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Part 8: Employment Agents
As with the contingency recruiter, we are paid when we actually cause a person to be hired. Many of us that are in the contingency/search consultant type role started out as an "employment agent." We are more oriented toward the candidate and "marketing" that candidate to potential employers. We're more candidate oriented than employer oriented, especially in the beginning of our career. As we progress we become more balanced in whom we actually work for.
In the '60s, '70s, and ‘80s and even in nearly '90s, candidates or "applicants," as we called them, paid all or some of our fees. We started out being more candidate oriented than hiring company oriented. We are, basically, an "agent" for the candidate.
We interview candidates on a daily basis and then market those candidates to either employers that we have worked with before, or ones that we actually "cold called" and tried to generate an interview. We work "for you" by trying to get you as many interviews as we possibly can.
The "roots" of our role in recruiting began placing administrative (what used to be called secretarial) type personnel and grew into more of the professional realms. We place all levels of candidates but have a tendency to focus on whatever the market will bear. We will interview many candidates and market the most placeable candidate we can find.
The longer we do it, the more we learn what our repeat hiring authorities need.
Our advantage to you: I am going to be oriented to trying to find you a job. If you have skills and experience that I can promote to companies that I have worked with before or new companies, I will pick up the phone, call them and try to get you as many interviews as I possibly can.
A lot of the employers that I work with I've worked with before. I take advantage of the employers with a "pain" that will be interviewing you and hire you because of the urgency they have. Sometimes I know a lot about the companies I work with and sometimes I don't. If you are a reasonably qualified candidate, I will try to get you as many interviews as I possibly can.
Our disadvantage to you: I spend most all of my time cold calling and trying to generate job opportunities and interviews for the best candidates that have come to me. I will not spend a lot of time working for you unless I can find someone that is willing to interview for an immediate opening. I probably don't have a lot of in-depth knowledge of some of the companies that I might get you an interview with, because I "cold called" them about you, found an opening and got you the interview.
We're both limited by your experience and the contacts that I have. If I have a lot of experience and have made a lot of contacts and can get you a number of interviews, we're both in luck. If I have been in my profession for less than three years, I am not going to be as knowledgeable about the marketplace as others might, but I'm certainly going to hustle my butt off to get you interviews.
How to deal with me: Realize that I'm going to get you interviews if I can get any employer to talk to you. I interview as many candidates as I possibly can and get the best interview opportunities that I can find.
When and if I can get you an interview, you need to ask me lots of questions about the opportunity. The same questions that you asked the contingent search consultant about the interview are appropriate.
You need to know that most of the companies that I work with have a high degree of "pain," i.e. the need to fill a job very quickly. I'm going to try to get you an interview in any way, shape, or form that I can, either with a hiring authority or an interviewing authority.
I'm going to " ballpark " you into an interview. I will try to get you any reasonable interview that I can, based on your experience or background, regardless of whether it's something you would "ideally like."
You need to go on every interview that I get you or I will quit getting you interviews. You may get my help in selling yourself with what I know about the company I send you to, but I may not know enough to really give you leverage.