Recruitment agencies

What are they?

Recruitment agencies are independent organisations that are engaged by employers to source and screen prospective candidates for job vacancies.

How do they work?

Recruitment agencies advertise job vacancies on behalf of employers and perform the initial screening process for appropriate candidates. The process is generally as follows:

  1. The job is placed online and/or in the newspaper/s with a closing date for application.
  2. After the closing date the job applications are reviewed and range of candidates is selected for first round interviews.
  3. Based on these interviews a short list of candidates is recommended to the employer.
  4. The employer usually conducts a final interview with the short listed candidates in order to make their selection.
  5. The recruitment agent is advised of the selection and makes the job offer to the candidate.

Temporary and contract jobs: If the candidate accepts the offer, they sign a contract with the recruitment agency. It is important to note that when a temporary or contract job is won through an agency, the candidate is an employee of the agency, not the employer. The agency pays the salary and manages the relationship between the candidate and the employer.

Permanent jobs: If the candidate accepts the offer of a permanent job then they will be employed directly by the organisation, not the agency. The agency is paid a commission for successfully finding an appropriate candidate for the role.

What costs are involved?

There is no cost to candidates for using the services of recruitment agencies. Recruitment agencies work on commission from the employer based on the successful placement of candidates.

When should I use a recruitment agency?

  • Recruitment agencies are often useful when looking for casual or temporary work. Some agencies specialise in just this.
  • Registering with recruitment agencies is a useful part of any job search. Be aware that the first priority of the recruitment agent is to serve the needs and requirements of the employer. In that case they need to focus their attention only on candidates who possess the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience for the job in question.