Sometimes getting the perfect job is as simple as getting the perfect recruitment agency to help you…
But, with lots of agencies all offering so called ‘fantastic opportunities’, deciding who to work with isn’t always easy – especially when you may not have worked with agencies before.
To make sure you know what to look for (and when to steer clear) from a recruitment agency here are the tell-tale signs your potential agency is not the one:
1. They can’t explain what the role entails
If you find yourself with a lot of unanswered questions when you speak to the recruitment consultant, it’s never a good sign.
Either the consultant doesn’t actually know what the role entails or what success looks like within it, or they haven’t really thought about your needs and are not confident the employer can meet your needs.
So, if you can’t find out the ins and outs of the role from the recruitment consultant, don’t accept anything before getting clarity on your concerns.
2. Their interview process is unorganised
A company’s hiring process is an accurate reflection of them as a business – and it probably goes without saying that if the agency has an unprofessional attitude from the outset that this isn’t a good sign.
Whether they’re rude or misleading with their communication, they’re late to your interview, or just seem distant and unprepared, how you’re treated by the consultant could be a good indicator of how their clients may treat their future (or current) employees.
And in this case, it probably isn’t good…
3. They’re not interested in your past history
Most jobs require thorough background checks and detailed questioning or how do they know if you would be a good fit. Almost all professional jobs should follow some kind of screening policy – and at the very least, an in-depth interview.
Not only does it make sure you’re a right fit for the organisation, it also helps you to understand whether it’s a good fit for you.
So, if an agencies approach is overly desperate, you might need to ask yourself why they need to beg to fill their position…
4. The working hours are unreasonable
Whether you’re a current employee or you’re interviewing for a new role, any indication of unfair working hours or a lack of breaks isn’t going to equal to a good work/life balance.
For example, if your salary pays you for 40 hours a week, but the employer mentions staying late on more than one occasion – that’s your first sign of trouble. Wanting someone to be a hard worker is fine, but no employer should expect you to sacrifice it for your own well-being.
An organisation should always have a vested interest in keeping its employees happy, and your set workload should always reflect that.
Any agency who is prepared to work with clients purely based on how high the fees are (fees: commission paid by the employer to the agency to find candidates) should be a good sign to walk away
5. They badmouth other companies you might be interested
As interview unprofessionalism goes, this is one of the worst offenders.
Although discussing vacancies that you may have had a previous interview with is fine, an angency should never speak badly about a business purely on the basis that they don’t have vacancies with that company is a no-no. Not only does it reflect badly on the industry, it could also indicate a practice of pushing you towards their vacancies not necessary the right ones for you.
So, always steer clear of any agency or consultant who lets their personal greed get the better of them, and look for an agency that practices professionalism and fairness at all times.
6. They ask inappropriate questions
There’s a time and place for personal matters, and it’s not at an interview.
So if any consultant spends a lot of time discussing personal matters (e.g. whether you’re married/have kids), they probably aren’t following the correct protocol – especially if they’re using it to influence their hiring decision.
After all, you’re there to demonstrate your skills and experience, not to talk about what you do at the weekend.
7. They have a bad reputation
With any agency you apply to, do your research. And the internet is a great place to start.
Look at their reviews, look at who they represent, look at their testimonials.
Do they talk more about themselves and how great they are or do they demonstrate how they are going to actually help you. Although you shouldn’t believe everything you read, keep an eye out for any recurring complaints – they could be a valid warning sign.
Aside from being a vital part of your job search preparation, researching your prospective recruitment agency will give you a clearer indication of whether they’re the right fit for you.
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