Getting the Most out of Working with Recruiters (2)

Help recruiters to help you

We saw in part 1 of this article that recruiters are very busy people trying to match candidates to vacant positions and that they are paid by the hiring companies to do so – this means that they work for those companies and not for you the job hunter. Because recruiters are busy, job hunters should prepare properly before contacting them, including creating an ‘elevator pitch’ to use with them. We also saw how viewing recruiters as your partners in your job search makes the relationship more productive.

In this second part of the article, we look at some more tips for working with recruiters.

Be clear about your job priorities

Knowing exactly what is important to you in a job is essential so that you have criteria for evaluating an offered position. This includes establishing a salary range that identifies that figure below which you will not consider accepting a job no matter what the other favourable conditions might be, as well as the desired actual salary. You also need to be clear about your other expectations of a job such as location, travel, career advancement, career development opportunities, medical and other benefits, etc. Your job priorities should be a written list that you can refer to, and when dealing with a recruiter, that you have clearly and honestly communicated these so that they use them in matching you to a vacant position. This will make the process easier for both of you.

Be flexible with those priorities

Some of your job priorities will be ‘concrete’ in that they are “must have’s” – for example, if travel in your work is very important for you, you will not be happy in a job that doesn’t encompass this, so that’s a “must”. Other priorities may be less set in stone and you should be flexible with these. For instance, a job offer may be on the lower end of your salary expectations but it might have excellent health coverage which can add more than $400 into the overall package. Similarly, reimbursed tuition fees, increased leave or excellent opportunities for advancement may also make-up for the lower salary. So when discussing priorities with a recruiter, especially when a job offer is being made, be flexible where you can, but remain rigid with your “must have’s”.

Listen to what the recruiter suggests

Recruiters will make suggestions as to what to include (or not include) in your resume when applying to specific companies, or what to say to a particular hiring manager during interview, etc. One of recruiters’ main irritations is when candidates argue with them over such suggestions and insist on doing it “their way’ – the recruiter knows their client and is making the suggestions so that the candidate will more easily ‘fit’ with what the hiring manager is looking for. So listen and heed what they say!

Work with multiple recruiters

There are dozens and dozens of employment agencies operating in Singapore, some good, some bad, many in-between. Job searchers should do some research on which agencies deal with the industry they are targeting jobs in and through further research, find out if the agencies they are considering have a reasonable reputation. Then the job searcher should work with a number of different recruiters to increase their exposure to the job market – different recruiters and employment agencies will have different companies as clients, and not all recruiters will have access to all available positions or hiring managers. So it makes sense to work with a number of different recruiters in order to have access to as wide a pool of vacancies as possible.

Getting the Most out of Working with Recruiters (1)

Know how to work with recruiters

The recruiter is not working for you

Recruiters are busy people – they get paid on results, and those results are the successful placement of a person into a vacant job. They are paid only when they fill the position and it is the hiring company that pays them. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are working on your behalf – they aren’t! They are working for the company that pays them.

When you as a job hunter deal with an employment agency, bear in mind that the recruiters are busy trying to match candidates to vacant positions. They receive hundreds of applications and speculative resumes for every position on their books and they simply do not have enough time to read all those resumes in detail – they spend less than 30 seconds skimming through them. So you must help them in this process by having a focused resume and clearly showing how you match the key requirements of the job you are applying for.

They are very busy people – so prepare before you call them

Job hunters frequently complain that recruiters are abrupt and don’t spend much time talking to them – as stated above, they are very busy people and simply don’t have the time to talk to people who aren’t a good ‘fit’ for a position they are dealing with. So understand their situation, and when you talk to them, be as brief and concise as possible. If the recruiter phones you, it means there seems to be a ‘fit’ between you and a job, so again remember they are busy and be focused on demonstrating how you meet the requirements of the vacant job. If you talk about irrelevancies, then they will be abrupt in bringing you back to talking about the essentials. For them, time is money!

When responding to a job advertisement, find out the name of the particular recruiter dealing with that position. Sometimes it is stated in the job ad, but if it’s not, call the employment agency and ask who is the recruiter involved. Then use their name in the cover letter / cover e-mail – this slightly more personal touch will always work in your favour. Again, your attached resume must be focused and show how you meet the requirements of the job. If it isn’t thus focused, it goes into the garbage bin.

If you ‘cold call’ a recruitment agency, prepare properly before the phone call – write down what you need to say and ask. Prepare an “elevator pitch” (the 30 second statement of who you are, what you do, what type of position you are looking for, and something unique about yourself) and have it in writing in front of you. The main tactic when talking to a recruiter is being brief, concise and relevantly focused.

View recruiters as partners in your job search

Recruiters may be busy people, but you can still look on them as partners in your job search. To do so, you must be completely honest with them and not try to hide any gaps in employment, or the fact that you were job hopping at a certain stage, or fired from a previous position, etc. They will be able to advise you on how such situations should be presented in your resume and at interview – they will also make sure not to refer you to an employer that they know might have a problem with your particular issue.

If a recruiter phones you but you were unavailable, be respectful and return their call as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you are involved in a job offer negotiation, as there are numerous stories of people who have had job offers withdrawn because they were slow in getting back to the recruiter. Unless your experience and skill-set are very unique, there will always be another candidate to offer the job to! And when a recruiter sends you to a hiring manager for an interview, make sure to promptly provide them with feedback on how things went.

A further posting will continue discussing how to get the most out of dealing with recruiters.

Understanding Recruiters

You need to understand recruiters to work well with them

Most people going through the job search process have to deal with recruiters at some point. However, many people are critical about their experience of dealing with them and complain about them not responding to phone calls, being rushed or abrupt, asking for resumes to be sent but never calling back, etc. Understanding more about recruiters and how to partner with them makes the encounter more productive and less stressful.

Types of Recruiters

There are two types of recruiters and they each work differently: agency recruiters, and retained recruiters.

Agency recruiters work on a contingency basis, meaning that they only collect a fee when they place a job seeker with their client company – the person taking up the appointment must stay in the job for a certain duration, generally ninety days. They usually deal with recruitment for junior and middle-level positions.

Retained recruiters are hired exclusively by client companies to manage senior management positions and their fees are paid up-front. As most people’s experience of recruiters is with agency recruiters, they will be our focus in this article.

So what do recruiters actually do?

When a company engages an employment agency, the recruiter contacts the hiring manager involved to gain more specific information on the job vacancy such as responsibilities, required skills, salary, reporting structure, etc. They then check for a match with their own company’s database and also scrutinise major job boards for suitable candidates. In recent years, they are also making greater use of LinkedIn.

Once the recruiter has identified a number of possible candidates, they contact them, usually by phone, for a screening interview. While this may seem like a casual chat to a candidate, it is very much an interview! Their goal is to ascertain the candidates ‘fit’ with the job, their expectations in relation to salary, job advancement, etc, and to discuss why they want to leave their current job (or why they left their last job).

When the recruiter has 8 to 10 candidates that appear to be suitable for the vacant post, they invite them for a more in-depth interview at the agency’s office. This time, as well as focusing on whether the candidate ‘fits’ the job, they collect information on their background (experience, education, goals, etc). If the client company has requested it, there may also be psychometric or aptitude tests. The additional goal in these interviews is that the recruiter wants to screen out any candidates they feel may not stay in the job for three months – their fee depends on this!

When the recruiter has a list of 5 or 6 strong candidates, they send the details to the hiring manager, along with the recruiter’s notes and recommendations. Usually the recruiter then coordinates the interviews for the hiring manager who interviews them.

