Do Employment agencies work for or against you?

As a marketer, I “quantify” and analyze everything that I do. This includes things in my own personal life. I suppose in some ways it helps me to make sense of the world around me.

In my recent quest to find a full-time job, a very disturbing pattern emerged and I am baffled by the results. It has made me question whether or not employment agencies are a good idea?

You be the judge.

After taking a number of resume and career coaching sessions, I am assured that my resume (both online and in print) is as close to or as professional as it needs to be. I do understand that there are limitations to getting the job itself, such as age, distance, and language. Yet, the jobs that I applied for certainly fell into what should have been “an easy door,” for me.

Let’s look at the numbers.

  • I sent out a total of 165 resumes over a two month period.
  • Of the 165, almost 80% of them went to various headhunters and employment agencies. 
  • The remaining 20%  went directly to employers and/or jobs suggested by friends and family.

The call backs that I received are as follows:

  • I got one call from a headhunter. She interviewed me on the phone and said, other than the fact that you do not speak French for this particular position – I would hire you. I spoke to her for over an hour and she said, I will definitely call you back. She never returned the call. It only stands to reason that she must have other positions to fill even if the language issue was a problem for this particular job?  At the very least, she should have asked me to come in and talk to her if she felt that an hour interview over the phone was worth her time.  
  • From the direct submissions, I received four interviews and was offered a position by three of them, which I turned down. I received a special call back from the other employer telling me that they would like to keep my file close by just in case another position became available and that the final decision was literally between me and one other person. I eventually went to work for them. 

How can the numbers be accurate?

They don’t measure up.  Technically, it means that there is something very wrong here. In fact, based on the numbers of the call backs that I got from direct employers, I should have had a high call back rate.

After further examination, it became apparent to me that employment agencies are not helping but hindering people from gaining employment, in my opinion, because:

  1. They create a huge bank of resumes that they never intend to use just so they can appear to employers that they have a large candidate base.
  2. They have a select number of employees that they want to send to employers and this creates a block for other people applying.
  3. 3.They are simply not that good at their job and do not understand the industry that they are seeking candidates for.

It is time for employment agencies to be held accountable for helping get people back to work. Anyone can create an employment agency, only a few can truly deliver.  Be wise and choose carefully because online job sites make money just for people to log on to them. If you are going to make them money, they should have to provide you results in return.  




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