Employment Agency – Friend or Foe?

by | 10.12.20

The easiest way of blowing an interview is by asking foolish questions. By this I mean questions that will make the employer think that you are not interested in their job you are only interested in what you can get out of the job. Or questions that will make the employer feel uncomfortable. I know that the reason we all work is in order to finance our lifestyle, improve our lives and to put bread on the table. I am also aware that work should fit your lifestyle. An employer though is not interested in any of that their mission is to recruit the best person for their job, someone who will give 100% to the role and ideally someone who will help the growth and success of the organisation. Here are some interview questions which should be avoided at all costs if you want to be offered a job:

Never ask about salary or benefits

By asking about pay and benefits the employer will immediately be irritated. This question is telling them that you are not interested in their job, you are only interested in what you will be getting out of their job. Leave it to the employer to bring up salary and benefits. This may not happen until you are offered the job.

Do not ask about salary review

This is worse than asking about salary. All salary reviews are based on performance, no-one automatically qualifies for a pay increase. By asking when you will be getting a rise before you have even been offered the job you are jumping ahead of yourself. And making yourself look like a greedy greg.

Recruitment Agencies are a good way of finding a new job. We know that we are often along with Estate Agents considered as money grabbing, unprofessional, uncaring and pushy organisations, but like Estate Agents we have cleaned up our act (not that BBR have ever worked like that) more and more candidates are using Agencies to support their job search particularly at the moment when the job market is dire and there are many reasons for this, for instance …

Agencies have jobs which haven’t been advertised

Many employers choose not to advertise themselves, they don’t want to be inundated with unsuitable applications. Particularly at the moment when there are 100+ applications for every job available. They want a shortlist of candidates who meet their exact criteria, therefore candidates have access to roles which are not in the public marketplace.  

Agencies know their clients

All Agencies get to know their clients really, really well, generally their clients will have used them for recruitment purposes for many, many years therefore they will be able to access whether your career needs and aspirations meet with the employers requirements, saving you a great deal of time and trouble.

You’ll get help preparing your CV

CV’s can be really difficult, in your career you will probably only have to produce a CV half a dozen times, Agencies are experts at producing CVs, they know what employers want to see on a CV and how they prefer them laid out. A good Agency will help you with your CV, some like us will also prepare one for you.

You’ll only be told about jobs that are right for you.

Using an Agency means you won’t waste time going for jobs which are unsuitable. An Agency will match your skills and experience with their clients requirement and only tell you about jobs which are totally suitable. They will never waste your time sending you for jobs that you are not right for.

All jobs will be local

Agencies tend to cover a ten mile radius from where they are situated this is where they source their jobs and candidates from. So if you want to work in the local area then use a local Agency, they will look at where you live and consider journeys carefully before discussing jobs with you.

You’ll get interview support

A good Agency will help you with interviews by giving you advice and guidance. Interviews are terrible things and again in our life time we will probably only attend a few so any assistance you can get should be welcomed with open arms. Agencies also know their clients so usually they can give you insider interview tips.

Agencies will arrange interviews to suit you

When it comes to interviews Agencies will organise the whole process for you, they will arrange a time where possible that suits your availability and endeavour to give you as much notice as possible. They will also will hold your hand all through the interview process.

You will get a ‘proper’ job description

When you apply for a role via a website you will only have the employers advert to go by, this will probably be very short and sweet, but an Agency will give you a detailed job spec. This will either be one the employer have provided or one the Agency has produced using information gained from the employer. Either way it will contain more information than an online advert. 

An Agency will provide travel advice

All good Agencies will know exactly where their clients are situated. They will provide you with information on the nearest station or bus routes to the employer or whether there is parking on site. Part of our service to candidates is that we provide all candidates with a map indicating exactly where the employer’s offices are.

Agencies do specialise

If you are looking to work in a particular sector then using an Agency is a really good idea. There are many specialist Agencies out there ranging from accountancy, banking, nursing, teaching etc. through to the likes of us who only deal with office roles. By using a specialist Agency you are honing your search and taking advantage of the Agencies expertise.


You won’t have to haggle with an employer

An Agency will negotiate on your behalf, you won’t have to try get a better job package yourself. They will act as the middle man, so if you are not happy with the salary offered, hours of work or benefit package, a good Agency will endeavour to work with you to ensure that you are really happy with any job offer you consider.

You will feel supported

Looking for a job can be a very lonely thing to do, if you use an Agency they will support every step of the way. If you are feeling down they will pick you up. If you feel lost and don’t know where you are going wrong they will guide you. You will never feel alone if you use an Agency they are always at the end of the phone line.

Agencies can provide temporary work

If you have suddenly found yourself unemployed and desperately need to have an income the only place to go is an Agency. Most Agencies do temporary work and by registering with one there is a really good chance that you could be in work tomorrow, paid next week and on top of that accrue holiday pay and have the option to join a pension scheme.

It’s a free service

Agencies do not charge you one penny for using their service, the employer pays the Agency a fee when they find the client the right candidate for their role. The Agency may just make a few calls on your behalf and prepare your CV or they could make hundreds of calls for you before you are offered a role. No matter how little or how much work they do they will not charge you – what have you got to lose?

So if you have never used an Agency before, or even if you have, think of all the benefits that are available if you do-what have you got to lose? As far as we are concerned you have everything to gain. Particularly at the moment when things are so terrible on the employment front and you should really be using all the resources available to you to find employment.

We wish you a successful job search


Angela Burton