Many recruiters will coach the candidates on how to approach the interview, how to answer certain questions, what they need to know about the company, etc. This is very valuable and candidates should pay attention to this advice.

As well as getting feedback from each candidate, the recruiter follows up with the hiring manager. If the hiring manager wants to hire one of the candidates, the recruiter establishes the details of the offer to be made and contacts the candidate to discuss the offer. The recruiter acts as a negotiator between the two parties until agreement is reached. Once the candidate starts work and stays for 90 days, the recruiter’s fee of 20% to 30% is paid.

If the hiring manager doesn’t want any of the candidates seen so far, the recruiter restarts the process to look for more candidates.

A follow on article will discuss tips for working better with recruiters.

How to approach your Job Search in Singapore

For best results, use more than one approach to your job search in Singapore

There are three approaches to finding a job in Singapore: Job boards; Employment Agencies; and Networking. For the best results, use all three.

Job Boards

Job boards can be very frustrating for job seekers. People submit lots of applications for different jobs and frequently do not receive a response – this can be very demoralising. Recruiters only respond to people they think will match a job they have available on their books.

The problem is the very large number of job advertisements on each job board and the equally large number of people applying for them, so it’s very easy for your application to get lost in the crowd. Many claim it is a game of luck, while others claim it is a numbers game that has less than a 10% success rate. Either way, to increase your chances of getting a response from a recruiter, you have to increase the number of applications you submit.

Another problem is that there are many job boards to explore and this can take up a lot of your time. A more efficient way is to use a job aggregator such as which displays available jobs advertised on most other job boards. This saves you time sifting through countless job boards and allows you to spend this time on just one job board, meaning you can be more focused in your job search. A particularly important factor in this is that you can be one of the first to spot and apply for a newly advertised position – it is reported that nearly 50% of successful applications leading to a job hire were made in the first week the job was advertised. So make sure that you are one of the first!

Employment Agencies

Many people complain about their experiences working with employment agency recruiters. This is frequently due to a misunderstanding about their role. You must understand that the recruiter is not paid by you, the job seeker, but by the employer when a position is filled. So their main focus is not on you, the job seeker, but on satisfying the person who pays them – the employer. Furthermore, each individual recruiter is dealing with hundreds of job seekers and simply doesn’t have the time to deal with each individual’s concerns, so they may appear rushed and abrupt – they too have to reach targets!

So, before you speak to a recruiter, prepare what you are going to say and be brief and as concise as possible. Having an ‘elevator pitch’ to use with recruiters can be very useful. While it is best to use a number of recruiters from different employment agencies, do some research to see if there is a specialist recruiter for your particular industry and job area. Even if these are based overseas such as in Hong Kong, it is frequently worthwhile to contact them.


Networking is by far the most effective way to job search in Singapore. The principle behind networking is that someone you already know may have a job vacancy or know someone else who does. Or someone you already know may know somebody who knows somebody else who has a job vacancy or where one exists. A high number of jobs in Singapore are not publicly advertised but are by ‘word of mouth’ where a hiring manager asks another manager or friend if they know of someone who would be suitable.

I have written previously on the need to know exactly why you are networking (you can read the article here) and to be focused in your networking activities. It is also important to not just rely only on using LinkedIn but to utilise the network you already have – i.e. all the people you already know. However, they must know clearly what you are seeking – otherwise they can’t help you get it.

Effective networking requires careful planning and you must know how to do it properly so as to avoid annoying people and becoming a person to avoid. If you are not adept in networking, speak to someone who is or take a training in it.

10 Signs of a Bad Recruiter / Employment Agency in Singapore

bad recruiter recruitment employment agency singapore

If you’re searching for a job, you’re probably dealing with a recruiter in Singapore or maybe even a few. But all recruiters are not created equally.

And if you’ve been dealing with recruiters on multiple occasions, you might have had a few less than satisfactory experiences. More and more frequently many third-party recruiters are gaining a reputation for being greedy and only caring about their commission checks. While this might be true for some, there are certainly other recruiters out there who do care about your career and want to help match you to a great job opportunity.

After you read this post, you’ll be able to recognize the 10 signs that you’re dealing with a bad recruiter/employment agency in Singapore and be able to jump ship and find someone who will help you get where you want to go.

  1. They Don’t Seem to Care About Your Career Goals

If a recruiter doesn’t seem to care about the direction you want your career to go in, you’re dealing with a bad recruiter. Sometimes recruiters might try to steer you in a direction of a certain job opening that doesn’t line up with your career goals because that job placement will earn them more commission.

A good recruiter in Singapore will always ask you about your career goals and help you find positions that line up with what you are looking for. For a good recruiter, placing a client at the perfect job is more rewarding than earning a higher commission and selling someone’s career short. If you feel like you’re recruiter isn’t giving your career goals enough credence, either find someone else or have a firm talk about what you want.

  1. They Keep Rushing You

When a recruiter keeps rushing you through the process, there are several problems that could arise. The first is that the recruiter might be rushing because they don’t really know much about the hiring company or the opportunity and are trying to hide this fact from you. Or they’re not very connected to the company that’s hiring.

When you’re rushed you won’t be able to get a complete overview of the company or the role and you might move forward in the wrong direction.

Another reason the recruiter might be rushing through the process is because they’ve already determined that you wouldn’t fit the role well and are not confident enough to just tell you. If you find your recruiter rushing you, start by asking a few detailed questions about the role and company. If they can’t answer your questions adequately, then let them know you’re not interested in the role and decline gracefully.

  1. You’re Being Offered Unrelated Jobs

In certain technical fields this can happen frequently. If a recruiter sees that you know a certain computer software or have another skill set, they may assume that you are an expert at other semi-related things. If you find that they keep offering you positions that are unrelated to your expertise, it’s important to notify them right away.

Because if your resume is being submitted for jobs you’re not qualified for, the recruiter is probably doing it for other candidates too. And when a company receives too many unrelated resumes, they may stop to trust the recruiter, who will lose their influence.

If your recruiter keeps doing this, it is time to find another employment agency in Singapore. Look for someone who specializes in your field or industry or someone who represents certain companies that you would be interested in working with. You can also ask people in your field which recruitment agencies they recommend or do a search on LinkedIn.

  1. They Don’t Call Back When They Said They Would

employment recruitment agencies singapore

While it might be understandable for a recruiter in Singapore not to call back if they still haven’t received an update from the employer, if you’re noticing a pattern you’re dealing with a bad recruiter. If you notice that your recruiter isn’t calling when they said they would, politely call them out on their behavior next time you talk.

Perhaps they have a good reason but if they seem to just be coming up with excuses, you could try and contact the recruiter’s manager. If you’re a good fit for the role, the manager might try to quickly set you up with a more responsive recruiter to get that job vacancy filled.

  1. They Don’t Remember Talking to You

With all the scheduling technology, online calendars, and databases available to recruiters today, there really is no excuse for them not remember the last time you talked with them. If they don’t remember you from two, three or even six months ago, it is a sign of a bad recruiter. Either they are lazy or just disorganized. And having a disorganized recruiter working with you is not a good thing.

If the recruiter in Singapore shows this sign and you really want the job, call the recruitment agency manager and ask them privately if you could be assigned to another recruiter. Take caution when making a request like this as if you do it poorly, you run the risk of upsetting everyone at the agency and losing the job. But do you really want the laziest and most inattentive recruiter in your area to represent you?

