There are upsides and downsides to conducting a personal, independent job search. But the main argument for using a recruitment agency is based on the wide range of benefits that an agency can provide - benefits that are neither available nor accessible to the average candidate.
With a recruitment agency, you are automatically part of a small and select pool of candidates. And if your qualifications happen to align with what the recruiter is actually looking for, you are already on a short list. In short, you are not one of a hundred resumes being reviewed.
Industry statistics indicate that recruiting agencies are engaged in about half of the senior level positions on the market. And in most cases, a recruiter knows the Human Resources Manager directly. For you, as the candidate, you won't be just another run-of-the-mill job applicant.
Because a recruiter gets paid when the candidate is hired, you become the focus for placement. You will be prepped and coached through the entire hiring process, and if qualified, there will be additional emphasis on your candidacy. You do not pay for any placement services.
With a recruiter, there are a number of benefits available to a candidate, beyond the actual job search. For example, it's routine for a good recruitment agency to provide career counseling, interview guidance, even advice on resume preparation and design.
Many candidates have a difficult time "promoting" themselves during a job search. But with a recruiter, a candidate is actually being "promoted". A good recruiter will know your industry; will highlight your resume; and will "promote" your skills and strengths.
In so many situations, those seeking a career change have been away from the job search world. With a recruiting agency on your side, it's the perfect opportunity to hone interviewing skills and to get "in-tune". In fact, candidates who are represented are better prepared.
One of the most important advantages of using a recruitment firm is access to the so-called hidden-job-market. These are positions that are not advertised or uploaded to the Internet. And in a good number of industries, you won't be able to access these independently.
The best recruiting agencies are well connected - in all types of industry sectors and with key people. Indeed, a seasoned recruiter will have contact with various hiring managers in your specific industry, and will have access to current, as well as upcoming positions.
A knowledgeable recruiter has insight into industry developments and future trends. This is critical for a candidate who wants to enhance their career path. It may involve upgrading skills, expanding on education, or additional training - but the career guidance is invaluable.
Often overlooked by candidates is the benefit of personal confidentiality. It's important today, especially because of social media. Recruiting agencies very often provide full confidentiality for their candidates, as well as a measure of privacy for their client companies.
Considering the sophisticated nature of recruiting and headhunting, it makes abundant sense for a candidate to choose the most specialized career management available, and that's more than likely through a professional recruitment agency.