Using an employment agency

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What is an employment or recruitment agency?

An employment or recruitment agency is a company that provides a service to both employers and job seekers. They place job seekers into specific jobs on a permanent basis. Many businesses and companies use the services of employment or recruitment agencies to find suitable employees.

Signing up with an agency is a great way to tap into their network of employers and the hidden job market.

Temporary work

Temping work is also available through agencies. They charge employers an hourly rate and you, the worker, are paid by the agency. If you choose to do temp work, you may find yourself:

  • Filling in at a moment's notice for somone who's sick for a day or two
  • Working a longer-term position for someone who has gone on leave
  • Helping with a special project that needs more staff on a short-term basis

Finding an employment or recruitment agency

There are employment agencies in every industry, providing almost every type of job available. You can find them in your area through the Yellow Pages (new window) or by doing an internet search. Many agencies advertise their services on job search websites such as seek.com.au (new window).

Joining an agency

The usual process is to fill in some forms that detail your skills, qualifications and experience, as well as the type of work you're looking for and your availability. You'll probably have an interview with a recruiter.

It's really important that you approach agencies with the same level of professionalism and care that you would an employer. You need to make a good impression as you will be representing this agency to the employer, should you get a position through them.

A good agency will give you job-seeking advice and feedback and some will even help you put a standout resume together.

Once you've joined an agency, be proactive. Don't sit back and wait for them to do all the work. Keep in regular touch with the agency to find those suitable job openings.

Payment for agency services

Getting a job through an employment agency should cost you nothing. Employers pay the employment agency a fee for their services. Beware of and avoid any employment agencies that ask for upfront payment.