Thesedays most of the companies outsource their recruitment function to professional specialist agencies.  These agencies search for qualified candidates and act as a first point fo screening before presenting the suitable candidates to the company for further interviewing.  For jobseekers it is important to understand how agencies work and how to leverage their expertise and network in the jobseeker's favour.

As a jobseeker, do I need to pay for recruitment services? 

Generally speaking, No.  There are some agencies that charge jobseekers a fee, but the vast majority of agencies do not.  And if your agency is trying to charge you a fee, you should probably consider using other agencies instead.  Recruitment agencies get paid by companies who task them with finding and recruiting the right candidates, these companies pay a fee whenever a candidate introduced by the agency is hired by the company.  You as the jobseeker do not need to pay anything. 

So if am not the one paying, how can I expect the agency to have my interest in mind?

 

Even though the "paying client" is the company who hires candidates and not the jobseeker, whenever you are dealing with a professional agency you should still expect professionalism, expertism and integrity.  Why? Because reputation and goodwill with candidates is an asset to every agency - when people say good things about an agency, more and more candidates and clients come to it with business. 

I have sent my CV to an agency but haven't heard back.
 

Unfortunately, this happens quite often when you deal with unprofessional agencies - the consultants there are "too busy" to get back to candidates unless they have an immediate interview.  If you have sent your CV to an agency or have had an interview with an agency in person or by phone, or have authorised an agency to send your CV to a company on your behalf, it is perfectly reasonable for you to expect the agency to provide you with timely feedback.  If you are not getting this minimal level of service, we recommend switching to more professional agencies.

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Discussing salary with recruiters.

We've all heard how it's not a good idea to discuss salary on your first interview.  That only holds if you are interviewing with the hiring company directly.  If you are interviewing with a recruitment agency, then you will definitley be asked abut your current salary and your expectations.  In this event you should be completely transparent, tell the agent how much you are on and what your expectations are - recruiters need this info in oder to map you to the right jobs and in order to not waste everyone's time calling you abut jobs that are not in the right salary level for you.  Also recruiters can advise you on whether your current or expected salary is reasonable and train you on how tohandle these discussions in future interviews with the actual employers.

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Authorising an agency to send my CV to companies.

So you have sent your CV to a recruitment agency, have had an interview with the agency and now the agency wants to send your CV to several companies.  It is your right to know which companies and jobs the agency will send your CV for and to expect that your CV will not be sent anywhere else except for these specific opportunities.  It is also your right to request some information on these roles, such as company websites, job descriptions, etc and to take time to review these before making a final decision on whether you would like the agency to send yoru CV or not.  Any agency that doesn't tell you the names of the companies that it wants to send your CV to, or doesn't give you time to think about it, is acting unprofessionally and you should consider other recruiters instead.

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How to Work With Recruiters.