10 benefits of using a recruitment agent for your job search

Why use a recruitment agent when you can apply for a job directly? Victoria Heathcote, Associate Director at Oliver James Associates, discusses the key advantages of using a recruitment agent’s expertise to search for your next opportunity…

Is using a recruitment agent worth the bother? Recruitment agents are very often put in the same category as estate agents, the people who accost you in the street trying to get you to switch energy suppliers and fictional characters like Gareth Cheeseman! There is no doubt about it that agents like that exist, however thankfully we are not all cut from the same cloth.

Nowadays, we all live in a digital world and are constantly bombarded with all sorts of information; some useful, but the majority is trash that just fills our inbox.  One thing is for sure, we are all time poor. I, like most people, am always open to anything that can make my life easier. When it comes to looking for a new job is it easier to go direct or use an agent?

It’s easy to sit there over lunch, click your mouse and before you know it you have applied for a number of jobs and have multiple emails asking you to fill in candidate profiles, complete an online psychometric test, personality profile and attend a full day assessment interview.  All very time consuming, exhausting and you haven’t even spoken to anyone yet about what you want and why you want it.

That’s where investing a little time in finding the right agent for you is essential to finding the right role and saving you time. But what is the benefit to you?

1. Cost

As a candidate it’s free!

2. Industry knowledge

Knowledge is power and this is no different when looking for a job. A good agent spends all day every day speaking to clients and candidates in your market place.

3. Network

 A specialist agent will have a detailed and thorough network of clients in their niche field. This is essential for you to be able to view the whole market and make sure you are joining the best firm.

4. Access to the best

A good agent will have access to roles that are not in the broad market place. In many instances there may not even be a specific role but armed with knowledge of their clients push points, a good agent can open up dialog for you and roles are often created for the right people.

5. CV advice

Expert knowledge and guidance on putting together your CV and making sure it works hard for you.

6. Personal touch

Speaking with an actual human as opposed to just a faceless black hole of an online portal.

7. Interview prep

A recruitment agent will advise you on the dos and don’ts of interview etiquette. This may sound simple but if you haven’t interviewed in a while or the client has a specific way of doing things this can be invaluable. One thing is for sure, turning up for a final interview in a football shirt because its dress down day in your office is never a good idea!

8. Opportunities

Discussing areas of the market that you may not have considered. Whether this be down to pre-conceived ideas or simply thinking that roles in that area were not open to you due to educations, experience etc.

9. Salary negotiations

Agents have the ability to negotiate effectively on your behalf when it comes to pay and benefits. Many people find talking about money uncomfortable and the idea of asking for more simply unthinkable. From my perspective I always say that 2 offers are better than one and this is why I am never afraid to ask for more. A good candidate should have more than one offer and clients are always willing to negotiate if they think they will lose you to a competitor.

10. Discretion

We work in a very small market and candidates are often very wary of who sees their CV and will it get back to their boss. Working with an agent can significantly minimise who sees your CV and the likelihood of word getting around.


All in all this makes a pretty compelling case for you to use an agent. But do your homework and find the right one for you. Getting a personal recommendation is always a good start; read their reviews on LinkedIn, and find out how long they’ve worked in the market.

Their services may be free to the candidate but they still need to work hard for you and help you make the right choices. Having worked with many of my clients within the risk and regulatory space for over 12 years and having moved several candidates on multiple occasions, I am a valued insight in to the advisory market for both clients and candidates.

If you are interested in speaking with me regarding looking for a new role or just seeing what the market holds for you, I would welcome conversation. You can contact me on