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Applying through recruitment agencies - anyone got any insight?

(17 Posts)
RedBlanket Thu 11-Aug-11 15:32:59

I have applied for quite a few positions through various different recruitment agencies, possibly about 5 different ones in total. Only one has so far called me back, I went for a chat with them and discussed various jobs with her, but nothing has so far come of it.

I'm thinking of ringing up the other agencies and saying something along the lines of 'I sent you my CV for x job you advertised, I thought my skill set was a good match to this, so I'm surprised I haven't heard back from you. What are they looking for, can I send you a revised CV better highlighting my skills?'

DH says that agencies are usually farming for CVs, there's no real jobs, so I should expect not to hear back from them, but I've nothing to lose my chasing them up.

I'm not hugely confident on the phone so I've written myself a script of what I want to say, but I'm having major doubts now. If I said the above does it sound like I'm being a bit up myself arsey in a 'how dare you not consider me I'm fab' kind of way or does it sound like a go getting top class candidate.

I've got the DCs out of the house for an hour tomorrow, so I could do it then. Just wondering if anyone has a take on this.

SardineQueen Thu 11-Aug-11 15:45:58

I always take the job title and location etc from the ad and see if I can find the actual company ad by googling and apply direct if I can find it.

Like your DH I am very suspicious that a lot of these jobs don't actuually exist.

Some agencies are great, some are crap.

However it will do you no harm at all to call them up and see what they say. They will not think you are pushy, it's quite a normal thing to do. Don't expect to get any straight answers though.

If you know what area you want to work in specialist recruiters are often a bit better. Also if it's specialist you might be able to get some agencies recommended.

Good luck smile

RedBlanket Thu 11-Aug-11 16:02:29

Thanks.
The job I'm particularly interested in is advertised on the company's website but is directing everyone to the agency - although good point on sleuthing out the real company for others.

I have been almost continously employed for the past 15 years, so applying for jobs is pretty new to me, I'm surprised at how many are through agencies rather than direct.

SardineQueen Thu 11-Aug-11 16:46:47

I'm looking for work at the moment too and am finding it tough. Have 15 years exp in financial services and having very little luck. I have been looking since Oct and have had one interview where I got to the last stage and another interview next week (fingers crossed!) but that's it since Oct. And my CV is good, I know it is. The agencies I have spoken to who I know are good ones have said that because of the economic uncertainty employers are being really picky, not taking a chance on hiring people who nearly fit, they want the exact experience and even then they put off hiring because they think someone cheaper is just around the corner.

So it is hard.

The way to look at is that employers are being fussy and there are loads of people looking so the agencies are inundated, which is why they aren't getting back to people or being very keen, and also why it is so hard to land interviews let alone jobs. Nothing to do with you (or me!).

The best advice I can give (I used to work with a company who did recruitment stuff) is to look at what they are asking for and give them exactly what they are looking for. They haven't got time to read between the lines and they get so many CVs through now. Also tailor your CV to each role and if you can do a covering letter put in there to show them you have experience / can do the top 3 or 4 things on their requirements.

So if eg the first requirement is "sound admin experience including excel" you would put in teh covering letter hello and i'm interested blah blah and I believe I am a good fit for this role as follows / I have the experience you are looking for as follows:

- 6 years admin experience performing a range of duties for xx employer and yy employer
- Trained to Intermediate level in Excel

Basically you need to show them as quick as poss that you are the person they are after and you have the right skills.

SageMist Thu 11-Aug-11 19:15:30

Yes talk to someone at the agencies. Chase them for some feedback about your CV and suitablity for the advertised jobs. Ask them to ask the pospective employer(s) about why you haven't made the shortlist for the job(s).

Their job is to match candidates to jobs, make them earn their money (ok you don't pay, employers do, but its still a good idea).

BUT, big BUT, always be scrupulously polite to an agent, they could get you your next job!

vez123 Thu 11-Aug-11 19:37:00

When i was jobhunting i concentrated on only the new job ads. A lot of job ads keep reappearing on websites but the interviewing is already in full swing and they are no longer actively trying to find any more candidates.
Also, i had my cv on monster and got new job alerts every day. A lot of recruiters found me on monster and contacted me, rather than me contacting them. Also, get a profile on linkedin - so many headhunters use this to find candidates. When i applied for a job i made sure to send a brief email saying 'i am interested in the position advertised on website x and i am suitable because of reasons a, b and c. Please find my cv attached'. All kept fairly short but tried to catch their interest. Use keywords from the job ad to make sure they see that your experience matches the skillset required.
Good luck with the job hunt!

nineKey Fri 12-Aug-11 01:22:41

I think you have to think of recruitment agencies that they are Sales oriented

they will only contact you if they see potential sale, else is waste of their precious time

xylophone Fri 12-Aug-11 02:10:11

Yes, phone them! I used to work on reception for an employment agency; factory and work construction temp work mainly, and 7 years ago so hopefully it's improved since then.

