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A Job agency is essentially a central point allowing Prospective employees and employers to contact each other through a central buffer. The advantages of this system apply to both the candidate (employee) and the Employer. The candidate only has to submit one CV for many jobs, as the agency its self will usually have many jobs suitable (both at the time of application and also in the future). The employer saves time as they have to devote much less time to the recruitment process because someone else does the initial filtering of candidates.

The process does of course have a cost but this is passed on the employer, for example if the employee receives £7.00 per hour then they will probably cost the company approximately £12.00 an hour. The £5.00 difference is partially dissipated to the recruitment consultant who matches the job role to the candidate, this is based as an ongoing commission which lasts for the duration of the posting.
For example, if a job is assigned to a candidate and they stay with the company for a year (on a temp basis), then the consultant will keep getting the commission, as a percentage of the wage, for the entire year even though it may have only taken a few hours to match the job to a candidate.

The types of roles offered are usually;
  • Ongoing Temporary
  • Temporary -> Permanent
  • Permanent

  • Ongoing Temporary means that you do not have a notice period so you can decide to leave the job on the day, however this means that they employer can come to you at 16.50 and tell you not to come in again. This does happen and the instability of the position is reflected in the hourly rate.

  • Temporary -> Permanent means that you start off as a temp in a role that is essentially a long term interview (typically around 3 months) the agency will only get their commission for the duration of the probationary period.

  • Permanent is the ideal role for most people using an agency. The salary is typically slightly lower but the security is on much firmer foundations. The commission in this case is awarded as a fixed amount upon finding the right candidate; it may be after a short period (similar to probation).

  • The "agencies" tend to be specialised into an area, such as; commercial, office, industrial, driving Etc.

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