This advice on using good agents is from a recruitment consultant.
Good agents get you jobs by working for you and they do this by building market understanding.
A good agent will take references BEFORE finding you a role. So they know that, when a suitable role arrives for you, they can sell you in.
Don’t begrudge good agents such important information that sets you apart from another CV.
Of course don’t tell every agent everything, choose one or two that you like – perhaps choose an agent that seems to know the market and appears to do a good job.
You do not have to work with all the idiots out there!
What the Agent Needs
Understand that agents use information. This is how it works.
But if you keep on good terms with your employers, you can maintain in contact with them as your own lead. But let the agent know some details to follow as well. In return he will be (if decent and focused to a vertical market) well placed to put you forward for other roles – info he/or she has followed elsewhere.
Agencies can be useful.
Ideally a good contractor will work with an agent, through relationship building, in his or her own vertical or niche.
Pass Them Leads
Pass them leads you gain from non specialist, large CV churning recruitment companies that don’t care about you and work by undercutting the market (Plc’s and cowboys).
Let your agent use these leads to gain market share and place you.
Agents ARE interested in getting you a job. That’s especially if you are good and can back this by a good reference and track record.
Don’t be paranoid!
Let Agents Know You Are Up for Renewal
It is essential you let an agent know when you are up for a renewal. This is a window he has of passing hot roles your way.
Of course he monitors the situation with your current company but if you are fairly specialist, and or have a good relationship, then it is only a really dishonest agent that goes in and slags you off (to get someone else in)!
We all know it is a small world.
Let your agent know if more is coming up where you work.
Large Recruitment Agencies
Tip: The large recruitment companies are not necessarily the best. Niche players may be better for you to work with.
Larger agencies tend not to specialise well.
It is likely they have a few large accounts with clients that have them by the balls on a low margin giving a range of roles – so they cannot focus on your specialism!
And they give less of a monkey‘s about getting you and them a good deal.
IT Contractor Comment
Well contractors, do you agree with this agent’s advice?
Is this what a good agent is?
Is this the definition of a good and healthy contractor / agent relationship?
Comments below please.
For more great advice on job hunting form an experienced contractor click on Contract Job Hunting.
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