Working as a teacher I have done quite a fair share of temporary work or supply as it is called on this side of the Atlantic. For much of this work I often went through employment agencies. I have a wide range of experiences ranging from excellent to terrible in dealing with these entities. Some were highly professional while others simply wanted names on their books to grab whatever vacancies they could. In my years as an agency employee I learned a few things and red flags to watch out for.
Question the Ads
Just because an agency advertises a position doesn’t mean it exists. I encountered this several times through various companies. Agencies sometime will post very generic and sometimes bogus ads to get candidates in to register. The more people they have on their books the more work they can grab. I applied for an advertised position in a care home from young learners. The job as advertised was only 30 mins from where I lived. The agency phoned me back stating this position had just that minute been filled but were looking to fill another similar position in a different location. When I asked where I learned their real position was hundreds of miles away but they persisted in trying to get me to apply formally.
Question where your Resume/CV is going
I worked at one time through 3 different agencies. One thing I have learned is do not allow them to blindly send out your cv. Some will try stating, they cannot disclose the location because then there is nothing to stop the applicant from approaching the company on their own. I always hold firm. If an agency send out your detail without you knowing its possible the prospective employer might get duplicate copies. This could result in agencies fighting over your candidacy and I know from personal experience it isn’t pleasant. If they have a position demand to know where your materials are going or tell them you are not interested.
Beware of Promises and Claims
When I was job searching I had 3 different companies tell me they were ranked highest above all other companies for quality recruitment. Another common white lie they tell is how little they charge employers compared to other companies so they get more work contacts. Some of these claims may be true but just be aware of the fact that these recruitment agents earn commission as a part of their salary. Many are not above bending the truth slightly to get you to sign on.
Employment agencies are like anything else, some are great and some are terrible. Anyone seeking employment might find the idea of an agency rather appealing. However, don’t believe everything you hear.