by Torski Dobson-Arnold
Dear Career Coach,
I was recently downsized from a company and have been reaching out to staffing agencies to help introduce me to new job leads quickly. I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and almost four years of work experience in account payable and accounts receivable. Even though I have contacted almost every staffing and placement firm in town, I haven’t been called in for even a short-term placement. Am I doing something wrong? When I didn’t need a job, the recruiter called me almost once a month to share a “new opportunity” with me. What’s the deal?
Qualified & Unemployed
Whether you’re looking to get job leads through a staffing/placement agency or on your own, the fact remains that we are currently in an “employer’s market.” The pendulum has shifted and the law of supply and demand allows companies to move more methodically and purposely in their search for new talent. When a placement firm receives an order to fill, they are usually competing with other agencies to find that “perfect candidate” for the company. The firm that finds the best candidate wins. You can actually be that best candidate, so let me share with you some strategies to stand out and create a win-win situation for you and the agency.
1. Agencies get hundreds of resumes a day from job seekers and they do not have the time to critique or rewrite them. Present yourself polished and ready-to-go by having your resume professionally written to highlight your key skills and abilities.
2. Be specific about the types of opportunities you are willing and able to pursue. There may be jobs that are temporary and allow you to continue to job search. There are temporary-to-permanent jobs, where you work temporarily usually 60-90 days, with the option to get on permanently with the company. Finally, there may be a direct placement option. This is where the agency finds a job seeker and the company hires that job seeker directly. In this case, the agency is paid a finder’s fee. The more you know about what you are willing and not willing to commit to, the easier it is for staffing agencies and placement firms to work with you.
3. If you are not the best fit for an opportunity, refer a friend or colleague. If you can make the recruiter’s job easier, he or she will be more likely to work with you. This is a great way to do something kind and beneficial for someone else.
Working with staffing agencies and placement firms can be a very rewarding experience if you understand how to make it work for you. Whatever you do, don’t give up and keep all of your options open. Your ideal opportunity is right around the bend.
Wishing you nothing but success in your career endeavors,
Torski Dobson-Arnold, The Career Confidence Coach