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How do you determine the legitimacy of a Recruitment Agency?

Looking for a job can be quite the task, as any job seeker will tell you.  Seeking the services of a professional recruitment agency is one of the best ways to cut down on your time and stress, and to ensure that your CV lands on the right desk. But how do you know which agency to trust?   It is vital to confirm that you will be using a reputable company, to ensure that you find the right job as quickly as possible.

Ask the right questions, check the processes, review their online behaviour; and you’ll be on the right track to identify your ideal agency.

The right questions:

Before signing up with an agency; do your homework and be sure to ask them some important questions.

Ask the agency:

  • Have you placed any previous candidates with your client?
  • Tell me more about the company? How would you describe the culture of the company and what are the benefits of this position? What is the growth potential of this role?   These questions will determine whether the agent has real knowledge of the company and its’ structures.
  • Please tell me more about the position? Listen out for any technical insights from the recruiter.
  • How long has the agency been operating? Be sure to confirm this information online.

If they can’t answer these questions or seem unsure, it’s likely to be a scam. A legitimate agency would have invested time and effort into the recruitment process and would be able to answer all your questions.

It can also be useful to ask friends for recommendations of agencies where they had positive placement experiences.

Does the agency follow the correct and ethical process?

Watch out for any potential red flags. Any agency that demands money is an immediate warning sign. Job seekers may not be asked to pay the agency, as this is illegal.

Read the full terms and conditions– no contract may require that you pay back a placement fee.

Did they ask to meet with you in person or only ask for your CV?  A professional agency will always prefer to meet with you in person.

Did the agency ask you for support documents to verify your CV information? A trustworthy agency will always do their research to ascertain whether a candidate has been honest on their CV.

Do they have a professional office, or did the agent suggest a quick telephone call or a coffee meeting in a mall?

How much did the agent understand of your technical expertise? Do they know what you do for a living?

Did the agent offer any strategic input or career advice?

Did the agent conduct a proper in-depth hour-long competency-based interview or merely a brief 2-5 min telephonic screening with you? Short, thoughtless interviews are a clear indication of an untrustworthy agency.

Did you receive prompt and efficient feedback?

By conducting proper research and taking note of the essential things, you will be able to ensure that you are working with a reputable placement agency; providing a worthy investment of your time and effort, safeguarding your personal information and improving your chances of finding employment.

If you want to go one step further, check whether the company has registered with the Department of Labour. All recruitment agencies are legally required to register themselves as a Private Employment Agency with the Department of Labour.

Let Professional Sourcing handle your sourcing needs, ensuring a fair and equal workplace. 

Professional Sourcing has a strong reputation for highly developed recruitment expertise within our specialisation areas. We develop strong long-term relationships with our loyal clients and bluechip employers. Allow us to help you deal with your frustrations of a lengthy hiring process.

Professional Sourcing is a top-tier South African-based recruitment agency operating internationally, IPM accredited, LEVEL 2 BEE RATED and 51% Black Owned.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector. -- Patricia Koekemoer

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