The job search process can be time-consuming and tiring especially when you’ve been hunting for that dream job for months but it seems like there isn’t a suitable job out there for you. Wouldn’t it be great if someone else could manage the process on your behalf?

This is where recruitment agencies come in.

Many job-seekers go down the route of searching for a job on their own, and few know how to tap on the expertise and network of recruitment agencies to find their next job. The role of a recruitment agency essentially revolves around working with employers and job seekers to facilitate a successful job match. In short, recruitment agencies can be your key to unlocking great job opportunities.

How recruitment agencies work

To be successful in your job search, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how recruitment agencies work. Think of a recruitment agency as a partner in your job search. They can not only connect you with prospective employers but act as a guide, helping you to refine your resume, market you to employers and give you advice on your career path.

After submitting your CV or applying to jobs on their website, recruiters will contact you if there is a suitable match and potential job opportunity. Additionally, recruiters may reach out to arrange a preliminary interview to find out what your career aspirations and motivations are, and where you fit into an organisation for your current role. Once a successful job match has been made, they may provide interview coaching and help you negotiate a compensation package with your prospective employer. When working with a recruitment agency, you can be assured that someone is following up on your application.

You may also wish to choose a recruiter whom you can build a rapport with. Spend some time connecting with a few recruiters and interviewing them: for example, find out how long they have been with the company and how they usually market your resume and present it to potential employers. You may also want to network with colleagues and acquaintances to get recommendations and have them refer you to a recruiter. At the end of the day, there’s no harm in connecting with more than one recruiter, but it is important to take note that getting double-submitted by multiple recruiters, i.e. having two different recruiters submit you for the same job may damage the recruiter’s and your reputation as it makes you look like you’re trying to game the system and up your odds at an interview. At the end of the day, the question to ask is if you really need more than one recruiter, assuming that you do your due diligence to find one that is experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable.

Remember that working with a recruiter is a two- way street. You’ll need to build a good professional relationship with whoever you work with. Help recruiters help you by making yourself employable – this means completing basic tasks such as updating your CV or cleaning up your LinkedIn profile. You may also need to be flexible by broadening your criteria for the new job and by being willing to compromise on interview timings.

Get the most out of a recruitment agency

There are many reasons why those searching for jobs apply through a recruitment agency, but the main reason is because they can tap on the wealth of information and experience recruitment agencies have from working with companies across different industries and sectors. As companies outsource hiring to recruitment agencies, they not only do the job hunting for you, but have access to job vacancies that may not be advertised elsewhere. The best part is, recruitment agencies are free to use by job-seekers.

Besides obtaining invaluable information about the job market and possible career pathways that may not be obvious to other job seekers, you can also get insight into hiring requirements that are not listed nor obvious in job advertisements, preparing you for your interview with a prospective employer and increasing your chance of getting hired.

Finally, be honest with the recruiter and utilize their expertise. Try and identify what it is you’re looking for in a job and ask lots of questions. The more honest you are, the better they understand you and are able to help you find the best match.

Start your job-hunt now

Most recruiters are open to connecting via LinkedIn or through word of mouth recommendations. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them as they are constantly seeking out potential candidates. Recruiters often use LinkedIn groups to connect with and monitor potential candidates, so join professional and industry associations as well as alumni groups to get in touch with them.

Looking for a career change? Michael Page is a recruitment agency in Hong Kong that has brought job seekers and employers for 40 years. Submit your CV or get in touch with one of our consultants to find out how we can help.