As an in-house recruiter for over a decade, I’ve had the fortune of working with some really good quality recruitment consultants.

The main reason being these recruitment consultants made my job really easy.  They naturally partnered with the business.  They took time to build good long-term working relationships. We both shared information critical to the success of filling the vacancy.  After all, that is the shared goal.

It’s no secret there can be a little tension between in-house recruiters and recruitment consultants. They have a different agenda, even though the main goal is the same.

Recruitment agencies – what are they good for?

The recruitment agencies with a long-term view will want to spend time building a good quality relationship with their clients.  They know the value this brings to their business. Taking a little more time and effort to build knowledge and understand the challenges their clients are going to face and help with a solutions-driven approach.

The really good consultants will also want to build good working relationships with the candidates too. This is crucial to building up a successful and continuous pipeline of talent. The very best consultants spend just as much time networking with candidates in the market as they do schmoozing with their clients.

Sector knowledge and market intelligence

A good agency will be researching their market every day. They are likely to have business development managers gathering knowledge from research and working closely with their clients. This knowledge is really valuable to a candidate. They will know what companies are expanding and recruiting even if they are not advertising widely.

Direct links to local clients

As they have market knowledge and they know what their clients are looking for in a candidate, you can take advantage of this when attending an interview. Listen very carefully to what information they share with you about their client as this will help you prepare.

The consultant is likely to know more about the company then a job description could ever tell you. They will understand the company culture, the team players in the department and the management style.

CV Advice and interview coaching

This won’t necessarily be an advertised service. However, they will want to make sure you have the best possible chances of getting an interview. It’s in their interest you meet all the client’s requirements and it’s very clearly presented on your CV. So again listen to their advice and feedback – they know better than you (at this point) what their clients are looking for.

When and if you decide to register with a recruitment agency do your homework. Your time is precious and you don’t want to go through the registration process if they cannot help you with your particular job search. You want to sniff out the very best agencies that will take just as much time and effort managing you through the recruitment process.