  1. They Don’t Help You Prepare

While some employment agencies in Singapore simply have a five minute phone call with you and the next day you’re interviewing with the employer, a longer more thorough preparation time is ideal. Do you want to be thrown into the interview without being prepared? A bad recruiter will not help you prepare for your interview and dealing with the employer.

You’ll recognize a good recruiter when they give you tips and tricks for your interview with the employer. Perhaps there are certain questions they ask, or maybe you should wear a certain type of clothing. A good recruiter will give you a heads up and help you prepare for these scenarios.

It also shows you that this recruiter has taken their time in getting to know the position and has a good connection with the hiring company. When you work with a good recruiter like this, soak up all the information you can before going to the company for your interview.

  1. They Attempt to Charge a Fee

If a recruiter is trying to charge you a fee for finding you a job, this is a major sign of a bad recruiter. The company that hires you pays the recruitment company a fee. If the recruiter you’re working with tries to get you to sign something that obligates you to pay a fee, you need to walk away from this bad recruitment agency in Singapore. Never pay anything that the employer should be paying. No matter how good their spiel sounds, it is time that you found a better recruiter.

  1. They Encourage Bending the Truth

Sometimes recruiters encourage job seekers to lie a little bit in the interview, or bend the truth in the resume, or in their job history. This is a red flag. If the recruiter is willing to bend the truth on these things, what else are they willing to do?

If they do encourage that of you, do not do it. Stick to the truth and don’t let the bad recruiter break your integrity. It could cost you the job and your reputation.

  1. Your References Become Their Leads

During a job search you need to have employment references. But what if you get a call from your references telling you that your recruiter was calling them offering a job? This is a bad sign. What it means is that the recruiter you’re dealing with is more interested in generating leads than matching you to a career that fits your skills and goals.

If you find out that your references were contacted by your recruiter, you might consider finding another recruiter who is more focused on placing you to a good job than trying to get more people on their list.

  1. They Guarantee You the Job

No one but the hiring company can offer you the job. The recruiter is just the middle man connecting the company with qualified talent. If the recruiter you’re dealing with is so brash and in-your-face overconfident to the extent that they actually guarantee you’ll get the job, you’re dealing with a bad recruiter. It shows you that they are all talk.

Strive to work with recruiters who are more honest right from the beginning. If you have an over confident recruiter representing you, your image might be tarnished and it will cost you the job you’ve been working so hard to get.

In Conclusion

When you’re working with a recruitment / employment agency in Singapore to find a new job, keep your eyes open for any of these 10 signs that you’re dealing with a bad apple. Your recruiter is your first representation to the hiring company and you want someone who will portray you in a good image.

From the beginning look for recruiters who are detail oriented, honest, responsive, and knowledgeable. By working with someone who knows your career goals and the industry you work in, you’re much closer to landing the job of your dreams.

List of Top Recruitment, Headhunter & Job Agencies in Singapore

worst best recruitment agencies in singapore

During conversations with friends, family and clients I am frequently asked which recruitment agencies in Singapore I recommend and which should be avoided.

While I do have certain impressions & views on the topic, I thought it would be good to get a feel from people in the trenches.

So I started by searching several forums & websites to gather comments, mostly from job seekers, who have dealt with employment / recruitment agencies in Singapore.

I went back to around the end of 2009 and think I managed to put together all comments from forums and other sources available on the internet, which provide feedback on various recruitment agencies in Singapore.

As a job seeker, this article can help you get great information about dealing with recruiters in Singapore, in 2 ways:

  1. Go through or search hundreds of revealing comments from job seekers at the end of this post, to learn from other’s mistakes when dealing with recruiters.
  2. Read feedback collected from other websites/forums, on various recruitment agencies.

Achieve Group/Career Consultant

  • “worst experience is with: achieve”
  • “today I received my first call from a new agency (for me), Achieve Careers. OMG! The way the agent talk is like “take it or leave it”. I was actually interested in the job offer but her attitude really turned me off. Plus she suddenly started to speak in Mandarin halfway. Its actually ok with me but isn’t it kinda unprofessional?”
  • “Achieve has long list of Singaporean blacklisted”
  • I would also like to share my job hunting experiences using these recruitment agencies in Singapore. The worst experience I have ever encountered was with Achieve Group. One of the agent (S*rah T**) called me, talked me down by saying lack of exp, lack of relevant degree cannot ask for high salary and be picky about it. Not only that, she arranged an interview without telling me the location and job description and didn’t confirm with me till the actual day. I was appalled when I found out the JD of the job was something else during the actual interview. After the interview, she continued to talk me into taking the offer so that she can meet her sales quota. Of course, I rejected her offer knowing that this is not the job I want to do. “
  • met a female rather plump consultant who colluded with the client and paid me lesser than required. and threaten me that she will call the police when i ask her about my pay. she is from ACHIEVE CAREER”
  • “Based on the responses I saw in this forum, there are many junior recruiters around and they do not have the adequate knowledge of the job but just wanted to reach their sales quota of the day and hence they become very pushy and aggressive. “
  • “I had a very bad experience with this recruitment agency in Singapore. Achieve group. this evening at abt 8plus a guy call daryl from this company called me and asked me qns in a very rude tone which I felt offended. I told him I felt offended and he replied me very rudely that if just because of wad he asked I felt offended then I’m not suitable for the position and just hang up the phone without saying sorry or thank you. I called back demanding to speak to his manager n his reply was “you wait long long ah” (sounds childish isn’t it? makes me wonder wad type of recruitment consultant this company is hiring.) n when I insisted he actually replied me “what the **** you want” how is this professional when he used vulgarities when his signboard is hanging his employer’s name. I told him how could he use vulgarities. n he dared to challenge me by asking wad can I do to him. n I told him I will bring this matter up. he challenged me again saying “you come la. I invite you down”
  • achieve career got me my 1st job tho, the career consultant xj, was a nice guy and they weren’t as stuck up as i would imagine they to be even tho my qualifications isnt high. Despite going for one interview and the recruiter didn’t want me,he still called me and got me a contract job. Too bad, i didn’t have the opportunity to thank them”

Recruit Express Pte Ltd (Singapore)

