Have you thought about joining up with an agency but fear of the unknown stops you from going ahead and doing it? Find out all about how agencies work here, and decide if it’s the right employment route for you with our helpful guide.
What is an agency?
An employment agency is simply an organisation which puts jobseekers and employers together. They usually specialise in a particular profession/sector and use their expertise to help both candidates (the job seekers) and clients (the organisations looking to hire people) to find the perfect match according to their needs. This, in turn can take some of the stress out of the recruitment process for both parties.
How do you “sign up” with an agency?
The method for signing up with an agency can vary from company to company. Usually, the first step is to fill in an online registration form or email in your CV. A consultant from the company will then usually get in touch to find out a bit more about you and have a chat about what you’re looking for. They can then help to advise whether they are the right company for you or not (i.e. whether they are likely to be able to help you with your job search).
How do you know which agency is right for you?
This can be very subjective as there are so many agencies out there. However, you could try asking yourself these questions to figure out whether you want to go ahead and work for a particular agency or not:
- Do they offer jobs in the sector and geographical location I am based in?
- Did the consultant get in touch and ask lots of questions? Do I feel that they understand what I’m looking for and have taken a genuine interest in meeting my needs?
Do you have to “interview” with an agency to get work?
Yes – most reputable agencies will ask you to attend a face to face interview as part of their registration process. This is a valuable step for several reasons, for example:
- It allows you to ask lots of questions and get a better feel for whether they are the right agency for you.
- It allows the agency to do the same – they are more likely to be able to help you effectively if they fully understand your background, skills and how you see your career moving forwards.
- It allows the agency to complete any required compliance. For the vast majority of work, and temporary assignments in particular, they have a legal obligation to view various items of paperwork and have you complete appropriate forms at their end.
- It also allows you to ensure that you fully understand how processes such as sickness absence/payroll etc. work before you begin any assignments.
Is there a charge for an agency finding me a job?
Not usually, no. If your agency says there is some sort of fee payable for finding your work, then you should probably consider looking into alternative agencies! However, there may be some small charges for various compliance checks. In the education sector, for example, most agencies will expect you to cover the cost of your own criminal records (DBS) check. There may also be charges associated with processing pay, so you should ensure that you are 100% clear on this side of things before you begin your first assignment.
Do agencies really pay out if you refer a friend?
Yes! For example, here at Axcis, you can earn up to £250 (in shopping vouchers) for successfully referring a friend to us for work. It’s in our interest to pay you for any referrals you make because we want you to keep making them – in fact, that’s why our scheme pays you more for each person you refer!
OK – I’m interested – what next?
It depends on what sort of work you’re looking for – the first step is always going to be finding an agency which suits your own needs/situation. If you’re interested in working with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) children in an educational setting in England or Wales, then we could well be the agency for you – feel free to take a look at our website, jobs pages or testimonials pages to help you to decide if you think Axcis is a good fit for you – and if we are, why not complete our online registration?