From a consultant's perspective, there's little to lose (and much to gain) when working with recruitment agencies. First, the cost is zero. There's no financial obligation when you work with a recruiting agency; they work with you and on behalf of the companies they help staff.
But you probably knew this already. There are some things, though, that many people don't realize about recruitment agencies. If you're considering interim or project-focused consulting, check out four little-known facts about these firms:
1. Different names, same function
And the names can be confusing. Whether you call them recruitment agencies, headhunters, recruiters, employment agencies or staffing firms, the terms, for practical purposes, can be considered virtually synonymous. All these sources fulfil the same basic function: They find job candidates for client firms for a fee. And remember, it's the client who pays the fee; you pay nothing.
2. Not just full-time staffing
Many people think of recruitment agencies as full-time placement services. But that's not always the case. As the benefits of flexible staffing become more and more visible to companies, recruitment agencies' placement of interim and project-based professionals has increased. A firm may focus on hiring interim consultants, for example, to help with large projects such as ERP implementations or compliance initiatives. Consultants bring specialized skills to the table while allowing the company to avoid the long-term salary and benefits obligations of a full-time hire.
3. Opportunities for growth
Because recruitment agencies that place senior-level accounting and finance talent are made strong by their candidates, many offer resources that help make consultants more marketable. This may include free e-learning and opportunities to enroll in professional development seminars and courses.
4. Huge networks cast huge nets
Why work with an agency rather than go it alone? Recruitment agencies have massive networks and connections with businesses looking for specialized talent. Some companies might not even publicize their hiring needs, except through the recruitment agencies they work with. These agencies also work with companies of nearly every size across a number of industries and employment levels – from entry to C-suite – making the job or project hunt easier, targeted and smart.
Additionally, many recruitment agencies have networks that extend across the province, across the country or even across the world. A large recruitment firm is likely to have multiple offices. Working with an agency that has a wide reach can have a positive impact on you, as the agency can work within their network to identify opportunities in other locations, if you are interested.
For finance and accounting professionals seeking a change in employment, whether full time or project, recruiting agencies have the tools and networks that can make the search fruitful.