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UK Job Site Review - the death of the recruitment agent

So, indeed has many thousands more jobs listed than the other job boards but more importantly they often link you directly to the company who is offering the job.  Why is this important? Well, do you know how much money recruitment agents charge companies? Do you know how they use automatic filters to select CVs? Do you know the additional filtering they perform by underqualified people - people who don't know the sector they are recruiting for intimately? You should always try and apply directly to the company rather than go through a recruitment agent. 

Indeed job search often links you straight to the hiring company

Recruitment agencies charge the companies they represent 15 - 20% of the salary of the person they employ. That means, if they successfully place someone in a £40,000 salary position the recruitment agent will receive £8,000. Here's what they do for that money:

  1. They search through their CV database for suitable candidates using a keyword filter. The keyword filter is normally supplied by the employer. 
  2. They post an advert on multiple job sites - e.g. JobServe, Monster and Reed. This will cost them less than £500 total.
  3. They receive hundreds of CV applications and then use the keyword filter again on these CVs whilst adding all these new CVs to their CV database and adding the candidate to their mailing list.
  4. They perform manual filtering using an unqualified professional. This may involve them giving you a call to get a feel for whether you're qualified or not.
  5. They normally then submit the 3 CVs they have expertly selected to the company to review.

The unqualified professional is someone who has a very basic understanding of the recruitment sector in which they are working. If the employer is looking for a talented SQL Server developer, the recruitment agent does not hire talented SQL Server developers to perform this filtering - they hire salesmen who have to learn that SQL Server and PL/SQL are not the same thing although cross-training is possible.

So, if you apply to your job through a recruitment agent (please don't!) you immediately give yourself three penalties:

  1. You might get unfairly filtered out by their keyword filter.
  2. You might get unfairly filtered out by their unqualified manual filter. 
  3. You cost your future employer a 20% overhead.  This immediately makes you less attractive than a comparible applicant who applied directly through the company's website and it kills your salary negotiation chances.
  4. You may actually know someone at the company that are hiring. Get your linkedin account booted up and check - this could be the foot in the door you need, which you simply will not get with an agent.

Why allow the recruitment agent 20% for a job badly done when some of that money could be in your pocket through good salary negotiation?

UK Job Site Review Summary