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How Using a Permanent Recruitment Agency Works

Adrianna Noton

There are always employers looking for worthy candidates to fill the gaps in their companies. Likewise, there are always prospective employees looking for jobs. Conventionally, employers do their own recruitment drives and advertise their internal vacancies to allow job-seekers to apply for positions directly. But there is a middle-man who aims to close the gap between these two groups of people: a permanent recruitment agency.

Employment agencies are like proverbial match-makers: connecting job-seekers; who meet the requirements of the available position, have the necessary qualifications if any, and are able to perform the function of the job vacancy, with employers looking to fill empty desks and seats. The industry itself is multi-faceted, and branches off into temporary, contractual, permanent and even industry and job specific agencies who all have very specific criteria to follow in terms of gathering the credentials of job-seekers and meeting the needs of their clients.

One of the very first aspects an employment agency of any orientation investigates, is the outlined job description. Companies working with the agency will provide a succinct but specific description of what the job entails. Generally, this is gauged by looking at past employees who have undertaken the role and the main duties that they performed. However, for the recruitment to be successful, it is imperative that the job description be up to date with the current needs and over all position of the company.

Job-seekers approaching these consultancies will go through a thorough screening process. Most times, they will provide their full resumes with their respective employment history and relevant credentials. Some agencies employ in-house methods like face-to-face interviews which may or may not include the practical testing of the candidates' computer, typing, research and/or literacy skills by means of standardized testing software.

Essentially, what the process of application entails is that member companies and job-seekers alike, become members of the recruitment agency and from there, the consultancy can begin selecting potential candidates which fit the job descriptions of the employers. Over time, broad databases are built up and used for both present and future reference.

Permanent employment agencies, as their name suggests, deal specifically with candidates and member companies in search of filling permanent job vacancies. Within the consultancy however, many subdivisions may result in order to produce accurate matches, such as divisions recruiting only mid-upper level executives. Others may specialize in a wide range of categories such as temp or contract jobs, although this is very rare due to the vast workload involved.

Recruiting staff can be done both internally or externally. Some companies have their own HR consultancy wings, which run recruitment drives, screen candidates and conduct interviews. Other companies choose to outsource an external agency in the search to fill their vacancies; it all depends on the available resources and/or staff management systems of the respective company.

Upon successful employment of a candidate, a fee is paid by the member company to the permanent recruitment agency for their consultancy, administrative tasks and screening duties, although compensation methods vary. Some operate according to retained compensation policies whereby payment occurs in predetermined stages, where agencies perform various relationship-building tasks to bridge the gap between the employer and their new employee.

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