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“I heavily over invest in recruiting. I have an understanding with certain search firms that if you find someone great, don’t wait until there’s a job opening – send him to me.” – Kevin P. Ryan. The launch of the National Career Service Portal and India’s first Digital Employment Exchange, has been hailed as very positive moves towards bringing the employers and job-seekers closer. On this occasion, it is apt to discuss regarding another section of this job market which has been acting as liaison between the employers and the job seekers – recruitment agencies. A recruitment agency liaises between employers and job seekers to find out what positions are available, and who is best to fill them. However, these agencies are seen in negative light as per many who criticize them.

Advantages –

1. Recruitment agents are experts in their field and can also offer helpful guidance. They can give you objective feedback on your application and how to promote yourself.

2. Many a times one needs experience to get a good job. Some agencies deal exclusively with temporary positions. This can be a great way of building up the experience which you need.

3. Agencies often specialize in certain industries and types of jobs. They are the best people to ask for advice on what the job market looks like currently.

4. Having an agency working on your behalf can speed up the process, and let you concentrate more on other important things. They are helpful while shifting jobs too. You can concentrate on your current job, while they find another one for you.

5. They may have excellent contacts in organizations that could be very helpful in getting a job.

6. They are helpful to the candidates as well the employers too.

Disadvantages –

1. Candidates really don’t know if the job placement firms will even send their resumes to employers.

2. Recruitment agencies may be sympathetic about your situation however they do not have the time to invest in helping you with your issues.

3. They can be quite impersonal and might not keep in touch with you. Recruitment Agencies are not paid by you, they are paid by their client, the employer, so may have a different agenda to you.

4. If you are looking for a change in career, they may not listen to you and insist you to go forward for roles similar to what you have done in the past.

5. Some agencies have been known to lure people in for advertised jobs and then try to push other opportunities on them.

6. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find genuine recruitment agencies. We mostly find agencies which are profit motivated or those which scam the needy.

7. They decide which candidates are put forward for which jobs and so you may miss out or not know regarding possible job offers.

8. You may not always know who the client is until the last moment, which restricts your ability to fully research the company and interviewers.

9. The recruitment consultant can get incentivized by any factor and may act in his/her own best interest to make any placement rather than the correct placement.

10. They sometimes charge a high fee from the candidates. Though they get paid from the employer, they ask the applicants to pay fees under the name of registration, deposit, etc. , thus doubling their profits.

11. A job placement agency may work with many employers but may only have a few openings in your field. It is not as if each one of them has lots of vacancies to offer.

Even if you use job placement agencies, don’t limit yourself to just that one source. Take advantage of newspaper ads, online job sites, college placement offices, etc. However also take care not to join too many recruitment agencies. Just one genuine one is enough and with your own efforts you can get a job. Do not completely rely on the recruitment firms. You need to start preparing yourself instead of waiting for instructions from the firm. There are many agencies that cheat applicants and this has led to a lot of negativity regarding recruitment agencies in general. Good control of the government on such agencies which scam people can restore confidence of people as well as help the economy.

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