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Top 5 Recruitment Agency Misconceptions to Watch Out for

Today let’s talk about recruitment agency misconceptions. But, to do that, we need to start at the root of the issue. One of the most important lessons that we learn in life is that we are not good at everything. It’s true if you think about it. It may seem a little cynical at first, but the truth of the matter is that it is near impossible to achieve so much in one lifetime.

Once we realize this painful sting of reality, we tend to slip into a mindset that allows us to seek help for the things that are not exactly in our wheelhouse. If you are someone who perceives yourself as a rather self-sufficient person, ask yourself this: are you willing to fumigate your entire house because of a tick infestation? Are you going to be the one who will scale that 200-foot office building just to wash the windows?

At the end of the day, there is no harm, nor is it a weakness to seek help. Nowadays we go as far as to outsource the grooming of our pets, our homes, and ourselves. We spend so much time, money, and effort seeking out these services because it is worth the quality of service. So when we can go to such lengths for our pooch, why not do the same, if not more for something as crucial as the business that pays your bills? If you take a look at some of the largest tech firms and multi-billion-dollar companies, you will see that most of them actually rely heavily on reliable recruitment agencies to help them find the top talent in the industry.

This article will explore what you need to know about recruitment agencies in Canada and in general, which should hopefully help navigate your own interactions with them down the line.

1) Understanding What Drives a Recruitment Agency

This is usually where most of the recruitment agency misconceptions begin. The primary goal of recruitment agencies is as the name suggests, is to recruit candidates on the behalf of companies. Now, it is important to keep in mind that there are different procedures and workflows for hiring firms in their respective countries. However, there are a few common goals for all agencies, Canadian or otherwise. For one, they act as a bridge between companies and employees and help both find an ideal match to fill up a respective role within an organization.

Another thing that hiring firms have in common is that the majority of them, test or evaluate the candidate as per the requirements of the job. They do so on behalf of the companies. This is where the quality of a good recruiting agency shines through; the degree to which they screen and short-list candidates. Of course, the end result of the placement will speak for itself.

2) How are the Fees Handled?

Now, let’s shift gears and move to the specifics. Canadian recruitment agencies are allowed to charge employers (the companies that hire their services) for services rendered. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the candidates and even they can see charges for certain services provided by the hiring firm, as long as they are not directly related to the recruitment process.

Don’t panic! This is just another recruitment agency misconception. Recruitment companies don’t charge candidates for placing them in a company.

recruitment agency misconceptions

These charges build up around services such as helping candidates prepare their resumes, or job skill-training, and so on. In fact, as a candidate, if you approach a recruitment agency, you double your chances of finding a job for free! It should also be noted that the hiring firm cannot, under any circumstances, direct the employer to recover costs of the agency services from the employee either.

“Money is a tool. Used properly it makes something beautiful; used wrong, it makes a mess! – Bradley Vinson, Author

3) Recruiters Have Access to Jobs You will Never See

There is often some skepticism around what recruitment agencies can do for you as a company or as a candidate. We can sometimes think that perhaps we could find some of these jobs on our own.

This is one of the many recruitment agency misconceptions that you should dispel yourself of. The fact of the matter is that recruitment agencies have access to a wide network of job listings, companies, job boards and inside information. While you can find a small portion of the jobs pitched by recruitment firms, the majority of those roles won’t be listed anywhere online. A lot of the time, it comes straight from the company that hired the recruitment agency.

For candidates, this provides a unique edge in the job hunting realm as it gives you access to jobs that no one else has. Talk about a good way to thin out the competition. On the flip side of the coin, companies also benefit from this approach as they can reach select candidates through the hiring firm, thereby gaining only the cream of the crop when it comes to talent.

Now where is all this going you may wonder. The thing is, with Canada’s booming industry and rapidly expanding job market, it is vital to have mechanisms like this in place to sort through the thousands of applicants and job roles. This is the role that top recruitment agencies in Canada play, they streamline.

recruitment agency misconceptions

4) The Confusion with Recruitment Vs. Placement Agencies

As far as recruitment agency misconceptions go, this is another source point, when people confuse it with placement agencies. Consider this point just a general disclaimer to help differentiate between recruitment agencies and placement agencies.

This goes for both employers and candidates. Recruitment agencies help companies navigate a vast quantity of applications and finalize on a particularly talented individual. At the same time, they also help candidates find the right job for themselves.

A placement agency on the other hand is one that is oriented solely around the job hunt on the candidate’s behalf.

They work with job-seekers to find jobs in companies, polish their resumes, and moreover, placement agencies are paid by the candidates to help them find the job. So in a way, they are an inverted concept when compared with the nature of a recruitment agency.

It’s important to know this distinction to address the issue of entitlement. There is a certain air of entitlement that ‘You have to help me find this job’ or ‘You have to do better in filling this role’. While recruiters do provide the best quality service they can, it’s important to know they are balancing the needs of two sides, and not one. This is not to say that placement agencies are any less in terms of delivery or that they deserve that entitled approach, it’s simply an observation that one should keep in mind when interacting with a recruitment firm.

“Hire an attitude, not just experience and qualification. – Greg Savage, Recruitment Industry Expert

5) Watch Out for Red Flags

As a licensed recruitment agency in Canada, we have worked hard to maintain a high level of quality that our clients have come to expect from us. This also gives us a unique lens to see the red flags that people should be aware of, when employing a hiring firm. One such red flag that both candidates and clients should watch out for is the rush-order workflow that you might come across. This is where the recruiter rushes to fill the position so they can move on to the next client or candidate.

Another red flag is if the recruiter shows little to no interest in your next move as an employer. For example, if they don’t follow through on the candidate follow-ups, or don’t carry out screening as per your request.

These issues can sometimes be subtle and other times quite blatant. Either way, you need to keep an eye on such red flags, so you can avoid an unpleasant hiring experience and make the most of the candidates that come your way.

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