Recruitment agency is an outside firm who goes and finds candidates for employers. It acts as an intermediary between an organization that is looking to employ someone and an individual who is looking for a job. Its main function is to source the most suitable person for a job vacancy that they have been asked to fill.

Steps for finding a recruitment agency

  • Decide on which job you want
  • Decide where you want to work
  • Search for a recruitment agency that offers your career category
  • Start making contact

After getting a recruitment agency, give them as much information as possible. This information may include what salary you are looking for, what locations you are willing to work in, what type of role you want to do and if there are any jobs that you wouldn’t do, or any types of organizations you wouldn’t work for.
You can submit your CV in their website or visit their offices and register your details. Your CV should be accurate and up to date. Make regular contact to the recruitment agency to let them know you are still looking for a job.

Why do employers use recruitment agency
Recruiting the right person for a role is tedious since you have to go through a lot of applications and its time consuming. Many firms need the right people but they don’t have the time to go and find this people themselves. Recruitment agency meets this need by looking for the right people for a certain role thus the employers can spend more of their time in interviewing the applicants.
How does recruitment agency work?
They get list of vacancies from the employers and advertise them on internet job boards and on social media platforms. They are also always on the lookout for new CVs being uploaded to the internet job boards.
Some agencies will take the CV that you give them and send the employer an edited version. This is the main reason why many internet job boards only accept CVs in Microsoft Word format. The agency may simply put your CV into their branded template, and some may remove your personal details to prevent the employer trying to approach you directly to avoid paying the agency.
No reputable agency will change the contents of your CV without your permission.

Picking the right recruitment agency

You should use Google to find out what other people have recently said about the agency. If you’re not happy with what you find, there are usually other agencies out there advertising the same role or similar ones.
When an agency has an exclusive contract, the employer has decided to use a single agency for all recruitment, and all applications have to be submitted via that agency. If this is the case, you should be able to confirm this from the employer’s website, or by telephoning the employer.

Employers generally do not like agencies that send them unsolicited or inappropriate applications (known as ‘wallpapering CVs’). Once an agency has done this with your CV, it can be very difficult for you to get those employers to look at your CV, because the employer hasn’t agreed payment terms with the agency, and doesn’t want the hassle of an aggressive agency trying to invoice for money that the employer hasn’t agreed to pay.
Deal with any agency on an advert-by-advert basis, keeping track of which firms you have applied to through which agency. Always ask the agency if they are a ‘preferred supplier’ for the employer you are applying to (and ask them via email to make sure you’ve got a record of their answer).
If the agency is a preferred supplier, that means that they have already agreed payment terms with the employer, and the employer will consider your application. You should also phone or email the employer directly to check that the agency is indeed a preferred supplier before you apply, just in case the agency is not being honest with you.
If the agency is not a preferred supplier, then one of three things usually happens:

  • The employer and agency agree payment terms, and the employer will consider your application.
  • The employer considers your application anyway, but does not agree to pay anything to the agency.
  • The employer decides that dealing with the agency is too much hassle, and will not consider your application.

    How Do Recruitment Agency get paid?
    Recruitment agencies get paid by the employer for every candidate they put forward who successfully gets a job with the employer. Some agencies get paid on a fixed-fee basis, and some agencies get paid a fee based on your starting salary.
    You don’t have to pay them at all, and you should never use any recruitment agency who asks you for any payment.

Contracting Through Recruitment Agency
The role of recruitment agencies in contract placements is to get a percentage (known as the agency’s rate) of the money that the employer’s firm pays for your services. This is normally done by the firm paying the agency, and by you sending invoices to the agency. It’s always worth finding out what the agency’s rate is, just to make sure that you don’t get ripped off at all.
How do you identify a genuine recruitment agency?

  • You will not be asked to pay money
  • They will not over promise you
  • They should have credible references

Are the recruitment agencies for you?

If you know which employers you want to work for, and if they accept direct applications, then there’s no reason to apply through a recruitment agency.
The better recruiting agencies can be a great help in getting hired, especially later in your career when you’re chasing more senior jobs. They’re able to chase a tardy employer in a way that a direct applicant often can’t get away with, and if they’ve worked with an employer successfully in the past, they can have a good feel for what the employer is looking for.
Many employers merely tolerate recruiting agencies. Staff turnover inside recruiting agencies can be very high, making it difficult for the employer to build up a successful long-term relationship with the agency. Without that partnership, employers often feel that recruiting agencies don’t understand their requirements well enough, and employers are often not very good at working with agencies to improve matters. Recruiting agencies also charge substantial fees to employers, and employers often begrudge this, rightly or wrongly.
However, if recruitment agencies weren’t useful and performing a necessary role, there wouldn’t be so many of them.

Recruiting agencies in Kenya