  • “i had a bad experience with recruit express a couple of years ago. i got a part-time job as a promoter through them, but on my first day of work, the supermarket i turned up at wasn’t even expecting me! i had no choice but to go back home through no fault of my own.”
  • “i think RE requires people to sign contract and you have to pay quite a lot if you break their contract. i don’t really like RE, most of the time they just totally don’t bother helping me find a job at all.”
  • “Yes, I do agree with many of you who have posted negative comments relating to Recruit Express. I had several interactions with more than a handful of agencies but Recruit Express was the worse I have encountered. “
  • “I consider Recruit Express’ consultants as unprofessional even though they may be dressed in business suits; their actions, their language and their attitude was a total disgrace; they seemed too $$$-focused and overlooked the importance of sustaining future sales and have been having bad reputations which all explained by their substandard service quality (to companies and to candidates). It’s quite helpless to rely on them, seriously.”
  • “Alright I wanna let you guys know that i’m now currently working at RE whoever knows it, I have to admit that i might not be competent enough to do this job. But i just think that its unethical to cheat/ lie or give people a false hope, AN EXTREME false hope especially now during the recession. I’m being forced to hit quotas like meeting 10 candidates a day, send 10 resumes to client and 3 candidate interviews with client.”
  • “Alright i’ve just received letter from RE upon breaching the contract in which i’m rather confused but, i guess i’ll just ignore it. and they ask me to pay 879$ after deducting the working days. that’s total blood sucking, and stated they won’t hesitate to take legal actions.”
  • “Anyway what i know from them is that if I get a job from them, we need to pay $50 by cash or money order. Then must work at least 3 month otherwise we need to pay 80% of yr 1 month expected salary.”
  • “i am currently under contract with RE. One thing i can say is that this agency is delaying my pay. Supposed i shall receive by the end of April. But while my colleagues from other agencies got the pay, i am still like calling up the agency for my pay. Firstly, the first excuse they give me is the payroll officer is on leave”
  • “when i first graduated from junior college, waiting for my university to start, i tried job hunting to direct employers..but without prior work experience, i had to seek help from recruitment agencies in Singapore and my friend introduced RE.. i tot the service wasnt too bad as my agent improved on my resume, found me a suitable job. however, my friend who also got her job through RE happened to read the email that was sent from RE to her employer about the salary payment/transaction. temp/contract staff like me and my friends were paid $6/hour (the lucky ones got it at $7/hour), but in fact, according to the email correspondence between my friend’s employer and RE was that her salary is in fact $9/hour…meaning RE is ‘eating up’ $3/hour as agency fee..too ridiculous to me.”
  • “Strangely, didn’t have that bad experiences wit recruit express…”
  • “I’m a Senior HR professional wkg for various MNCs for about 8 years…Sad to say its true that many recruitment agencies in Singapore r substandard..u will realise that the better recruiters are caucasians notably aussies..they r courteous, professional and will always try to follow up if possible. My opinion is that the worst agency in Singapore is Recruit Express. The only reason they r doing well is they know how to provide good account management to companies but they show a different facet to candidates.”
  • “definitely on my “DO NOT GO” list… many agents behave in a childish & unprofessional manner; major turnoff”
  • “I again had a bad experience with a female consultant after 6 years at Recruit Express UOB Tower 1 56th floor last week. Please aware of this consultant as she use hard sell tactics to force candidates to take up jobs from her private clients. And here is her profile at LinkedIn :…cmpt%3Aprimary
  • Recruit Express is No. 1 on my ‘Worst’ list as well. Only contract you on the very last min and they screw up, telemarketing sale can become retailing sales!”
  • But they were voted best recruitment company leh.. I wonder how they manage to get it.. Ya, I agree, RE really wasting my time to go down fill up form and never reveal details, hide information until last min then tell you”
  • Had bad experience with recruit express also. All different agents from same or different branches will call you down to fill up forms over and over again. They have to understand that it is important not to waste candidate’s time.”
  • Mine RE branch is at the Ngee Ann City. I applied for the post of engineering asst offered by RE via the job portal. That was the first time I went down to Recruit Express and my experience with them was a pleasant one. I was kind of taken aback when I read through forums in jobscentral and hardwarezone to learn that many ppl have bad experiences with RE. I guess I was really very fortunate to come along a friendly and thoughtful consultant who can even goes as far as giving me additional tips/advices on getting through my second interview with their client successfully. “
  • Consultants let candidates make wasted trips to their office , cater only to candidates with high qualifications”

Adecco Singapore

  • “I have taken up numerous job assignments from Adecco and from my experience, I did not see a cut in my salary and neither did they require a fee for using their service.”
  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “I do have a personal friend who got a job through Adecco agency and very happy with her current job with good pay and no need to work long hours too.”
  • “Although they are my competitors, i must say that they do have a very good reputation and till now i’m impressed with their service.”
  • “I have good experience with Adecco. Few years back, I got a job with a US MNC through Adecco recommendation and my pay is the same as those who were recruited directly by the MNC”
  • “Adecco and Kelly Services not bad”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “The person who spoke to me is well-mannered and explained patiently to me”
  • “Adecco is much better.”


recruiters in singapore

Kelly Services

  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “I feel that Kelly Services is not a bad choice.”
  • “Kelly services seems quite reputable and reliable”
  • “Adecco and Kelly Services not bad”
  • “I’ve gotten a job (worked for an established logistic co.) before from Kelly Services. The consultant even came down to the my workplace to check up on my friend & i and also some of my other colleagues, who apparently gotten the job through KS too. Anyways, there weren’t any processing fees whatsoever but just the same ‘no termination within 3 months’ thingy.”
  • “Kelly Services for me. had a bad experience with them once.”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “Kelly Service didn’t give me good impression when their consultant called me, so i let them fly kite”
  • “Some weird agent asked me go to her office keep on calling my given name as my surname! told her not to release my CV unless she tell me what company she got pissed off and became very rude! I was like WTF!”

SG Recruiters

“Sgrecruitment is the worst”

JAC Recruiters Singapore

  • “I considered JAC recruitment as the best recruitment agency in Singapore thus far. They are sincere with their service, very professionally and ethical. Their business operation standard has far exceeded beyond other agencies that still use paper+pen for registration and have you to fill up few pages”
  • “JAC is good while recruit express is crap.”

Mullan Schwartz

“I have just get a job here in Singapore with Goldman Sachs but secured my position through a Hong Kong based search firm called Mullan Schwartz. They were very professional and concentrate on mainly the investment banking sector.”

Global Sage

“I also managed to secure a number of interviews through another firm called HK firm called Global Sage. The firm is staffed by people that really understand investment banking and who have great contacts in the market.”

Manpower Singapore

  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “Best experience with: manpower”
  • “For IT jobs, try Manpower Staffing. May not be the most responsive but definitely worth your time. Me & friends – all IT folks got our jobs from there. Consultants very friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. They fight for our salary as well.”
  • “In terms of more junior positions, they r one of the better agencies together with Randstad. No doubt about it. Everyone knows they r the master vendor for IBM. In other words, you wan a more credible agency you can use Manpower.”

Axis Manpower

“Axis Manpower is the worst agency”

Global Manpower Professionals (GMP) Group

  • “GMP is quite good too as there is CPF contribution from employer part too. I was working as temp IT position then. I seldom see CPF contribution from recruitment agency before for temp position, correct me if I am wrong.”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “remember a REALLY bad experience with GMP Recruitment Service. They turned their noses up at me and said I lacked drive and ambition and would remain a failure in life.”
  • Consultants with stuck up attitude , Look down on candidates with low qualifications”

Unilite Recruitment Services

“I called to enquire about a job before sending in my resume since it is stated in their ad that applicants can call for a confidential chat. Twice, I was rebuffed by an impatient lady who keep saying to send in my resume so that they can KIV my profile if there are no suitable openings. ”

Thomas J Consulting Services

“I went there for interview and the interviewer keep yawning during the interview and even handed me, not his, but another consultant’s namecard!”

Robert Walters Singapore

“This manager is also impatient. Did not want to talk too much to me and she rudely cut me off.”

TBC HR Consulting

  • TBC is commonly recognised as one of the worst recruitment agencies in Singapore.”
  • “Agree with you should forget about TBC. This company blacklisted by many candidates and companies. They last time always delay payment to their staff and promoters until a lot left.”
  • TBC is the worse of the worst recruitment agency. Beware of this TBC consultant, Dave! I’m not going to seek any jobs from TBC and neither am I going to recommend to anyone. “

Search Network

  • “Recruitment agencies in Singapore that charges a fee are purely BS, man! Search Network is another case.”
  • “Search Network are dishonest with payment of salary . You’ll always get $50++ lesser then your actual pay and when u call up the consultants to clarify . COINCIDENTALLY , they’re not there ALL THE TIME .”
  • “Search Network not bad. got my current job.”

