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How to Succeed with an Employment Agency

A man getting ready for interviews with employment agencies

There are many different ways to kick start your career, and registering with an employment agency is no exception. A recruiter can present you with a temporary opportunity that leads to full-time, permanent work, or you can build a career as an employee of the employment agency itself, working for a diverse mix of organizations, performing a variety of different tasks, honing your talents, and learning new skills to make yourself even more marketable.

Don’t look a gift recruiter in the mouth

Unfortunately, whether it’s because they automatically – and mistakenly – see temporary work as fleeting or because they assume recruiters have less authority than hiring managers, there are those who, to their own detriment, don’t take these opportunities seriously and therefore miss out on what could have been prosperous professions. Such candidates tend to arrive late and/or unprepared for their agency interviews, while others come off cocky or too casual. Then there are those who move on to be hired, but fail to show commitment to their work once they’re on the job.

Remember, when an employment agency contacts you, it’s important to treat them as though they are the hiring manager. Don’t forget: the recruiter is the gatekeeper between you and their client; they have a reputation and a quality of service to uphold, meaning they will be as picky – and perhaps in some ways pickier – than the hiring manager. In fact, that professional “pickiness” is why the client hired the employment agency in the first place.

Where employment agencies see job growth

Of course, part of finding success with an employment agency is to prepare yourself – be it through training or by accepting the reality of relocation – to go where the jobs are. In Canada, thriving sectors include mining, banking, and customer service. In Western Canada specifically, the oil sands are still going strong with a lot of jobs in administration, project coordination, trades, engineering, and supply chain management. Out East, government opportunities as well as telecomm jobs in sales, accounting, administration, and assembly are common. In Ontario, not-for-profits are seeking new people as is typically the case during an economic recovery. There’s also a focus on hiring certified individuals, such as Project Management Professionals (PMP), Certified Management Accountants (CMA), Certified General Accountants (CGA), and those with payroll designations. Specific software skills, especially with Microsoft Excel, are highly desirable, but so are combinations of skills that are not typically linked, such as IT and marketing skills.

Also, despite certain jobs being advertised as temporary or contract, it’s important to remember that employers who enlist the help of employment agencies are still looking for employees willing to stick around for some time. Therein lies the irony – while some candidates think of employment agency opportunities as fleeting, the employers offering those opportunities are uneasy over fleeting employees. The truth is that temp-to-perm hiring happens every day. Even if it doesn’t happen during one job, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at another. If you make a good impression on a recruiter by giving it your all during both your interview and the execution of your job placement, you’ll be rewarded with more work and more opportunities to propel your career forward.

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