The Experts Corner

Thinking about sending a job application directly to an employer or via a recruitment agent

Recruitment agencies or applying directly with employers?

Recruitment agencies or applying directly with employers? If you are an individual and you’re looking for a job you have two options to find your next adventure:

  1. applying for a job directly with an employer through their corporate website or,
  2. have one or multiple recruitment agencies to help you with your career move.

Each option has it’s own advantages and disadvantages and we listed them here based on our unbiased opinion.

Sending your job application directly to employers

Pros

  • When an employer is processing your application they might be considering additional fees. These need to be paid to the recruitment agency if you are applying through one. They are mostly considered if your salary expectations are on the high side. Recruitment agencies usually charge a fee which is equivalent to a percentage of the gross annual salary. This fee can easily go up to a few thousands of euro. If you end up head to head with other candidates who have a similar profile as you, applying directly with the employer may be giving you some advantage points. You may be saving the employer from recruitment fees.
  • It may be quicker to get the application through since there’s no middle-man. Recruitment agencies may be receiving a lot of applications and some good time may pass until they reach out to you, have introductory initial calls, and send out your application. Sending your application directly to companies may put you in front of other candidates. This may happen if the employer needs to close off the role urgently.
  • Employers tend to give priority to interviewing candidates who are coming through an internal recommendation. Check your LinkedIn connections and see if you know anyone. If you do, ask them why they like working for their employer. If you like what you hear ask them what the referral process is and proceed with the application accordingly. It’s a win-win-win!

Cons

  • It’s not easy to find a place where you can see all jobs from the top employers in one place. Yojobs.com solves this by listing ALL the jobs from the employers and not just a few. As soon as jobs are removed from the employers’ sites they are also removed from our portal. This way you can rest assured that you are always dealing with an up-to-date list of jobs. Before yojobs.com was around you had to know what companies to look for, visit their sites individually, and re-visit every so often to see if they have new jobs or removed the one that you applied for. Imagine doing all that yourself! Ready to start your search?
  • Quite often you end up sending an application but receiving no feedback from an employer. This may happen due to many reasons but unfortunately it happens!
  • You applied for a job, went through the interview process and the employer sent you a job offer. Well done! But now you are facing the big question… should I negotiate the offer or not? In this case a recruitment agency can make it so much easier by guiding you accordingly. The agency knows the current situation of the company much better which may lead to you earning a few extra bucks.
  • When dealing directly with an employer there is no-one to guide you. Unless you know someone working for the same company who may have some information (and assuming that they can share it with you). A good recruitment agency give you constructive feedback. They tell you if the job suits your skills, matches your career aspirations, and whether the salary budgets available match your expectations.
  • Going through company website may prove to be time consuming. Sending many cover letters and applications to multiple companies means dealing with multiple systems and processes. When applying through a recruitment agency you will be bypassing such processes while having access to more employers.

Using recruitment agencies

Pros

  • When working with a good recruitment agency they can help you with running a tailored job search. A skilled recruitment consultant will know what jobs are available at their clients and more specifically, jobs that match your skills.
  • Consider to meetings with the recruitment agency as an opportunity to improve your interview skills. They can give you feedback, help you with improving your CV, highlight areas that may need improvement, and also pick the specific skills that you need to promote with a potential employer. Don’t forget that the chances are that they know more about the company than you do.
  • Sending your CV to multiple company may be easy but managing each application process may get a bit tricky. Keeping track of the status of each application and knowing which ones to follow becomes hard and somewhat a tedious exercise. When working with a recruitment agency you are using a centralized and structured system for managing your applications through a single point of contact.
  • Let’s say that a recruitment agent helped you find a job and the employment contract is signed. It does not end there. Now that you have built a good relationship with the agency they will be more than happy to help again once you are ready to make your next career move. Some roles, such as those in HR, may also create opportunities to work with the recruitment agency as a client.

Cons

  • Once you send an application directly to an employer you will not be able to continue the same application process through the recruitment agency. So just be careful that any applications you sent directly to employers do not clash with those from the recruitment agency.
  • The fact that recruitment agents charge a fee to the employee is there but don’t let this be a showstopper for not working with recruitment agencies. The employers have decided to use their services which means that they are ready to pay for them.
  • There are many recruitment agencies out there and there are quite a few good ones as well (here’s a list of agencies, in the future we will be writing a review about recruitment agencies in Malta). Ultimately it depends on the recruitment consultant that you are working with. Speak to your friends, and get recommendations on consultants who are persistent and known to help candidates all the way through the process. The best agencies will have internal management systems and processes that help with the continuation of job applications. You don’t want to end up in a situation were your application process stops because the recruitment agent went on holiday or no longer works with the company.

Conclusion

Finding the right balance between direct applications through recommendations and recruitment agencies would be the best option. We’ve compiled a list of recruitment agencies on this site but you can also have a look at jobs that employers are offering here. Do your research, prepare yourself, and get ready to receive feedback to improve your chances of finding the right fit!

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