Ace Recruiters

“1. I send in my resume on Monday, they called me on Tues morning and I was offered a job on Tues afternoon and went down to their office to sign the contract

  1. the staffs are very polite. Every call they make, they always start with “Hi, is this XXX? i am YYY from Ace Recruiters.” Everytime i call them, they will start with the standard greeting of “hi, XXX company, i am YYY”
  2. And while i was at their office signing the contract, they are really busy, keep making phone calls and doing job matches. i also listen to the way they speak, thus i know that they are not acting but really polite and very friendly as well.
  3. The staff also went through the contract with me in detail and was very patient with all sorts of questions that i asked (i still didn’t trust them 100% though) and they are very transparent in terms of how the money will be process, submission of timesheets etc. all these are explained clearly

the only thing is that they only have 3 staff, so they are really super busy. sometimes the staff might forget so you must take the initiative to check out details”

 Raffles Agency

“The Worst Recruitment Agency EVER in SINGAPORE is RAFFLES AGENCY..I hope Jobseekers never approach this agency..they will fix and change your CREDENTIALS”

BGC Group

  • “Not that bad, no tricks unlike RE”
  • “My worst experience so far is with BGC Group. I applied for one of their jobs through jobsite. One day later I got a phone call from them around noon but I didn’t pick up on time, I called back at 12.10 and was told to call back later as they were all out to lunch. At 2pm I called again and they were STILL all afk (wow 2 hour lunch!), the consultant on the line took my name then promised to ask around to see who called me, ofc there was no reply. 3 or so days later the same thing happened again, I noticed a missed call and called back, I gave the consultant who pick up my name and ask him to help to ask around regarding who called me, he tried to taichi me away but i insisted and then he put me on hold, and after that came back and then said that nobody called me. I want to work for BGC now. 2+ hour lunch + you can prank call jobseekers for fun!”
  • Worst Agency = BGC & TBC & RE. No calls back from BGC/TBC if u failed 1 of the client’s interview – no other lobang for u – Blacklisted !!”
  • TBC/BGC i think same company under 1 boss. If once you attend 1 of their’s client’s interview then if failed, they usually say will KIV ctc u if there anything. but they would throw yr resume aside in the bin and no more news from them. I dont know why both agency are like that.”
  • BGC not bad, looks very corporate. Depending on which office you go to. The one at One Raffles Place, offers alot of call centre jobs. The office at Former Hitachi Tower are more of perm & high positions.”


“They r one of the better recruitment agencies in Singapore together with Randstad.”


employment agencies in singapore

People Search Singapore

“Recruit Express and Peoplesearch are related. Peoplesearch is a sister company of a search firm called HR Net One. The owner of RE is the sibling of the owner of HR Net One. Thats why their philosophy and way of doing biz is similar”


  • “Ambition is a search firm which means they only handle positions above 4k normally. Yes their consultants are quite professional. But then search consultants normally are more experienced and professional”
  • “Recently got a job through Ambition. I think they specialize in operations in the finance industry. The consultant was quite good. Before the interview, he asked me down to his office to prep me for the interview and gave me more info of the hiring managers, which i found very useful. After that, he kept updating me with the results, so ya lor.. I think overall experience is good”

Career Central

Hi friends, I just want a add to the list of worst recruitment agencies in singapore. “CAREER CENTRAL” in tanjong pagar. Until you pay the money they ask, they will respond. Around 1000$ i paid. Later no respect or response they will provide. They will shout back if you ask for reason/clarifications. I dont know how people take others money just for granted shameless creatures. Just an eye wash thy will do. Arrange for a interview and for that they charged around 200$. same company same position they will send 100’s of people and say every one got selected.Then they say give 750$ for mom application procedures. knowingly your application will get rejected[Every one can do this by checking self assesment tool to check salary]they will tell it doesn’t matter and you will get selected with other criterias.They will apply for pass and say thats it we did our job, but you are not qualified. And no repaymet of money. It takes only 60$ for application even that they will get back if our application got rejected. But these people costed like hell..they know we wont be shouting back at them since we would have been in short term visit we will get back to our country and they can live happily. I know around 10 people paid the same in that week. Not even one got selected. I don know how many they will cheat for a month then surprised to think about year. They don understand how people suffer to earn that money. They will also suffer the same way getting cheated by others. Kind advice dont approach/trust and lose hope. Better not to approach this idiots so that atleast we will not feel cheated along with not having a job.”

TCC Group

  • I went to TCC hr to apply for hotel food server job part time, and they require $10 for TCC card, non refundable paid during job training wif employer. Is this reasonable? Also, I have to go to the agency to collect salary, is this standard practice?”
  • i tried TCC before but not on the retail nor F&B side, they also offer part time work at Marina Bay Sand Casino as well. so far experience quite good, if your working at casino, clothing and meals provided..etc salary wise is standard $7 per hour depending on where field your working”
  • Tcc also scam one. They do give some training but the actual job slots? Nothing.”

IT Force

“One more recruitment agency in Singapore to avoid at all cost. IT Force Pte Ltd. their only client is NCS and their big problem is they always late in salary payment. with reason that ncs takes time to pay them. once my salary was late for 2.5 months. Please avoid this agency at all cost.”

Recruit Plus

I would like to add RecruitPlus into the list of worst recruitment agencies in Singapore. I called them up to enquire about a position they have listed on JobsDB. The consultant, Christopher Lim, answered my call and did not even address himself. He spoke with a rather unpleasant/unfriendly tone as if everyone owes him the world. What made me unhappy was when he asked me what I wanted when clearly I told him I called to enquire about the position availability and more details of the job. None of the queries were answered, after which the call was disconnected abruptly. I called back immediately and questioned why the call was hung up. He responded saying that he was in the lift and did not even apologize. He went on asking what my expected and previous salary was and commented rudely after hearing my answer. His exact words were,”Huh! Why you want to change job, your pay so good, I suggest you stay in your current job.” I was literally speechless. He went on saying I don’t have the experience without even vetting through my resume. Totally un-professional! The best part is that I googled his Linkein account and found out he does not even have experience in this field. Really makes you wonder if the recruitment agency really has the capacity to actually help job seekers.”


  • “share with chiu my experience with xcellink.. went for interview last week and few days later was offered the job. went to their office to sign the LOA and they told me to do some xray before i start my job. supposed to start my job this week but when i called them, they said haven’t process my clearance etc. then few days later, call me again saying no longer have this job position. wtf? angry
  • “Consultants not serious and giggle during interview , let candidates make wasted trips to their office , stuck up attitude”
  • Had a very bad experience with Xcellink Pte Ltd named Jacqueline(Piony). Don’t even know what is she doing or reading.”

Advent Resource Consultancy

very rude when calling candidates on the phone , attitude problems , lecture candidates on the phone , hurried interview with candidates at their office , not sincere.”

Multiply Search

“Insisted got many job offers for me, when I asked to email me the job details or call me, he didn’t do it. But when I went down, nothing at all. Also, the person who talked to me wasn’t the one who contacted me.”


  • I would like to add “Hutranz” into one of the worst recruitment agency. As they requested me to provide a early termination from my previous company and promise me they will absorb the penalty, they didn’t give me the “black and white” as i keep asking for it. As they keep saying that they need time to produce the “black and white”, i worked for 2 weeks in an uneasy manner.

