Recruitment Agency Myth Buster: All You Need To Know

Alice Weeks, Octopus Personnel Trainee Recruitment Consultant, dispels those persistent myths about recruitment agencies.

It’s only about the money! They don’t care about the candidates. It’s a dog-eat-dog world. The fees are enormous!

The recruitment industry generates a lot of myth and speculation. Since starting with Octopus Personnel, I’ve learnt so much about how these myths are wrong and I’ve assembled my top eleven here for you.

Funny or farcical, the one thing they have in common is that they’re all dead wrong. Let me explain…

Myth 1: Agency recruitment is a thing of the past

Since 2008, the number of recruitment agencies operating in the UK has grown on average 27% per year, with 39,232 recruitment agencies currently registered as trading in the UK.

The fact that the recruitment industry continues to go from strength-to-strength owes much to its ability to embrace change and maximise its unique position during periods of economic uncertainty – especially as we navigate Brexit.

With the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) predicting that 56% of vacancies in the next 12 months will be filled by agencies, the role of the recruiter is ever-growing.

Myth 2: Recruiters only care about money

Like any industry, recruitment is not without its bad firms. It’s fair to say there are recruiters out there who care more the weather than they do your vacancy or career.

But there’s another type of recruiter out there – and actually they’re much more common. This one spends years learning their patch. They may even have had a career in their specialist area before switching to recruitment. They spend time learning your business, exploring your history as a candidate, in order to match-make the best candidates with the best roles – this is exactly what Octopus Personnel seeks to do.

Millennials on average stay within a role for a maximum of three years. Therefore, the recruiter’s role as an intermediary and advisor has become much more pronounced. To keep the best candidates, you have to provide exemplary candidate care and know your client’s businesses well enough to ensure a fit in terms of experience, work ethic, culture and personality.

Myth 3: Recruiters are lazy; they just read C.V.s and send them to employers

Unfortunately, not everyone in the recruitment industry is reputable. Some don’t provide much in the way of service. But that isn’t real recruitment, and those people aren’t real recruiters.

A recruitment professional is someone who will save you time and money. They’ll put you in touch with people who are a good fit for the job you’re advertising – as well as your organisation. This is why I am currently undertaking my Level 2 in Recruitment Resourcing. The skill is making sure that a candidate’s skills, qualifications and personality match those required by clients, it’s this match making ability that Octopus Personnel do so well and why, as a consequence, Octopus are one of the fastest growing recruitment and employment agencies in the South West of England.

Good recruiters will spend time looking for candidates who fit your brief. They will then carry out preliminary meetings with those people to work out who will and won’t be a good fit. There’s nothing arbitrary or slapdash about this process and, done well, it benefits all.

Myth 4: Smaller agencies should be avoided

With an established, secure client base and an excellent reputation, we don’t often have to face this Myth at Octopus Personnel. Although the larger national agencies may have logos and adverts everyone has seen, the smaller agencies have a lot to offer too!

Directors and Managers of smaller agencies have a much better understanding of the market and are able to respond more quickly to what job-seekers and clients want and need out of an agency. Small and medium-sized agencies account for a huge 85% of all recruitment agencies in the UK helping cement their position in the industry. Smaller agencies are able to fill the gaps that the larger agencies fail to do – offering a much more tailored service to their clients and candidates – a definite strength of Octopus Personnel.

Myth 5: All You Need Is a Simple Job Advert

Quickly write a simple job advert from a template and the candidates and relevant applications will be beating down your door! If only! It is, of course, really important to get your job advert out there on the job boards but this is just the first step of an efficient recruitment drive.

With today’s modern job market, you need to master so much more. For example, social media is a golden window to active and passive job seekers – but it can be a minefield to navigate. LinkedIn research suggests that only 15% of fully-employed individuals are completely satisfied in their current employment (not willing to change jobs). However only 25% are actively looking for a new job, which means that (according to LinkedIn) 60% of working people would be willing to consider changing jobs if the right opportunity was presented to them.

