Ryan's Blog

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How many recruitment consultants does it take to get a job?

It's about six weeks until the BBC make me redundant, so it's a good time to jot down a few notes about my search for a life post-Auntie. My first step, back in early December, was to speak to an executive search expert (a headhunter) who was recommended by a friend. That was a very positive experience as a meeting with a potential employer was quickly arranged.  The money was right but the role wasn't quite. Also the timing wasn't ideal either; they weren't ready to commit to hiring me. After Christmas, while continuing conversations with the first recruiter, I approached a more traditional recruitment agency.  I didn't really think too hard about which company to speak to, picking one that was hiring for a business I admired.  That agency was perhaps the most successful for me, we had one face to face conversation that resulted in a meeting with a local development company. That meeting then led to that company making me an offer.  The role they offered me wasn't one they were advertising for, and if I'm honest, it wasn't really the role I wanted. Then, I was approached by another recruitment agency. I had been recommended to them by a someone I know.  Sadly that contact hasn't been that successful, as nothing has come of it. Although initially it looked very positive indeed, and the consultant put in a lot of effort in keeping me informed. I applied for a job advertised traditionally (in the Jobfinder, without an agency), and that progressed to the interview stage. Last but one, I spotted an advert for what appeared to be a great job, approached the agency about it and was set up with an interview with that company. Finally, a opportunity came from someone I know, with a business that for various reasons I hadn't really considered as a prospect. It turned out to be the perfect job. And we're just finalising details. I had contacted that person in the first instance to garner their opinion on a role one of the agencies had suggested. So that's 4 recruitment professionals, one job application and one personal contact leading to four or five potential offers.  I reckon that's more a sign of the market than of my ability (though I am damn good at my job!)  If you have some skills and decent experience companies will fall over themselves trying to hire you. All of the recruitment consultants I spoke to were lovely, and I'd recommend them all. But I don't think it's sensible to limit yourself to just one agency. The great businesses you want to work for don't all use the same one, so you'll need to shop around for the right role.  Actually, I'm not entirely sure what benefit an agency brings to the applicant in the recruitment process.  I'd much prefer to see what businesses need staff and to contact them directly. Definitely don't assume that the job advert you respond to is the job you'll get. Two of the firm offers I received weren't the ones I enquired about. And it really pays to speak to people you know. The job I'm going to happened because I spoke to someone to get advice about a job in another business. So the answer to the question is: All of them. And none of them.