    During my payday, i didn’t receive my pay. When I called them, they mentioned that my pay is on hold for “various” reason. They were unable to provide me the “reason” as i asked them. I feel cheated therefore i quit as there is no guarantee that i will get my pay. As i asked them what is the proper procedure to leave the work, what is the notice, they told me 1 word – Why should I pay you? This word is told by “Director” of Huntranz, Suresh. I am furious and i have no way to go about it. Therefore I informed the place I worked for that i will just go and find another job. 

    And within 1 day, I received a “black and white” from them stating that they do not owe me any salary. A word to describe my situation: WTF??? Feeling sad and betrayed, I left the company without getting paid. Therefore hope that the people after reading this post, won’t encounter such issue like me anymore.”

Success Human Resources

Not sure if anyone tried Success Human Resources(peace centre).  I have been spamming my resumes all over, going for interviews to find a job I’d like. Gotten a call from a recruiter (J*nsen), been asked to head down for an interview with him before I went to their client for another interview, for all, which I went, and their client, a banking organization, accepted me. He told me that if i verbally accepted the job, it means that i have committed to the job, and anytime if i back out, i would have to pay a month salary for compensation. After that he told me to start work on Wednesday, then he called again to say they want me to start the following monday instead, and that he will call me back to confirm with me. Of course that didnt happen, and I have to call him for the updates. Then finally he told me that the hiring manager decided to freeze the position. In this process, I rejected 4-5 jobs. 

From then on, he didnt really wanna give an F about me. He’s not even guilty of this. I got so pissed off that I scolded him and ask him to delete my profile from their data base.”

Rcube Vital Consultancy

“But I have recently tried a new recruitment agency and had a not bad experience with them as the staff are polite and friendly, they feel sincere enough to me. Donno if anyone here heard of them before: Rcube Vital Consultancy.”

Applied job with them before, didn’t get selected tho but their staff quite friendly compared to the others…”

Use Twitter To Find Recruiters & Develop Rewarding Relationships With Them


Believe it or not, Twitter can help you launch that perfect career, and savvy professionals know the benefits of  investing in long-term relationships online.

Recruiters and employment agencies, from around the world, use Twitter to broadcast ideas, updates and jobs in real-time. They are also there waiting, for you to connect with them and promote yourself, through online interactions. This article, will help you get started, and get tweeting, with the recruitment agencies who are already using Twitter.

What is Twitter?

You can quickly learn the basics of Twitter, by visiting Twitter and also by seeing their glossary. Once there you can create your own profile, and start exchanging tweets with other Twitter ‘followers’. The principal behind Twitter, as a simple, yet progressive social media platform is that brief concepts, breaking-news, public messages, or even random daydreams, can be publicly distributed instantly, in real-time.

Twitter messages, are called ‘tweets’ and are always restricted to 140 characters. If a tweet includes an image or a website address, the link is displayed in a shortened form, to maintain the condensed quality of the message. A tweet can simply be text without a link, or it could include the title of a news report or blog, that is published elsewhere on the web, and the accompanying link will take you to it.

When you create a Twitter profile, you get to display a small image and write a brief bio about yourself. You can follow other people from all around the world, which means you will receive all of the tweets they post in the form of a ‘feed’. Once you start following a number of other tweeters, your Twitter feed will be an active hub of ideas and information. The tweets of the people you are following, will appear in front of you, in real-time.

You can follow people you know well, your friends, family and colleagues, however the charm of Twitter is that it is socially accepted for you to follow people you’ve never met, or have little in common with. In fact, it is actually expected that you will do this.

Following recruiters on Twitter

If you join Twitter, you can start to follow employment agencies, companies you’d like to work for, and other people who may be the pathway to your earning a perfect job. Twitter is an online social networking tool, and Twitter profiles are created by both individuals and businesses. If you follow a recruiter’s profile on Twitter, you will receive instant updates about new information/jobs that they post, and you will also have the opportunity to forge a meaningful and memorable relationship with that recruiter, through your Twitter interactions.

Finding the right recruiters on Twitter

Before you start following recruiters, the first thing you need to do, is consider the type of job you would like to get. While you may just be browsing, or open to new opportunities in general, understanding and specifying your own career goals, will help narrow your search for relevant people/companies on Twitter.

Geographical location: As an example, if you are located in Hong Kong, and you want to be employed within that region, you should be seeking recruiters on Twitter that are based within Hong Kong or Asia. There are many world-wide recruitment agencies, however ensure that they actually cover the region you are seeking to work in.

Many large agencies will have a geographical focus, and at the same time, there are many niche agencies who only post jobs within a certain city, town or state. The more specific the recruiter to your needs, the more beneficial they can be for you, and the more meaningful your relationship will be with them.

Professional specialisation: Besides location, many recruiters specialise in a particular industry or profession. Consider the area you want to work in, what you are good at, and what you can offer a potential employer. Start searching for recruiters who specialise in your field, so you know the jobs they post will be relevant to you and your credentials. You can still be broad, yet intelligent with your choices. If you are a graphic designer, as an example, you may still find benefit from following web design, illustration, IT and general creative services recruiters. The whole idea, is that you are developing connections with, and following the tweets of individuals and organisations, who can assist you in furthering your career.

Searching for recruiters

Some of the strategies you can use to find recruiters include searching for industries, locations, and keywords such as ‘employment’, ‘jobs’ and ‘careers’. Also, make use of the Twitter hash tag (#) to narrow down your search further. Use the Twitter Advanced Search function for this. Recruiters also like to follow each other, so check out their lists. Who are they following? Who is following them? If you find a suitable recruiter elsewhere online, locate their Twitter details, and start following them also.

Interacting with recruiters on Twitter

Once you’ve started following suitable recruiters, you can do more than wait for a suitable job to be posted. Twitter is a social media platform, and as there are real people behind the tweets in recruiter’s Twitter profiles, you should make the most of interacting with them, and leaving a good impression.

Twitter gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in the recruitment process. This does not mean you need to be pushy or force yourself on the recruiters. It is certainly not recommended that you instantly and publicly announce your job search, and eager attitude to the recruiters over Twitter. A strong sense of desperation won’t work in your favour, and you could easily be disregarded as quickly as you signed up to your account.

Be present. Be helpful. Be genuine.

You can interact with recruiters on Twitter by re-tweeting their job postings, which is offering your assistance to both them, and your other colleagues who might receive them.  You will create an impression of being a socially-connected person, who is willing to help, and is aware of the world around them. You can re-tweet any of their public announcements, especially those that you’ve chosen not to apply for yourself. Also, allow yourself to make professional conversation, especially if one of their tweets is inviting a social response.

Ensure that your own profile is professionally presented, with an accurate and informative bio and an impressive photo. Tweet your insight on your industry/function and relevant articles you come across. If and when recruiters follow you back, they will be able to view all of your tweets themselves.

Further the relationship away from Twitter

Once you have been interacting on Twitter for a while, consider adding recruiters on your other social media profiles, including Facebook or LinkedIn. When you send them a request to connect, remind them that you’ve been following each other on Twitter, and you’d like to further the relationship via a new platform.

Most importantly, remember that the perfect job for you, may not arrive within a day or a week, however the long-term relationships that you develop with recruiters over Twitter, could mean you land that perfect job, and reap the rewards of a new career, somewhere down the line.

8 Tips For Working Well With Recruitment Agencies

Firms that hire recruitment agencies do so because they don’t’ want to expend the time necessary to identify and screen viable candidates. For these firms the opportunity cost in terms of lost productivity when sourcing candidates more than outweighs the real costs associated in paying the fees of recruiters.