On Facebook and YouTube, the number of monthly users is over one billion, while Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are in the hundreds of millions. Each day, a staggering amount of content is produced by each of these channels. To keep users on the channel and engaged, social channels use algorithms to weed out junk, and only display the content that’s the most relevant and interesting to the user. While consumers welcome a curated feed, the algorithm can be frustrating for marketers. Over the last couple of years, everyone has watched their reach drop significantly, despite healthy, growing audiences.

The secret here is to keep the job seeker at the forefront of your mind. Create engaging, informative content using videos as well eye-catching images to seek out the right candidates. Finding the right hashtags, timings to post and quality video content is more complex than you might think!

Myth 6: Hiring multiple agencies will aid your recruitment

Gone are the days when a job candidate would sign up to one recruitment agency alone and it would be in your favour to hire multiple agencies all at once, to reach more people.

Good agencies are more than equipped to find top talent, so it’s much better to choose one, who’ll get to know your company, culture and desirable candidate characteristics, than attempt the trigger-happy approach.

Myth 7: It’s all done by computers…

Like all business, the recruitment industry has embraced the digital age. Computers, social media, applicant tracking and scoring systems allow consultants to search thousands of prospects for each and every job at the touch of a button, but the human touch is the essential part of the process – and what makes the Octopus difference. We don’t just grab C.V.s and whizz them over to you. Having met with every single candidate face to face, we have an in-depth understanding of their personality, character, experience and passions, assessing each on how well they might fit into your corporate culture.

Recruitment is not simply a ‘by the numbers’ business and any attempt to reduce the search for talent to pure algorithm is destined to fail.

Myth 8: Recruitment Agencies take a percentage of your salary

One of the most common myths of recruitment agencies is that they take a percentage of your salary, which could explain why it’s perceived to be better to apply direct. Thankfully this isn’t true! Recruitment agencies generate an income through fees which are charged to the client, not the candidate, so you can rest assured your pay will not be affected.

Myth 9: We only offer low paid, low skilled jobs

One disheartening myth is that agencies only support low skilled people and only offer low skilled jobs. You only have to explore our website here to see this is most definitely a myth. We work with some of the most dynamic, forward thinking and well-established businesses in the local area. The cornerstone of our success is our knowledge and special relationships we have forged with the businesses that lie within the communities that we serve. We know instinctively what many of our clients require and can act immediately to fill these vacancies regardless of whether they are temporary or permanent positions. So we have jobs that vary across skill level and pay. From entry level roles to senior manager positions, there is something for everyone.

Myth 10: It costs to join an agency

It’s free! If it isn’t, don’t join them.

Myth 11: You can only join one agency

Wrong! As they’re free to register with, join as many agencies as you like. However, you should remember that your consultant at the agency will be the one who represents you so it’s important that you are represented by someone who you can trust, who will present you in the best light and who has your interests at heart. That is why we meet each and every one of our candidates face-to-face.

To ensure a perfect match, we personally interview each and every candidate to really understand your skills, experience, aspirations and what makes you tick. If you’re an employer then it’s this attention to detail that ensures you will only see candidates that have met the specified selection criteria. For you the job seeker, it means we can find you the most appropriate job that meets your skills sets, quickly and without fuss.

Have I convinced you? What have you got to lose?

At Octopus Personnel, we are experts at presenting our candidates to ensure the employer is able to see all the skills and experience you are bringing to a role. Years of industry expertise and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to guide you to your new role or to the right employee who will drive your business forward. You can sign up here and call the office on 01747 825568 to arrange an interview.

Alice Weeks

About the author

I specialise in temporary recruitment and I’m always planning ahead, but manage to fill those last minute gaps! I really enjoy the buzz of the Octopus Office and no two days are the same. For me, it’s really important to get to know my candidates so I can support them on assignments and get the best from them.

I love baking so working in the Octopus Office with a monthly bake-off is a dream come true. I am a great listener and I know the power of a well-timed cup of tea and a biscuit!