Statistics indicate that only 5% of jobs are obtained through online job postings.  The vast majority of jobs are secured through networking.  While using your own existing network and expanding it are helpful strategies to improve your job search prospects, another approach is to utilize the services of a recruitment agency.   Recruitment agencies, especially for those at more advanced levels, can be useful in finding suitable roles and connecting you to the right employers.  However, there are some recommendations that are important to follow, in order to make such a tactic a productive one. The following are tips for working with a recruitment agency in your job search:


  1. Be clear about your criteria for suitable roles – it is important to understand that recruitment agents are paid based on placement.  Therefore, they will be most eager to secure you a role, whether or not it is most appropriate.  At the outset of the relationship, you should be confident and comfortable describing your ideal role, including salary, title, work duties and hours.  If you are constantly offered roles that don’t fit these criteria or you feel like you are being pushed into a role, it is essential that you discuss your concerns with the recruiter and evaluate the usefulness of this particular recruiter or firm.
  2. Recognize that the recruiter is not your career coach – you should not seek career advice from your recruiters or list too broad a range of options for them to search.  Their role is to find you a best-fit position, not to tell you what you should pursue. While they can provide some guidance about the employer, they will generally remain neutral, as it pertains to your job options. If you feel confused or overwhelmed, seek out a career coach or talk to trusted colleagues and mentors.
  3. Employ the services of more than one recruitment agency– you want to have flexibility in the job search. You should have typically between 3-4, with whom you can work to find your ideal role. This will allow you freedom of choice when an agency isn’t responsive or has not produced the desired results.

The job search can feel like an arduous process, but by utilizing the most effective strategies, such as a recruitment agency, you can produce your ideal outcomes more quickly and efficiently.