A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan
I was recently approached by a candidate who had seen a position with a company advertised directly and wanted to explore if we could represent her for this instead of applying direct. This got me thinking, there are many reasons why a candidate would prefer to apply for a position through a specialist agency rather than direct and here are some (hopefully!) interesting things to consider.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to be dispassionate about your own experience and know what is reasonably achievable for your career. When chatting about your career, friends/relatives may not want to hurt your feelings but a 3rd party, who doesn’t know you personally can offer you some tips on what is practical for someone given your experience. Sometimes this kind of feedback can be tough to hear but it is my firm belief this is the only way for people to make informed decisions in their career and not waste hours of valuable time applying for jobs which are not appropriate. Or on the flipside of that, constructive feedback can equip you with knowledge of what you need to be doing to move forward with your career.
Recruiters can offer candidates a unique insight into the companies they recruit for. This kind of insider information should go above and beyond what can be found on the website and provide meaningful insight into the ‘unofficial’ side of a company. Often Consultants know things like – does the company do drinks on a Friday? Have they got a really inspirational CEO? Do they take part in charitable activities? All these ‘softer’ things can really bring an organisation to light. This can help candidates decide whether they would fit or not and whether this would be somewhere that excites them. This is where a Recruiter can really add value, in bringing a proposition to life.
Often Recruiters have worked with a company for many years and could offer significant insight on the role you will be interviewing for or the characters within team. This can give precious detail on the quirks of a role, why previous people haven’t worked out, what the biggest demands on this person are and how the role fits more broadly into a company’s strategy. All of this helps candidates feel assured they know what they are walking into and allows them to make the best possible choice.
From a process point of view Consultants play an essential part in ensuring the recruitment experience is as painless as possible for everyone. When in the running for a potential role the agency is there to explain each stage as fully as possible, the rationale behind interviews and what’s next. Once an offer is put to the candidate the Recruiter manages this process fully for them, including negotiating salaries and making sure the candidate’s interests are looked after at every stage.
Using a Specialist agency really is a win win situation. You get the services of a Career Coach, someone to explain all the tricky bits to you and act as your biggest advocate within your job search. They can ensure you are party to as much information as possible and take much of the mystery out of the process. It is important to remember that changing jobs is one of the most stressful things which can happen to you, as with everything – wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to help?