If your idea of looking for jobs is throwing resumes to online ads like hundreds of other candidates, then you’re only scraping the tip of the iceberg. There is a hidden job market out there, that isn’t posted on the major job boards, but can only be found through networking. But networking can also be tough to grow and build to find legitimate positions.
Staffing Agencies can be a great way to tap into their network of clients, and should be used to supplement a standard job search.
Many companies work with agencies in order to avoid a lengthy hiring process. Instead of sifting through 250 resumes, companies only see 5 or 6 of the best candidates out there. Agencies do post positions, but many times get opportunities that need to be filled in a couple days, or can’t post due to confidential reasons. Candidates not working with staffing agencies would have no idea that these positions are available. In addition, many times a recruiter is able to prepare you for an interview with much more information than you could find on the company website or job description.
The best way to use staffing agencies is to find agencies who work within your expertise, or ideally have current job openings. Submit a resume and give the recruiter a call to ask about the process and express interest in a certain role. Work through their recruiting process and they will guide you in the hiring process. If the recruiter doesn’t have an opening, ask if it is something they see often, or how to be considered for future openings. If one agency doesn’t have an opening now, try others in your area to get in front of multiple recruiters.
How to avoid being submitted more than once:
There are multiple reasons why, but many times company names are confidential through agencies. This can make it difficult to determine whether it is a company you have applied to, or interviewed with. Recruiters don’t need to know every job you’ve applied to in the past month, but let them know if you’re currently interviewing somewhere, or if the job description sounds similar to a different job you’ve applied to. This would help avoid any doubling-up. As a side note, there is no negative connotation to being sent to a company twice, and it will not affect your current status with the company.
Benefits of Staffing Agencies:
Recruiters have first-hand knowledge of the company, and more information than can be found online
Personal hiring coach - negotiation is easier and more effective through a recruiter
Sign up once to be considered for multiple companies; limits application time
Recruiters push your resume to the hiring manager, and are your biggest advocate
Common misconceptions of agencies:
“If I sign up with an agency, I am guaranteed a job.”
While we would all love this to be true, this just isn’t the case. There are just some candidates that agencies can’t work with, or perhaps an industry that specific agency doesn’t specialize in. More often than not, our hands are tied with the requirements of the client. This doesn’t mean you’re not a great candidate, it just means that specific position may not be the greatest fit.
“Working with a staffing agency will cost me money.”
Not if you are a job seeker; agencies charge the companies for their services.
“I want full time, permanent work, and don’t want to work as a contractor.”
Agencies do work with many contract positions, but they also work extensively on full time, direct hire roles for companiess. Letting your recruiter know what you are looking for will help narrow down the possibilities. Most professional positions are direct hire, or contract to hire at the very least.
“I’m already with XYZ Staffing agency, so I can’t sign up with another.”
Sure that might be my competition, but you are more than welcome to sign up with multiple staffing agencies. This only gives you additional options to find work. Different agencies have different companies they regularly work with.