might you want to work in – and which ones do you not want to go anywhere near?
Take advantage of resources
Here at VWA, our team of expert Consultants have been in the recruitment business for many years.
– so take advantage of our knowledge and ask us questions! We love providing advice and guidance to all our candidates, regardless of whether they’ve been working for 1 year or 30 years, so please do ask us any questions you may want to ask us when interviewing or job searching.
VWA also run a monthly newsletter for jobseekers which is packed with information and advice on all things recruitment. And why not follow us on our LinkedIn or Instagram pages for market updates, advice and fun VWA team updates!