You’re ready for your next move. How do you get noticed by your future employer? Do you go online and start searching the job boards? Or do you pick up the phone and speak to that recruitment agency you’ve heard about? We’ve compiled this list of five practical tips – and key questions to ask yourself – to help you understand what they both have to offer, so you can effectively decide what to use to find your next challenge, a job board or a recruitment agency:
1. Decide if you’re window shopping or you want to get strategic
Job boards have been around for 11 years now and candidates seem to love their simplicity because you can browse thousands of jobs in minutes. This is great for ‘window shopping’ and to give you an idea of the opportunities out there and how they differ. However, once you start to have a good idea of what you are looking for, and know you are serious about finding your next significant career move, it’s unlikely a job board will be effective. And if you require confidentiality around your decision to move on, it might be time to turn to a trusted specialist.
According to Kevin Green, Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive, “jobs transform lives”, most of us spend more time at work than at home, so getting your job right is fundamental to your wellbeing. In the UK, there are almost 20,000 agencies registered, so you are bound to find ‘THE ONE’ specialising in your field of expertise and seniority of your role.
By working closely with a specialist agency, you become strategic in your search because they will help you to focus on fewer yet more relevant jobs. A good recruiter will have already helped the employers to define their needs and will then take the time to get to know your needs, so will be able to guide and advise you every step of the way in finding that ‘perfect match’.
2. Determine if you want to look at everything or if it’s time to focus
You are looking for you next contracting job. Or your next marketing challenge. When you search on a job board or upload your CV, you might get hundreds of jobs which match your job title, all from different industries... So imagine, if you want to work for an investment bank or a large insurance company, you have to sort through the hundreds of results in the hope you find one. By using a recruitment agency, you can more easily target which industry you want to work in, and access the relevant employers in your sector of choice. According to REC, employers are increasingly looking to recruiters who are experts in their field; in the UK today, 8 in 10 hires are supplied by an agency. So the smart move is to do your recruitment agency homework and partner with a specialist agency who can demonstrate success in placing people in the industry of your choice.
3. Ask yourself if speed is of the essence
It is often faster to work with a recruitment agency than to apply via a job board. You heard it here first. This seems to astonish many people. How could you actually find a job faster with a human being vs a computer? Well, the answer is that good recruiters work with employers to have a very efficient and competent process to reduce “time to hire”. Employers who have an urgent need to fill a position will first contact their agency of choice. With talent and skills shortages increasing, hiring managers need to access a pool of relevant candidates as rapidly as possible. Agencies make it their job to build relationships within their industries so that they can quickly get hold of these candidates when asked. It is a key part of their role to expedite the interview process and help the employer secure the hire.
4. A job board gives you a service. An agency gives you an experience
A job board provides you with a valuable service. However, it is not providing you with a full experience. In other words, the job board should be only a part of your recruitment experience. By the way, have a look at ours here!
A good agency cares about your whole recruitment experience…the whole journey from start to finish. This begins before you even apply for a job when a good recruiter will work with the employer to help them define the needs of the role. They will have a clear view on what is needed for the position and can therefore provide you with a well-defined proposition, setting out not just the skills required and the opportunity, but also whether the culture and values of the organisation match with yours. They will only put you forward for roles / companies they have already discussed with you and feel you would be a good fit for in the first place and they will prepare both you and the employer properly for the interview itself, managing expectations on all sides throughout the process. Their aim should be to give you the best chance of securing the right role for your career. Ultimately, a good recruiter will aim to protect both the employer’s brand and yours.
5. Keep yourself motivated
Let’s face it, finding a new job can bring some low moments for many reasons: whether you weren’t selected or the interview didn’t go as planned, etc. But the approach you have to your search can determine your success. Using a job board to support your search is an excellent idea but don’t expect feedback on why you didn’t get that job for which you thought you were perfect! A job board can’t keep you positive or talk you out of your negativity. A good recruiter can become a trusted support and confidante who will help you set yourself goals and manage those stressful moments. They will guide you in the preparation for your interview and ensure you receive honest and productive feedback afterwards to help you prepare for the next one. But perhaps most importantly, by reminding you not to give up -- there are many factors involved in determining if someone is right for an organisation and you can’t win them all!
If you are starting to think about looking for a new job, a job board can be a great way to get the ball rolling, but if you are serious about making the next step on the career ladder, then you won’t go wrong by partnering with a skilled recruiter.
If you would like us to help you find your next challenge, why not visit our recruitment agency: