A recruitment agency, or employment agency, can help you to find a job; permanent or temporary, full-time or part-time.
The way they work is, employers looking for new staff will contact recruitment agencies when they are seeking candidates for a specific position. The agency will then help fill that particular role by looking for candidates who would be a good match and contacting them to see if they would be interested in putting their CVs forward for consideration as an employee.
If a recruitment agency successfully helps to fill any job posts that were offered, then they will normally get paid for this service from the employer and not the job seeker.
It is against the law for a recruitment agency in the UK to charge for services that help you to find work, Recruitment agencies may charge for other services they offer, such as CV writing.
These are the pros and cons of using an employment agency
- specialist in certain fields only, where they will have excellent contacts
- Will offer advice and help you with your job search and your CV
- do some of the legwork of job hunting by calling you when there is an opportunity
- help you find a position quickly, especially if you're willing to do temporary roles (also referred to as ‘temping’)
- agents are under pressure to reach targets and could put you forward for jobs you don’t really want
- you still need to spend time job hunting as not all jobs will be offered to agencies
- some popular sectors are unlikely to use agencies, for example, the media sector, as they already have a lot of demand for jobs.
- some agencies can hold negative stereotypes about older workers.