As a job seeker, there are real benefits to working with a recruitment agency, perhaps most importantly that can market your candidacy to potential employers and negotiate offers on your behalf.

Here are 8 tips to foster a successful relationship with recruitment agencies

1.      Set realistic expectations. First and foremost is to understand that recruiters are not working on behalf candidates but for the client companies who pay their fees.  Agency recruiters primarily work on a contingency basis meaning that they don’t ’get paid until they make a successful placement, typically evidenced by the new employee remaining on the job for 90 days. Recruiters typically a commission of between 15 to 30 percent of the candidate’s first year salary.

Because recruitment agencies must screen candidates carefully and time literally is money in the recruitment industry, it is not possible to respond to every candidate who applies but only to those who most closely match the needs of the vacancy. This is not only because professional recruiters are short on time and don’t want to bombard clients with candidate résumés, but also because they realize that their fee is tied into retention so want to ensure that the placement is a good match on each end.  Toward this end, you can expect that the recruiter will ask questions to determine you fit in terms of skills set, past experience, credit history, criminal background (if any) and work style preferences.

2.    Contacting Recruiters. If you are responding to a job ad posted by a recruiter, be sure to use his or her name in the salutation of your cover letter (if provided) or call the employment agency to determine who submitted the posting. Ensure that your cover letter speaks to that opportunity directly rather than sending a generic letter. In the letter, discuss how your background, skills and accomplishments can ensure your success in the role. If you are cold calling an agency, prepare a short script beforehand which includes your 30 second “elevator pitch” a statement of who you are, your current job title, and the type of job you seek. Get to the point quickly as recruiters are typically busy people who won’t be able to spend large amount of time on the phone.

3.   Partner with recruiters.  Viewing recruitment agencies as your partners in the job search process will go a long way toward ensuring a successful job search. Be open about any skeletons in your professional closet, such as termination from a prior job, poor credit and so on. Having any of these does not mean a recruiter will not work with you. On the contrary, the recruiter will often offer advice on how best to present such a background to potential employers. They will also know not to refer you to certain types of positions, where they are aware of the client being extra-sensitive.

Return phone calls and email from your recruiter promptly to show respect. This is especially important when you are engaged in job offer negotiations. There are instances in which a job offer has been rescinded because the candidate took too long to respond indicating lack of interest.

You should also provide feedback to the recruiter after each interview and indicate whether you continue to have interest in the job. In this way the recruiter can approach the employer on your behalf or refer you to other opportunities.

4.   Discuss your job priorities. Before actively engaging in a job search you should take an inventory of your priorities with regard to a new job. This can be salary, career advancement, schedule, location, benefits, etc.  Communicate these priorities honestly so that the recruiter will target only those opportunities that closely match your needs.

5.   Be flexible. Having set your priorities, try to also remain flexible as not every job will be a perfect match in all regards. For example, if the job offers room for advancement, tuition reimbursement, along with fully paid for health coverage but the salary is somewhat lower than your range, carefully consider whether the other features make up for this shortfall.  In itself, full healthcare coverage can easily add $400 or more to your pocket.

6.   Remain open to suggestions.  One of a recruiter’s pet peeves is to make suggestions based on what they know of their client company and job priorities only to have candidates try to argue the point and insist on doing things their way. Employment agencies have long experience counselling candidates with regard to resume preparation, interview techniques, what the company considers an ideal candidate, as well company culture. Be open to their suggestions as they will help strengthen your candidacy.

7.   Be proactive.  Recognize that recruiters are likely working on multiple job orders at any one time, each falling along a different point of the continuum. Due to this workload they may not be able to return your calls as quickly as you would like. However, there is nothing wrong with initiating a phone call or email to follow-up and indicate your continuing interest in one job, or availability to continue interviewing. Most recruiters value follow-up since it provides evidence of your interest. However, placement is the name of the game. If recruiters don’t have a job which matches your skills and interests, they will likely not spend much time speaking with you, preferring to concentrate on candidates who do match the criteria of their job orders.

8.   Work with multiple recruiters. Just as recruiters may be working with multiple candidates for any one job order, so should job seekers work with several recruitment agencies. This can help you gain greater exposure to the job market as not all recruiters have access to the same job orders. However, if you have applied to one company that a second recruiter also has the job order for, be honest about already having interviewed. If you fail to do this, you will leave a poor impression with both the recruiter and client company giving each the impression that you are trying to “back door” your way in.

9 Steps Explaining Everything A Recruiter Does


The work of a recruiter can be confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the industry.  The primary duty of a recruitment agency is to match job candidates with available vacancies.

Most agency recruiters work on a contigency basis, meaning that they only collect a fee when they place a candidate with their client company.  However, typically the candidate must stay with the company 90 days before the recruiter can collect this fee. Many contingency recruiters work a “full desk” meaning that they perform both candidate sourcing as well as business development to obtain new clients. In some agencies, this work is split between recruiters who work exclusively with candidates and account managers who perform business development.

In contrast to a contingency recruiter, retained recruiters work in executive search and, as their title suggests, they are hired exclusively by the client company to search for a management-level candidates. Fees are paid upfront and are not dependent on successful placement.

Because the majority of placements are made on a contingency basis, this article will focus on the work of these recruiters. To do this we will go through the entire process that a recruiter uses when given a job order by a client company.

  1. Once given a job order the recruiter will call the hiring manager and ask about job specifics; i.e. job duties, job title, who the position reports to, salary range, start date.  The recruiter may ask the hiring manager to divide job duties into “essential” and “preferred” skills.  Essential skills may include knowledge of certain computer software (e.g. MSWord, Excel, etc.) and professional certifications. Preferred skills might be specific industry experience or  second language fluency.
  2. Once the recruiter has the parameters of the position, s/he will then peruse major and niche job boards for resumes of viable candidates. With the rise of social media, many recruiters are also perusing profiles on such sites as Facebook and LinkedIn. Here we can note the difference between active job seekers and “passive” candidates.  Active job seekers are those who are posting their résumés to job boards and openly mentioning their job search in discussion groups on social media sites.  Passive candidates are not actively engaged in job search but open to discussing new opportunities. Passive candidates are identified by perusing social media profiles, especially those on LinkedIn.
  3. Once recruiters identify possible candidates, they contact these individuals to arrange a telephone pre-screening interview. This interview will differ depending on whether they are speaking with active or passive candidates. With an active job seeker, the recruiter will ask about the type of position the candidate is seeking, their priorities with regard to job search (e.g. salary, career advancement, schedule flexibility), and why they are leaving their current position. They will also discuss the opportunity in terms of essential vs. preferred skill set but, at this juncture, will likely not provide the name of the client company. With passive candidates, recruiters will mostly speak about the opportunity in terms of essential versus preferred skill set and provide some background on the client company (e.g. industry) but will likely not disclose its name. The recruiter will also ask what the criteria of a new job would have to be for the passive candidate to show interest although, in most cases, this will be higher salary and career advancement.
  4. Once the recruiter has identified about 7-10 viable candidates who have shown interest in the positions/he will then invite them for an in-person interview at the agency office. This interview will review the candidate’s background in terms of work experience, education career goals, reasons for leaving past employment, credit history, and criminal background. Candidates may also be given skills and personality tests if these are requirement of the client company.  Do not be put off by all these questions as they are simply meant to help the recruiter make a best match between job vacancies and candidates. Remember that retention is the name of the game and that the recruiter will not get their fee unless the candidate remains on the job for 90 days.
  5. Once the recruiter has identified 5-7 strong candidates, s/he will send this list to the hiring manager who will then review résumés and the recruiter’s notes and select those candidates he or she wishes to interview.
  6. The recruiter will then coordinate interviews with selected candidates and may coach candidates with regard to interview technique, as well as company culture. Most recruiters will ask that candidates call after the interview to review their performance and whether they continue to have interest in the position.
  7. The recruiter will then follow-up with the hiring manager to discuss each candidate’s performance and whether a hiring decision has been reached. If the hiring manager does not wish to hire any of the candidates, the recruiter will try to clarify where the candidates fell short and renew the search with this updated criteria. If the hiring manager does wish to hire one of the candidates, the recruiter will discuss all aspects of the offer and present it to the candidate.
  8. In many cases, the candidate rejects this initial offer (usually due to salary) and the recruiter will then act as negotiator between the parties For example if the offer is $35,000 but the candidate wants $41,000 ( a difference of $6,000) the recruiter may try to split this difference by asking the company to raise the salary by $3,000 and the candidate to drop their requirement by the same amount thereby “meeting in the middle” at $38,000.
  9. Once an offer has been accepted, the recruiter then notifies the candidate regarding start date. Once the candidates has remained on the job for 90 days (or similar time frame) the recruiter can collect the fee which is typically in the range of 20 to 30 percent of first year salary.

