A recruitment agency, or employment agency, matches employers with employees, and they have been around since the 1600′s. The first one in the U.S. opened in 1893.
Employment agencies now cover different industries. The employment services industry has four different segments. Employment placement agencies list employment vacancies and place permanent employees. Temporary help services, also referred to as temporary staffing agencies, provide employees, on a contract basis and for a limited time, to clients in need of workers to supplement their labor force. Executive search services, often referred to as headhunters, provide search, recruitment, and placement services for clients with specific executive and senior management needs. Professional employer organizations are engaged in providing human resources and human resources management services to staff client businesses.
Here is a good description of how recruitment agencies work by Paul Malcolm:
Recruitment agencies work by ensuring that qualified candidates are matched with the appropriate employers. They act as an intermediary between the market and the company by making connections, which would otherwise be non-existent. Candidates always have the option of approaching the organizations directly but in most cases, it is advisable to consult with a recruitment agency because they make the entire process easier for you.
As a candidate searching for an opportunity or an employer, it is important to have an understanding of how the recruitment agencies work. This will give you a better perspective of what to expect from them at the time that you contact their services. First, keep in mind that this is a sales brokerage; the agencies make money by capitalizing on the work you get contracted to do. This means that when you apply for a position, they take the margin off the top of it and this essentially makes their profit. While this is the case, they should not be perceived in a negative light because they ensure that both parties benefit from the arrangement.
There are a couple of things you need to note about recruitment agencies. For starters, they are not in the business to advance careers; their goal is only to find an open position and if you have the proper qualifications, they see if they can get you into that position. By understanding this aspect it becomes easier to ensure that at the end of the day, you do not feel cheated by the type and quality of services offered by the contractors. It is also important to note that they work for two clients, both the candidate and the potential employer.
The process of choosing and placing contractors in the right positions takes time since they must ensure that the candidates are suitable for the positions. In this case, they have to carry out an executive and comprehensive search, which involves looking at papers from different contractors in order to determine the ones best suited for the position client. Keep in mind that their first priority is the client and as such, they work towards ensuring that the client is satisfied with the services offered. The executive search is often carried out under certain rules and regulations and the contractors are supposed to adhere to these in order to get the desired outcome.
The recruitment agency uses its own database to find candidates, which is ultimately the best process to use for carrying out an executive search successfully. They provide an open line for communication during the entire process and this increases the speed and reliability with which they deliver the services. It is for all these reasons and more that the prospect of hiring recruitment agency is always welcome. While this is the case, it is important to ensure that recruitment agencies you choose are reputable and that they have been in the industry for a long duration. This is the only way to ensure that at the end of the day, you get the most out of their services and what you’re looking for.