Choosing a IT Recruitment Agency to Work With
Stephen Nesbitt | IT Recruiter
There are few that will argue with us in saying that IT recruitment agencies have a pretty bad reputation for being aggressive and impersonal. However, it is true that they are a good route to go when beginning your job search. However, with so many agencies out there how do you decide which one to work with?!
You should choose an IT Recruitment Agency:
That wants to meet you
Look for an agency who gets what your specialty is and what you want from a job. The best way for this to happen is to meet them! Find an agency who is excited about meeting you face-to-face rather than speaking with you on the phone for a couple of minutes! You should work with people who are passionate about what they do and the industry that they work in. This passion translates into a knowledge of the industry, the main players, the skills needed to succeed in a given position and how to match you with your dream job! Similarly, you wouldn’t hire a lawyer that wouldn’t meet you first.
That has a specialty
If you are a professional in a certain industry, find an agency that specializes in staffing for that industry. You can also dive deeper than that – for example, if you’re an IT professional, there are so many specialties you might want to get even more specific and work with an agency that focuses on Application Development, or Mobile Development, etc. Simply put, you want to work with people who know what they are talking about! It’s frustrating for IT professionals who receive a multitude of calls on a regular basis from recruiters who only know how to do a keyword search on Monster, LinkedIn or Workopolis. The main problem is, average IT recruiters call people who don’t actually qualify for the position in question (ie. maybe you’re too junior, or senior). When you work with a specialist you know that they live, eat and breathe what they do and are dedicated to developing and increasing their industry knowledge and the knowledge of the skills needed for professionals to succeed.
That does the basics right
First and foremost, they should be honest, upfront and ethical. This is vital. Agencies in general have a bad reputation. They are known for embellishing or leaving out details, not telling you where they are sending your resume, telling you that you are interviewing for a specific role but when you get to the interview you find out the role you are being interviewed for is way too junior for you.
A Great IT Recruitment Agency should:
Be honest, upfront and ethical
– Meet you Face-to-Face
– Understand what you want to do and what you have done
– Be aware of where you live and contact you about jobs within a reasonable commute unless you’ve given them bigger parameters.
– Contact you about jobs that match your background/level and not contact you about jobs that you did 5 years ago and have no interest in.
– Help you with your resume to make sure you are showcasing your skills effectively. If you are in the IT field, they should show you How to Write an IT Focused Resume.
– Know market rates/salaries for various roles within their specialty
– Prep you well for your interviews and coach you through the interview process providing you will as many details as possible to help you succeed
That will mentor + coach you
It’s always best to find a great agency that you can have a long term relationship with. Picture yourself like a rock-star… they all have agents that get them gigs but it wouldn’t make sense for them to have 10 different agents that know them in a different light.This mindset is especially important for contractors as you want to limit the amount of down time from one contract to the next.However on an ongoing basis, try to find an agency that CAN actually act like an agent instead of just one that throws your resume around. Find one that will mentor you, coach you, provide learning opportunities and make sure that you are on the career trajectory that you want to be on. Building on point one, (Choosing an Agency that wants to meet you), once your agency knows what your goals are and what you’ve done, they can help with the transition to your dream job. Maybe they know of talks or events that are happening that may help your professional development, or maybe they know of an opportunity that would give you the chance to develop key skills or maybe they can pair you up with a Mentor currently in your dream job. Either way the best way to achieve this is to work with people that have a personal interest in you!
That’s consistent with you
Too often agencies think their jobs are done once they place you in the role – in truth, it shouldn’t be. You agency should reach out and check in to see how the job is going, how you like the environment etc. Keep in mind that you’re a part of an agencies brand when they refer you into a position so it’s equally important for everyone to stay in touch.
These tips should put you on the right track in working with an agency that will help you achieve your goals. Keep in mind that agencies are only as good as their candidates! So when you’re on your next job search, consider using an agency that wants to meet you, that’s a specialist in your industry that will mentor you and finally one that you can rely on!
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