The Employment Agencies Act means that
you now have much better protection from
these operators. New guidelines mean that
the recruitment industry is quickly adopting
a more professional code of conduct.
Let us imagine that your phone rings
and a voice says, "I spotted your CV and
I have a job that might interest you".
If you are looking for work and the initial
description over the phone sounds like
a good match to your skills and experience
then ask for the consultant's
name and agency.
If you wish to pursue the role and the
consultant agrees you fit the role specification,
ask for the name of the hiring company
- you are entitled to know this prior
to your CV being sent. Ask the consultant
to e-mail you a copy of the job specification
plus job location, salary and package
details and ideally a link to the company's
He should also be able to give you some
good insight into the company itself and
the work environment. If you receive all
this information promptly then that is
a good indication that you are dealing
with a professional agency.
Be aware that many IT jobs are placed
with a number of agencies. Ask your consultant
what their relationship with the client
is. Is their agency a preferred supplier?
How many other agencies are also submitting
candidates for this job? What is the selection
Your consultant should be happy to answer
all these questions. It is also reasonable
to ask when you can expect to receive
feedback once your CV has been sent to
But remember that clients have businesses
to run, and just because you don't get
instant feedback does not mean that your
consultant is not doing a good job. Do
expect regular communication and don't
be shy about calling your consultant for
At some stage you will be invited to
complete an agency registration form,
provide references and copies of your
passport and any relevant qualifications.
This is a requirement of the Employment
Agencies Act and any reputable agency
will ask you for these documents before
you start a new position.
Once you have secured that all-important
interview, double check the date, time
and directions. What about the dress code
- should you wear a suit?
At this stage your consultant should
also be able to give invaluable advice
on the interview format, what the client
is really looking for, and interviewing
Jeremy I'Anson is principal consultant,
senior appointments, at IT recruitment