By Kylee Hefty, LinkedIn

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To many recent grads, recruiting agencies are nothing more than a desperate last resort at the end of their post-college job search. The thought process usually goes something like this: “I mean, I’ve seen their ads on LinkedIn and my mom was a temp back in the 80s, but are they really an option for someone like me?”

Whether it’s this silly stigma or a pride complex keeping you from exploring the recruiting services option, kindly, slow your roll. If you’ve received a diploma, but have yet to snag the right job offer – newsflash: you only have two hands, one to shake the dean’s and one to hold your degree. Like it or not, you checked your ego at the stage.

Do Yourself a Favor

First of all, top recruitment agencies are totally free to job seekers. Quality recruitment firms are paid by the companies they are tasked with staffing, a system designed to encourage quality placement and to find you a role that truly suits both your needs and the needs of the company.

Whether your ideal role is with a small firm or a large company, recruiters offer a unique approach to candidate sourcing that can be difficult to match. Even for those organizations that employ an in-house human resources team, a quality hiring process can often take a backseat to other company matters.

The sole responsibility of a recruiter is to network and match candidates to available job opportunities – an ideal platform for pairing qualified candidates like you with great positions. This allows companies to meet qualified candidates, without taking time from their busy schedules, or putting the candidate (you) through an awkward, rushed and painful vetting process.

Quality recruiters are committed to getting to know your strengths, preferences and goals. In a slim job market, one of the best things you can do for your career is to get your foot in the door at a thriving company that respects their employees. Working with a recruiter that can help you find your perfect position. Even a quality company with opportunity for growth could be the start of something life changing.

Of course, while some find themselves matched with a dream position in a matter of weeks, the process can take more time for others. The great news is, whether you find yourself loving the recruitment experience or not, you are under no obligation to the recruitment firm until you accept an offer through their service. The even better news is that most recruitment agencies will keep your name on file and keep you in mind for positions long after your initial meeting – no extra cost or stress required. Just making the acquaintance of recruiters and their corporate connections is an unbeatable networking opportunity!

Join the Recruiting Club

Already have a company or position in mind? Recruitment agencies can help you there, too! According to Hannah Barfield, a career placement expert and Recruiter for Godshall Professional Recruiting & Staffing, “recruiters and staffing agencies are an excellent auxiliary resource in a new graduate’s job hunt. They have a direct line of communication with hiring managers, so impressing them means creating an advocate in your search.”

That’s the beauty of it: partnering with a reputable recruitment service means making friends in influential places! Your recruiter is your ally – if you happen find an opening for your perfect job, your recruiter already knows your strengths and has your best interest at heart. You may even find yourself with the opportunity to boost your own experience and credibility. “Staffing agencies may also have contract assignments to help build your resume,” explains Barfield. “For example, covering an HR assistant who is on maternity leave may give you an edge amongst other new grads without that on-the-job exposure.” 

Not Seeing the Downside Here

That said, not all recruitment firms are created equal. When looking for a quality recruitment agency in your area, always rely on your gut instincts and those excellent creeping skills of yours (you know, the ones you pretend not to have). A simple website check will help you ensure that the agency is up-to-date with modern technology and provide you a glimpse into their company’s mission (and how well they’re able to communicate that mission). If you conclude that the agency you’ve researched appears reputable, request to be contacted through their website, or better yet – give them a call!

Overall, quality recruiting firms will treat you with respect, take an interest in your goals and skills and are knowledgeable about their practice. Be wary of recruiters that steer you far from your original interests or pressure you to engage with certain companies over others. Most importantly, any recruitment agency that tries to charge you for their services is probably one to cross off the list. After a little reconnaissance, it turns out that there’s a lot to love about recruiting agencies. Happy job searching!


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