As a job seeker in the field of marketing, it’s quite likely that you’ve been contacted by a staffing or recruiting agency at some point. They may have seen your profile on Linkedin or your resume on a job board somewhere, and contacted you via phone or email. If you haven’t run into one yet, it’s likely that you will eventually. If you’re new to the job market, you may not understand exactly how recruiting agencies work, but it’s important that you do before you jump into bed with one hoping to land a job.
This is the first thing that any marketing professional should realize about recruiting agencies: they do not work for you. They are paid by the employer to fill a position, sometimes making as much as 20% of the job seeker’s first year salary. As an entry level employee, this might not be much, but you can see how that added cost would add up for companies regularly using recruiting agencies.
Never trust a recruiting agency that charges you a fee up front.
Any reputable job placement company will not make you pay to join. This goes for employers too, and if you run into a recruiting agency that has an offer like, “Your first $100 payment will get you 5 interviews with Fortune 500 companies,” turn and run. It’s a scam, and you don’t need to throw away money while you’re looking for a job.
Some agencies will get part of your paycheck.
In some cases, companies hire recruiting agencies to find temporary hourly workers. Many times, these employees will only see half the money that the company is paying with the other half going to a recruitment agency. In other words, you might get hired, but your paycheck goes through the recruiter where he takes a cut before you get any of it. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you should know that getting hired by the company directly will likely leave more cash in your pocket at the end of the day.
You probably won’t get to build a relationship with the hiring manager.
I’ve always found that the best way to assure yourself of a job is to know the hiring manager. In the case of a job offered through a recruiting agency, you likely won’t get that chance until your first interview. In fact, some recruiting agencies don’t want you to know who they’re hiring for until they can be assured that they’ll get credit for the lead.
If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Finally, as with every job that runs across your desk, those that look too good to be true likely are. Be careful with recruiting agencies that promise you the world, and keep in mind, you aren’t paying their bills.
If you are having trouble finding work, you probably need to get out and network more – both online and in person. Social networks like Linkedin and Facebook are tearing apart the old model of bringing on recruiting agencies, and in most cases, the company would rather save their money and hire on their own anyway.