It should be noted that the work of recruiters falls along a continuum and that it is most often the case that they have several job orders they are working on at the same time, each one falling at a different point along the continuum. For example, while negotiating a job offer on behalf of one candidate, a recruiter may be perusing social medial profiles to identify passive candidates for another job order. For those recruiters running a full desk, they will also be cold calling client companies trying to obtain new business for the company.

Recruiters Get Down and Dirty With the Help of Social Media

The time-honored practice of interviewing job candidates is all very well in terms of assessing individuals’ qualifications, skills and abilities, and it can also be a useful way to get a glimpse at the personalities of prospective new hires.  If you were looking to take on a new employee though, wouldn’t you just love to get down and dirty and find out what your candidates are really like when they’re not on their best behavior?  Actually, that’s precisely what the majority of recruiters are doing already with the help of the social media sites that are so popular today.

What originally started off as a great new way to reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with current ones and make a whole host of new contacts has burgeoned into one of the favourite methods of communication for literally hundreds of millions of people around the world.  Facebook alone has more than 750 million active users, half of whom log into the site on any given day.  For recruiters, social media sites such as this have turned out to provide a unique opportunity to take a sneaky peak into the “secret” lives of their prospective new hires, but what they are finding isn’t always to their liking.

For many users, sites such as Facebook are like windows to their souls.  Everything from the education and work details, activities and interests and personal philosophies which appear on their profiles, to the status updates that they post to their walls, all help to build up a picture of who they are as individuals.  In the eyes of recruiters, their photos, meanwhile, often act as categorical proof of how they choose to live their lives when they are not “pretending” to be hard-working, responsible members of society, and boy can some of them tell a story!

Although sites such as LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking site, tend to attract more formal content, where many job seekers come unstuck with Facebook, Twitter and the like is in viewing them as casual environments which could be of no possible interest to prospective employers.  Little do they think, therefore, of the potential damage that they do to their job prospects each time they (or one of their friends) post a photo in which the red-eye has nothing to do with the camera flash or the two-fingered salute definitely isn’t the symbol for peace, when they “Like” the page for Cannabis, when they describe their “messy” nights out on their profile updates or when they change their username to John ‘Junky’ Smith.

Nowadays, it’s not only recruiters themselves who are looking for dirt on their job candidates.  Whole businesses are springing up which offer to screen social media posts on behalf of employers, and these companies don’t just look at what candidates themselves are posting online, but also at who their friends are and what other people are saying about them.  In fact, not all are even restricted to checking out potential hires.  Some provide their services in relation to existing employees, and if that sounds like an infringement of some kind of personal right, then think again because when you post something online, you effectively put it in the public domain where anyone has the right to access it.

Today’s job market is a tough one and even those job seekers who have squeaky clean images are in many cases struggling to find work.  If you do nothing else today, therefore, sit down at your computer, run your name through as many search engines as you can think of and go through all of your social media profiles to check that whatever can be seen by recruiters presents you in a professional light.  If there is anything that is likely to cause raised eyebrows, then delete it, or at the very least ensure that your privacy settings only make your content visible to your online friends.  Don’t forget though, that if, for example, you are tagged in an embarrassing photo in a friend’s album, if that friend’s profile is open for the world to see, a recruiter can still find it.  If that doesn’t sound very likely, then consider a situation where that friend has recommended you for a position.  If the recruiter can’t see your profile, he or she might very well choose to check you out via your friend’s account instead.

Social media sites can be incredibly useful personal communication tools and they can also be a lot of fun.  For job seekers they can even represent a superb way to market their personal brands to prospective employers.  Just remember though, that it’s up to you to control what others can see, so if you want to make the best possible impression, be sure to clean up your social media act now!

With employment agencies it’s all about timing and background

I often hear complaints that employment agencies are rude, unresponsive and do not revert with matching jobs after an individual has sent them a resume.

How friendly employment agencies are when you get in touch with them, depends on two things – 1) Timing 2) Background.

Two important considerations when dealing with agencies

1) Timing

A recruiter’s work is often very immediate and transactional.  When you contact them, if they have clients who are looking for people with your profile, then recruiters/employment agencies will show interest in you. If, at that point in time, they do not have job openings for which you are a close match, then it is likely that they will ignore you. A popular belief is that employment agencies will hold on to your profile, look for jobs that suit your preferences and get in touch when relevant openings emerge. While this is true in some cases, many of the times if there are no immediate openings for you, then your resume will simply get lost amongst the hundreds a recruiter has in their files/system.

2) Background

If your work/educational background is very impressive, then the case might be different. Even if the recruiter does not have immediate job openings for you, they might still proactively market you to their corporate clients. Also, the chances that they keep your resume/profile on their ‘watch-list’ are higher. This is because they know that organisations are always on the lookout for good quality people and might hire you, even if there is no urgent need.  Another situation where this might happen, is if your background closely matches the type of jobs from which they derive a vast majority of their revenue.

So the next time you don’t receive the response you expect from employment agencies, don’t take it personally. Follow-up with them later and/or contact the next recruiter on your list and at some point your timing/background will be just right.

Employment Agencies find people for jobs, not jobs for people

This is probably the best piece of advice I can provide, to help you understand how to deal with employment agencies -> Employment Agencies in find people for jobs, not jobs for people

In other words – an employment agency is hired by companies, to find people for specific jobs. They are not in business to help you find a job and you are not their client.

So when getting in touch with agencies as part of your job search, make sure you state your interest for positions which are a very good match for your past experience/education. That will help you get more success from your dealings with a job agency.

It is also good to remember that relationships are important  – People help people they like and know. Therefore, I would  suggest calling an employment agency, after you have sent them your resume. The purpose of the call is to start developing a relationship with them and to get on their radar. Ask them when is a good time for you to explain your candidacy in more detail and let them know why you are well suited for particular roles you are applying to. In conversations with people, I often hear that employment agencies are rude, never call back, cancel/delay meetings and so on. Sure, some might be like that but not all. So I would still recommend getting in touch with them because you will have success with a few and they can be a good ally during your job search.

Have had positive/negative experiences with employment agencies? Do leave a comment with information about what you faced and which agencies to approach/avoid.