Recruitment agencies can be a really useful way of finding work, both full-time graduate positions and temporary positions. There are lots of different types of recruitment agencies, covering a range of different industries and the level of support they offer varies.
Jobs board websites
Many popular jobs websites (or ones that you may have heard of) such as Milkround and Target Jobs act as jobs boards advertising lots of different vacancies in a whole range of sectors. These companies do not necessarily act as an agency they may simply advertise the jobs on behalf of companies and agencies.
- CareersLink is the University’s very own vacancy site. We advertise hundreds of vacancies every month – graduate roles, vacation work and part-time work. Only University of Manchester students can use it – you just need to have your University username and password to hand.
- Agencies such as Milkround, Target Jobs and Prospects are worth using as they can make the job search simple. On these websites you can set up personalised job searches so you get jobs that you’re interested in sent directly to your inbox.
- They also often have Careers advice on how to write CVs, how to write applications as well as different information on industry sectors.
Many recruitment agencies are specialised and only work in specific industries. For example they will specialise in recruiting to the finance, IT, HR or engineering sector. They will also be more involved in the recruitment process as companies are paying them a fee for finding the right staff.
You will need to identify which agencies recruit for the type of work you are looking for. Check industry journals or jobs sites to see which agencies are advertising jobs or ask companies which agencies they use. e.g. List of agencies used by The University of Manchester
Some agencies may also headhunt by using LinkedIn or other networks. So you may be approached by an agency even if you have not signed up with them.
Why use an agency?
- Many recruitment agencies will have excellent networks and longstanding relationships with employers, so are well placed to secure interviews for candidates.
- An agency will know the needs of the employer and what they are looking for (it’s their job to know) so they can give you some insight into the company and what they are looking for.
- They can also get you good feedback, what the employer liked, what could be improved etc.
Note – in the UK it is illegal for agencies to charge you for help finding a job, so you shouldn’t be paying anyone to do this. They can however charge you for services like helping you with your CV or interview practice – or you could get this help for free from the Careers Service.
You can find out more about using recruitment agencies to find work on the Careers website. If you would like to meet some recruiters in person come along to the Graduate Recruitment Fair where there will be a range of recruitment agencies. Many of these specialise in recruiting for a specific sector such as Allegis Group and Multilingual Vacancies.
And something to look out for…
Recruitment Agencies as the employer
In some industries such as Pharmaceutical sciences and aerospace engineering, recruitment agencies are the actual employer. This is known as “insourced resourcing.” This is common within the US but is becoming increasing popular over here. For example Eurofins Lancaster Labs employ scientists who are then based on big pharmaceutical sites such as Pfizer in Sandwich. Other companies such as CK Sciences supply staff to MSD and Kelly to Eli Lilly. This is something to keep in mind when looking at different industries.