Thursday, 16 May 2013

Recruitment agencies - are they up to the job?

As part of my search for the next job opportunity, I have signed up with several recruitment agencies. In theory it seems like a great way to get a job; you sign up, send in a curriculum vitae (CV) and after a while you get a recruiter on the phone telling you how they will get you that next opportunity. However, a few things have become clear to me over the past few weeks. Firstly, I discovered there are over 6000 recruitment agencies in the UK and it seems, like in every walk of life, that they vary enormously in both the quality they provide and the sectors they operate in. Having never had to approach this type of organisation before I found it very difficult to identify the ones which are well established and which can actually come up with the goods. Certainly referrals from trusted friends and colleagues seem to harvest the best results in my experience. Given the global and in-country recession, that is slowly improving, there appears to be a lot more candidates than jobs out there. Of course, it does depend on what each individual candidate is looking for and in my case having worked in a relatively small industry in a niche role such jobs are few and far between, although my skill set and experience are eminently transferrable. One issue I have noticed is that some agencies tend to use younger staff who perhaps don't have either the life or work experience that can assist the older candidate in their search for work. This does not mean to say they are not competent at the job but perhaps reflects the increasing growth in recruitment agencies throughout the UK and, ironically, the need for more recruitment staff.

So, my search for employment goes on and one can only hope that one of the recruitment agencies I have approached will come up trumps with a job that matches my personal and work-based skills and experience.