Depends on the kind of agency and kind of job, I don't want to tar all agencies with the same brush, but my experience is that often the job vacancy advertised doesn't exist (used to exist no doubt and will exist again in future, but doesn't right now). So you are essentially hoping that similar jobs will come up again soon and that when they do, they'll think of you.

So at the agency I worked at, you, as the job seeker, were expected to phone regularly, expected to be keen and a bit pushy; if you didn't you ran the risk of being passed over. Bear in mind that essentially they look for people for jobs, not jobs for people, if you see what I mean (the 'client' is the employer, not the applicant) so you want your name to be on the tip of their tongue / top of the list when a new vacancy comes in.

All a big hassle, I know, and I'm afraid your DH is right about the CV farming but once they've used you once with success a good agency will use you again and again with less or no need to keep calling.

Anyway, the point is, yes phone, don't give up, definitely apply to different agencies, don't rely on any particular one, and hassle them all!
Good luck.

PerryCombover Fri 12-Aug-11 02:28:21

If you are looking for pt you might as well not bother through an agency unless you are willing to temp

Ask for an appointment and go to see them. People make more of an effort once they have registered you onto their books.
I don't know your skillset but there is always work for the right type of candidates with a decent recruitment consultant.

Be on time. Come to the meeting with some companies you might like to work for locally and why
Match skillset for skillset..competitor list
Help the consultant out and they will get you a job tbh

RedBlanket Fri 12-Aug-11 16:21:34

Thanks all - some good advice. I hadn't really thought about them working for the clients not me, although I know that's the way if works IYSWIM.
So, I got stuck in and I phoned 3 this morning, all were 'not available' and haven't phoned back.

allbie Sat 13-Aug-11 23:10:12

My DS has just got his first ever proper job through an agency. The lady helping him has been fab, very helpful and organised. Another agency sent him temping to some sweatshop without any information which wasn't so good but he learnt through that experience! And I am so chuffed for him to have landed such a good job in this current climate!

somewherebecomingrain Thu 18-Aug-11 21:49:54

Hi yes my dh says they are deluged with names and cvs so you have to remind them you exist by phoning regularly. I'm phoning regularly therefore and still haven't got a job but they do contact me about roles which they wouldn't if I hadn't called. I bloody wish something would come along soon.

Indaba Fri 19-Aug-11 21:45:20

Agencies get paid by the company not candidates.

Think of estate agents.....they court sellers not buyers.

They have no obligation to deal with you (though they can not discriminate).

The minute you tell them you have been interviewing elsewhere they will be all over you looking for sales leads. The more interviews (leads) you have elsewhere, the more they will be interested.

Treat them professionally. All the time. Every time.

Try to meet them face to face and treat any dealings with them as professionally as you would with prospective employer.

crazycarol Fri 26-Aug-11 23:15:17

A while ago when dh was job hunting, he was applying for numerous jobs. He applied for one job with an agency and went for an interview with them. The girl mentioned the name of the company they were "working with". It was the company my sister worked for (and was quite senior). We spoke to her about it and not only did the company not have any vacancies at the moment, it had its own hr dept and carried out their own recruitment! You can speculate as to what this agenvy were doing.

Pekka Mon 12-Sep-11 18:26:06

I was looking for a job for 3 months earlier this year. I am convinced that most jobs advertised by agencies don't actually exists. I am currently employed through an agency, it is a small one and seems pretty legit.

sincitylover Mon 12-Sep-11 18:43:30

part of their work will involve scouring recruitment ads, luring people in and then ringing said hr department saying they have a candidate who is ideal for the vacancy. So the vacancy may well exist but the agency does not as yet have the business.

But they must have some existing relationships with local employers - where I work we use recommended agencies so sometimes the jobs will be real so to speak.

Yes they do work totally for the companies not the individuals - you are a means to make them money so to speak.

Harsh but true.

mytime777 Fri 16-Sep-11 17:11:35

I worked for an agency ( not any more) an am now contacting them gain fro the other side of the table about jobs and yes, defo call up and chase. The amount of times doing this has led to interviews for myself and also when I was recruiting makes it worth it. It brings you to the front of their minds and also allows u to tell them abit more about u and what u want which isn't always portrayed well on the cv.

Give it Go!
Just say you are following up an application or that you have applied and wanted to learn a little more about the job! smile

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