Thursday 1 October 2015

IT Recruitment Agencies

I'm unlikely to say anything original in this post. I'm trying to work out what exactly my opinion of recruitment agencies is and whether not they can be bent so as to be useful.

N.B. I'm a permanent, full-time employee. I always have been. My experiences of recruitment agencies have always been in that context; I've never dealt with recruitment agencies from a contractor's point of view.

The sheer volume of IT recruitment agencies in Brighton (and surrounding areas) is staggering yet completely understandable: they want a piece of the relatively well paid developer's pie. A recruitment agency introduces you to a prospective employer and typically, providing you pass probation, gets a lump sum (~20% of your first year's salary) for doing so.

Traditional free market principles do not seem to apply to IT recruitment agencies, that is, myriad agencies do not appear to have created a survival of the fittest situation in which only the leanest, highly-skilled, astute agencies / agents survive. Rather, there's a roiling mass of incompetence and greed from which no front-runners emerge, presumably because there are non to do so.

I imagine a recruitment agent's job must not feel too dissimilar to that of a 419 scammers: sending innumerable emails off to potential victims (LinkedIn members who wonder was there ever a time giving LinkedIn all your personal work history felt like a good idea...) hoping for that one hit in a thousand to make them rich.

It feels like mine and my potential agent's interests are fundamentally misaligned: I want the right job; the agent wants me to take any job, preferably one I can only stick out for a year before returning to them to try again.

This has merely turned into a rant. What are the benefits or a recruitment agent for a full-time, permanent employee? There must be some...

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