Employment Agencies: The Unnecessary Middlemen?
The job market is one of the most reliable factors to assess when looking at a country’s economy and what we are seeing across Europe, the United Kingdom and England specifically, is that unemployment is at an all time high, particularly in those of school leaving and graduate age. Searching for employment can be stressful no matter what the state of the economy might be and there are two possible ways for you to go about it. As a job seeker you can either trawl the internet and the job pages of local newspapers. This will put all the responsibility on you and it might take some serious shoe leather for things to turn your way.
You can also opt to look for employment through a recruitment or employment agency. They will have a list of companies that come to them when they are looking to fill a position. Rather than the employer holding the initial set of interviews, this will be done by the employment agency. You may be interviewed with a group of other people and through this interview the agency will decide if they will be able to place you. If they cannot you will leave at this stage and you will need to seek assistance elsewhere.
On the one hand going through am employment agency can be beneficial as they have an extended list of clients looking for employees and they might very well be in a position to place you in a great job, but on the other hand employment agencies can be extremely unreliable and unscrupulous.
For example, an employment agency might contact you saying that they have possible job opportunities for you and all they need is your references. But this is not true; they want your references to expand their own data base of employers. They may also ask the incorrect name of an old employer in order to trick you into giving them the correct one. They post jobs that do not exist and when you send in your CV they will tell you that the job has been taken.
If they do manage to get you a job interview – they will tell you that they will get back to you with any news as soon as possible. What this actually means, if you are offered the job, they will phone you immediately to try to get you to sign up for their job before you find another. But if you have not got the job then they will not contact you at all, leaving you completely in the dark.
If you have been unsuccessful in interviews that they have set up for you, they will tell you that they are looking for other positions for you but in reality they have quietly left you behind. If you are successful they will tell you that they have negotiated the best they can for the rate you wanted, but really they have probably bided the lowest to secure the job.
There are, of course, reliable and decent employment agencies out there, but you need to be choosy and find the ones that you can trust. Since most companies advertise on the internet these days, you may not even need an employment agency.