Following on from our last blog article regarding How to work effectively with recruitment agencies, we arranged to discuss this with James Peters, the Founder and Director of recruitment agency JustRecruit. James kindly provided us an insight into recruitment agencies and how you should approach them when looking for your next career move. See our interview with him below.
Can you tell me a little about your career to date and why recruitment?
I have been in and around small businesses most of my career, I started my own Advertising business when I was 22, and then moved on to work for an inspiring entrepreneur to learn from him. We built a payroll company aimed at Recruitment Companies and their temps; before helping to run various small businesses including Private Hire Taxi’s and a Skip Hire company. I then decided to move into Recruitment for a new challenge a few years back and have not looked back since.
What made you decide to establish your own recruitment agency?
Having worked in the industry for a few years I became disillusioned at the level of service being offered to clients (the employers), where it was all about quick wins and getting invoices out. I felt that there was a better way to do things by only putting candidates forward that suit the client’s requirements in terms of skills, qualifications, mindset and attitude.
What service does JustRecruit offer employers?
80% of our clients are small businesses or charities; therefore we offer an affordable recruitment solution to companies. Our passion is helping small and medium sized businesses, find people who have the mindset and temperament to succeed in that environment. We recruit mainly for permanent roles; however we do have some clients that use temporary workers – usually for a minimum of 3 months.
How does it benefit candidates by applying for work via a recruitment agency?
Hiring Managers often get inundated with CV’s and it can be hard to get across your full range of skills and personality on a two page document. Applying through an Agency allows us to put forward a case for why you would be suitable for the role. In addition, it is often the case that after an interview, people tell us they forgot to mention x,y, and z. When we follow up with the client we can bring that into the conversation and it gives the hiring manager a fuller picture of the candidate’s skills and experience.
Some people feel that when they have applied for work via a recruitment agency they often feel like they never hear anything back. Is there any advice you would give the candidates?
This is common, and although we would like to get back to everyone it simply is not possible. Often we will have in excess of 20+ jobs that we are working on with clients to find the right candidate. The average application rate is over 50 applicants per job, with around 15-18 being telephone interviewed to get a shortlist of 3-5 to present to the client. If we were to get back to everyone, we would have no time to work with clients. A recruiter’s role is to find the right candidates for a client, not to find a candidate the right job. It sounds harsh but we work in a very challenging business where margins are constantly under pressure. It usually is not personal and my advice would be to take the bull by the horns and contact the recruiter for feedback or express an interest in a job you like the look of.
Finally, what advice would you give candidates to ensure they stand out from other applicants?
If you truly have the skills and experience for a role you see advertised, as well as applying online – call the recruiter and speak to them. Often they are under pressure to deliver the right candidate in a timely fashion, so if you tick the boxes and are pro-active in your approach it usually stands out. Don’t be put off if the recruiter asks to call you back, likely they are working to a tight deadline on another role and will call you once they have dealt with that. Those that shout loudest usually get heard.
We hope you found that article helpful and good luck in your job hunt!