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Could Recruitment Consultants be the Right Step for you and your Job Search?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 14 Feb 2022

Recruitment Consultant Hero Image

Just like any other decision or change you decide to make for your job search, it should be tailored to you and your needs. A job search isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ task and you should think about the steps and your goals before making these types of decisions. Recruitment consultants often post roles on job seeking sites as well as the employers themselves, but some recruitment agencies like to keep things under wraps. That means, there are more roles out there that could be suited to you, not advertised online. However, like anything else, there are positives and negatives, so keep reading to find out more about recruitment consultants and why they could potentially help you land a new role!

How do they work?

The main goal of a recruitment agency is to find matching candidates for vacant jobs that they are being paid to fill. Agencies tend to have large databases filled with job seekers information, ready for them to reach out and find them a role. Consultants take the time to find what they think to be an ideal candidate and put them forward for the role. They source new job seekers, and they tend to welcome people coming directly to them. A big positive of asking a recruitment consultant for help, is they get paid to place good candidates, so they tend to be very honest and are eager to give candidates advice. They sometimes do way more than just put you forward for a role. They help you with your CV, interview prep and sometimes run you through the job description so you know exactly what the role is.

One negative is that they may not disclose the name of the company until you place an interview. This is to simply stop you going elsewhere to apply and wasting their time. This just means you can’t do research on the company until they give you 100% of the information.

The Pros and Cons

Using a recruitment consultant company is a decision you should make based on your own preferences; some people love the ability to have a new job pitched to them and others may think they are too salesy. It’s up to you to determine whether an agency can help enhance your job search or if it’s going to feel like a waste of time in the long run.

Recruitment consultants can sometimes get a bad reputation, and this can occasionally be down to their very salesy approach. Some job seekers may see this as a negative trait to have, it can cause some people to feel pressured into an interview when they don’t actually want it. However, this also shows that they are determined individuals ready to help you find the right job for you. It all depends how you see things; one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

It is also a common misconception that consultants send just anyone to an interview, in order to get jobs filled and get their money. However, recruitment consultants are not likely to send you to an interview that they think you won’t succeed in. They spend time sourcing the right candidate, prepping them, meeting them (when circumstances allow) and selling them to the employer. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of time and they try to do all of this, for each individual. They only make commission when they have a successful placement, so they’re not going to send just anyone.

How to help your experience

It’s important to take the time to talk to the consultant you would be working with. Ask them any questions you have and really let them understand what it is you are looking for in a role. This helps them a lot and it will never be a waste of time for them. Tell them about your CV, your experience, and your personal development, talking to someone about all of this and your goals will not only help them tailor their search to you, but it can really help your self-confidence. Talking positively about yourself and using persuasive techniques in conversation can be good interview preparation. 

Also, before getting in touch or accepting their advice, read some online reviews about the recruitment agency. You can also find most of their consultants on LinkedIn, so have a nosey around beforehand. Reading about other people’s experiences may help you to see how recruitment consultants can potentially help you and if this agency is recommended. If not, you can look elsewhere. However, there are some job-seekers that just are not compatible with consultants, so be wary of any super negative comments. Take them into consideration if it suits you, but make sure you have an open mind. It may help just calling up the agency (if they don’t call you first) and seeing how you feel after a conversation, you don’t owe them anything if you change your mind. It’s better to let them know so you don’t waste time for both parties.

Reasons to use a recruitment Consultant

  • They save you a lot of time looking for jobs
  • They help you network on a larger scale – they have a huge number of contacts
  • They want and need to place you – they have great incentive to succeed
  • They have access to opportunities that may not be listed on job websites or careers pages

Companies use recruitment consultant companies because the business may not have time to complete a thorough sourcing process. So, they hire the recruitment company to find the talent and pre-interview them to save them the hassle. Recruiters can be a great resource when you are finding it hard to find the right job for you. They have loads of jobs that you may not be aware of, happening right now, sometimes recruitment consultants are the only way to find those ‘secret’ jobs that aren’t posted anywhere online. Some employers chose to use recruitment agencies only.

Reasons to not use a recruitment Consultant

  • You lose a bit of control over your job search
  • The online job postings can be slightly vague, making you wonder what you’re applying for
  • They can potentially feel controlling

Some of these may not bother you, if not, great. However, many candidates like to have complete control over their job search and if this is you, then a consultant may not be for you.

The jobs descriptions they provide you with can be slightly vague at the beginning of the process. They may not have the full job specification from their client, or they may not want you to know everything until they meet you. (As discussed above) However, don’t feel pressured to apply or accept a job that just isn’t for you, especially if you want to know more and they won’t tell you yet. This can be one of the potential downfalls of using a consultant for your job search. Don’t get offended by it, recruitment consultants can just be great at persuading. It’s their job.

Making your decision

It’s pretty clear that there are advantages and disadvantages to inviting a recruitment company to aid you with your jobs search. Ultimately, it is your decision.

If you do find yourself being contacted by a recruitment company, take the time to listen what they have to say and make sure you ask questions. Some consultants find it very easy to talk, so don’t feel patronised, it’s just their job. Push back and ask what you want to know. It’s a big step to take for your job search and if you change your mind at any point, they can take you off their data base and you can go from there. No decision is permanent.