Rcruitment Agency Types | There are three kinds

Recruitment Agency Types
Recruitment Agency Types - there are three kinds

Recruitment Agency Types


We received this, about recruitment agency types, in the Comments section. It was in response to our article ‘Ten Reasons Why Agents are Complete Idiots’ from chrisos.

IMNSHO there are three agency types:

1. Serious Agencies

  • Looks at the CVs and puts one, maybe two, CVs on the desk of their client. Each of these potentials has been thoroughly vetted, and (shock horror!) they have actually met the contractors before attempting to place them.

These agency types have a margin towards the high end, but they actually earn their cash. They put the right guy forward for the job.

Good Recruitment Agencies
Good Recruitment Agencies working with contractors

The process does not require the HR function of the client. The contactor is happy as he/she is working with professionals.

2. Preferred Supplier List Agencies

  • Looks through the CVs sends three to six CVs to the client for one position. They probably send the right guy for the job.

Most likely they send someone who is wrong for the job if they have previous employment with that client. That’s because the agency know the company are more likely to hire him even though he is not the guy for the job.

These recruitment agency types are usually on the client’s “Preferred Supplier List” and their margin is limited to 15% max.

They will probably place the right guy. However, they play fast and loose when it suits (and when they think they can get away with it). They are generally acceptable to work with as a contractor. They can handle these agencies.

3. Client Carpet Bombers

  • Repeatedly carpet bombs clients with CVs every time the client mentions a possible requirement for a ‘maybe’ position to be filled (or not) in six months time. These recruitment agency types are the real bottom of the heap.
Devious Agencies
Devious Agencies and their dirty tricks on contractors

These agency types add no value to the client’s HR process. The client is, after all, doing their own filtering of the stack of CVs put forward for the position.

Thee agency types only add a margin (that will be outrageous if they can manage it) and a little legal insulation for the client. They add a whole host of problems for the contractor at their mercy.

The Three Groups

The first of the recruitment agency types, a client is happy to pay. They got the best guy for the job, and the agency did that for them.

The second of the agency types generally do a good job, and more each day get ISO9000 certified in an effort to do a good job. The client does not mind paying for these guys. However, may balk at some of the suggested margins if he ever finds out what they are.

The third of the agency types are chancers at best. The client is usually furious with them once they find out how much that they are charging them. Remember both client and contractor think the margin is rightfully theirs! :))

The main problem with all this, is that agency types three are the ones we and the clients always hear about. They are the unprofessional oiks that get the industry (as a whole) the image of being a bunch of carpet baggers on high pay!

Different Agencies
Different Agencies putting forward contractors’ CVs

I agree that those agency types need to clean up their act, but I also acknowledge that they are not likely to do so.

Not Going Away

And finally, as much as many of you want rid of agencies and their agents, they are unlikely to leave in a hurry. Clients want to pay a quarterly/halfly invoice not a weekly or monthly invoice which is the way you want to be paid.

And clients want to be in a position of not suddenly finding a worker has employment rights, which an intervening agency insulates them from.

There are more reasons, but frankly this comment has already gone on too long.

I, for one, think a great many of the agencies do a great job, there are always some bad apples in the basket, and they are the agency types we need to concentrate on.

Anyway I’m off to the pub.



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