somabc (10th December 2008)
In my last job I was regularly approached by agencies whenever we were advertising. Their charges were typically 4-5 times what we spent on advertising. I'm sure that you could (probably should!) argue that the time we spent on reading forms and CVs should have been costed but it wasn't - in my case I'd normally do the work at home (less distraction!) so I wasn't missing other work in order to do it.
It also means that you can be much more flexible when looking at forms. A couple of the best people I recruited almost certainly wouldn't have got through the agency process; they didn't tick the right boxes in terms of criteria but we thought they were worth interviewing and we were right.
I used an agency to try and find me a job and yes they did find me one but it wasn't quite me but will say they were very good, helpful and a good lot to deal with so would do it again, my issue was not enough access to education clients in it, I didn't want to be a desk based helpdesk, I do enjoy going out there and getting dirty hands as it were as well as the strategic planning of things.
I also used to be an IT headhunter and would say this:
I wouldn't deal with anyone who rang me up cold in the manner described: real headhunters have someone they are specifically targeting rather than: 'are you unhappy with your position?' type questions.
A good recruitment consultancy can be worth their weight in gold - I used to have a really good working relationship with the IT companies in my area, to the point where I could ring them up and tell them that I had a great candidate and they would see them straight away. Due to high recruitment costs in terms of man hours etc many companies only use the big agencies: basically they ask for a short-list and leave it all to the agency.
Having said that: don't discount the smaller fry - sometimes an HR person will place a job with someone like Reed because that's what they always do.
Remember: YOU are in control. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. Make sure you know enough about the job before you go for interview - don't be fobbed off with vagueness. (I never saw the point of this from the agencies point of view - what's the point of sending someone unsuitable for the post?). Try and arrange a telephone interview if distance/time etc is a problem, so that you have a feel for the job before you take time off etc
The bottom line is: does the job sound of interest? Just that. If so, go along and have a look - don't think any further than that at this point as it would be speculation.
A good recruitment consultant will work hard for you AND the client.
If anyone needs any more advice, or help with CVs etc, I am here for you
Also remember with bsf schools are not doing recruitment but companies are which means they use headhunters. Also there is big difference between a job agency and IT Headhunter.
Agencies - fill jobs
Headhunters - Recruit People
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