Using recruitment agencies

There are literally hundreds of specialist recruitment agencies, search firms and headhunters.  Here we give some tips on how to use them. We also list some of the more general search firms to get you started.  Please contact us if you have others to recommend.

What are recruitment agencies and headhunters?

These organisations specialise in vacancies for professional, senior management and executive roles.  They generally get paid by their clients so there is no cost to you.  The larger organisations are broad-based and work internationally. Others are very niche and only recruit for a particular industry sector or for a particular type of job role.

How do I get the recruitment agencies and headhunters to find me?

This is really important and to be honest they can seem quite impenetrable at first.  Approached correctly, the good ones that are active in your field will want to get to know you with at least a telephone conversation or a meeting.  So, here are some things to consider:

  • Which agencies did your previous company use? Ask the HR department for an introduction
  • Which agencies have your colleagues found to be good? Ask them for a referral
  • Do your research and identify which ones are a good fit with your industry sector and job role
  • Register your CV with them and keep it up-to-date
  • Check their website, identify the consultant you need to talk to and call them up to introduce yourself
  • If they cannot help, ask if they can suggest anyone else – the good ones will help you to network
  • Check their job vacancy listing, visit it regularly and register for email or RSS alerts if possible
  • Follow up applications with a call (check they have your CV, ask about the role, ask when shortlisting will take place)
  • Build up your on-line profile (speak at conferences, publish papers, join professional networks such as LinkedIn).

Can you suggest any recruitment agencies and headhunters?

It is not possible for us to recommend any in particular since this will depend upon your profession, skills, experience and ambition.  There are too many to list but here are some that will hopefully get you started with your own research:

Alternatively, contact us we will try to help you to find some that are more suited to your needs.