Professional staffing agencies in the UK make it their business to know both employers and job seekers in depth. Many of them get involved with company orientations, not to mention undergo countless meetings in order to grasp the corporate culture they engage with and understand what type of people will prove valuable to a particular firm. On the other side of the matchmaking coin, they also understand what potential candidates can bring to the table, and in which environments they will excel and grow. The recruitment industry is not just a numbers game - it's a time-consuming people's game, based on the belief that that employees are the most important assets a company can have.
The UK employment market is currently flooded with recruitment agencies - both big and small - claiming massive databases and high success rates. However, in recent years there has been an alarming number of job seekers claiming they were not given all the necessary information - even at times pressured to attend interviews they were not keen on. There are some common tricks employed by less professional recruitment agencies to look out for. While these don't break any laws, they offer a gauge as to whether a staffing agency has their own interests at heart, rather than the clients' or the candidates' real needs.
Information is money, and job placement firms often try to take short cuts to increasing their database size. They may post fake employment vacancies to solicit CVs and potential employees signing up to their network. On the other end of the two-pronged approach, they might ask for references from your last job. This will provide them with names and contact details, which then will pave the way for them to cold call and see if a company is looking for replacements. Agencies have been known to pick names out of a hat and ask whether a Mr. John Doe was your previous boss. Most likely, by pure reaction, you'll reply with a name correction, again giving them more potential client details.
The exact figure you have in your mind in terms of a salary you're willing to work for should be kept to yourself if you feel unsure about a staffing agency. Many agencies ask for a potential candidate's bottom line, but turn around and leverage that against the job seeker. Less reputable agencies negotiate with the client for higher pay while only confirming your bottom line, keeping the balance for themselves. It's rare, if not unheard of, for employees to receive higher than their expected remuneration. The same can happen when the job has been offered - agencies will confirm back to you as such, but may tell you that the company had a change of mind (after confirming) and that they're now only prepared to pay less.
Though there are certainly some bad apples out there to sift through, job seekers should be assured that the whole bunch is not spoiled. The above are just a few tricks to look out for. Reputable staffing agencies like Daniel Adams are sincere about placing you in the right job as that is that's the core of their business. These agencies also offer added services to job seekers such as providing templates of CVs and cover letters, as well as reviewing them and giving feedback. Some also provide coaching for interviews, prepping you with real life practice and exploring your strengths and weaknesses. Questions like: "where do you see yourself in the next 10 years", and other standard job interview questions are not always easily answered without preparation.
As a rule of thumb, a reliable staffing agency will treat candidates with respect when they first approach them, giving honest, helpful advice, as well as insights into the job market without having to ask. If you feel they are asking too many questions without offering any solutions, its advisable to check their record of success before agreeing to use their services.