Anybody Ever Use a Employment search Firm?

I am curently looking for a new job. I recently talked to a firm which does job searches-for a rather hefty fee! Before forking over the money, does anybody have any personal experiences with such firms? They guarantee results, but again, how good is their work?
I would really like to hear from somebody that went this route…I am finding job searching on my own to be rather tedious!

Rule of thumb - any agency where you have to pay a fee up-front is probably a rip-off.

I don’t know for certain how these things work in the States, but I don’t see why it should be different from the situation here in the UK, where recruitment agencies place people in jobs and recover a fee based on a percentage of the job’s salary from the firm offering the job. The job seeker pays nothing. Which makes sense - you are the one with product (in your case,job skills) to sell, so you are the one who gets paid for it.

If you have internet access (and I don’t see how you posted this without it…) try posting your resume with an online agency. (I did this recently and got spammed to hell and back… but amongst the garbage were real leads which I am pursuing. And I’m not paying anything beyond bus fares to interviews, nor do I expect to.)

I don’t get it as well. Employment agencies get their cut from the companies doing the hiring…generally two months salary for the people they place.

With unemployment rising, more companies seem to be bypassing headhunters and hiring direct. You don’t say what kind of work you do, or what kind of demand there is for this type of work, but perhaps headhunters are taking a different tack…going to their old connections and offering companies “no-charge” placement, while passing that cost on to you.

That being said, personally, I’d track down these openings myself. But you need to decide if it’s worth the price for you.

I’m currently looking for a new position myself, and I’d second Steve Wright on this. I’m in the UK, but I’ve never been charged by an agency trying to find me a job. They usually recover a fee (about 10%) from the company that employs you.

I don’t know US job searches that well, but you could try or as starting points. I’m not sure which field you work in, so I can’t be more specific, sorry.

Good luck with your job-hunting!


As a person who has worked as a headhunter, do not in any situation pay the recruiter any money, especially money up front. All they do for you is comb some ads and maybe, if you are lucky, set you up with a generic resume. You would do better on or another jobs web site.

No respectable recruiting firm that I know of charges a fee to the candidate.

As was mentioned before, recruiters get their money from the employer who is having trouble finding someone, or just doesn’t want to hassle with finding someone. Remember that this type of recruiter gets paid by the company, so that’s who they are loyal to. If something seems funny, get out. There are a lot of recruiters who would push you into a bad job if the money they get paid is good.

I have been searching on-line (MONSTER) and BRASSRING. However, it has been discouraging, since I have gotten only a handful of interviews. I have asked the guy at this (fee agency) to give me three referrals…I’ll call them up and ask them their opinion.
For the record, I am a marketing type (B.S., M.S., MBA); and things are slow!

I work for an IT recruitment (ie. “employment”) firm over here in Australia, and we sure as hell don’t charge anyone any fees to look for a job.

Basically there’s two ways we go about stuff: The first is, we are given a requirement by one of our clients, and they ask us to track down the right sort of people for it. We do this by posting job adverts to sites such as Seek and Monster, and by carefully combing through the replies we get.

The second method is we comb through our database of people who have applied for similar roles in the past. Lessers methods include networking and, yes, headhunting, but these are rarely fruitful.

What people seem to forget, though, is that they’re not the only ones looking for a new job (or, indeed, any sort of job at all). We’ve got countless thousands of intelligent, experienced professionals on our databases, and I’ll be buggered if we can find a good job for even 10% of them. But then you get people calling up and going “Why haven’t you found me a job yet?” and it’s like “Well, there’s only so many jobs going around.”

Of course you get the egotistical bastards who worked once for $2000 per day, and they call and say “I need a job at $2500 per day” and you go “Okay, so how long have you been looking for work?” and generally the answer is “Oh, about three years.” And I wonder why.

The short of it is, any agency that “guarantees” a placement is lying, unless they have incredibly stringent selection processes. Also, an agency that charges an up-front fee is very very dodgy indeed.

Your best bet is to simply carpet-bomb people with your resume. Look on all the major job sites. Get your NAME out there. Network with people. One day, some schmoe is going to be sitting around in his office, digging a pencil into his ear and thinking “Well, we need someone who can do this” and, hopefully, your name will pop into his head. That’s basically how it works.

I used one, back when I was 8 months out of college and still jobless. I lived with my parents, so I wasn’t starving, but I was bored, penniless, and frustrated.

I went to this agency, and filled out a job application. I went to the one that I did because 1)you didn’t pay them anything until you had a job; and 2) they allowed the fee to be paid in installments.

They sent me on three interviews, and I took the job offer I got from the third one. I actually got an offer from one of the others as well, but turned it down.

I was lucky-I spent 4 years with that company and gained a huge amount of job skills, moving through the ranks of the company, and finding what I really wanted to do.

I see that they are worth it for those recently out of college who are having trouble finding a job because they have no experience. For someone who has already had a job and can market themselves, there is no reason to pay for a job. Call the headhunters, but make sure that you don’t pay them.

I had one agency made it sound like they got their fee from the employer, which was true, but…then when push came to shove, the employer was going to try to back the fee out of my salary! This came to light while we were negotiating on what that salary figure was to be.

  • Jinx

I had one agency made it sound like they got their fee from the employer, which was true, but…then when push came to shove, the employer was going to try to back the fee out of my salary! This came to light while we were negotiating on what that salary figure was to be.

  • Jinx
    That’s actually standard practise. For contractors - that is, people who sign a contract to work on a task with the company for a specified period of time, at a specified rate - generally the recruitment firm’s fee is taken from the contractor’s hourly rate. This is how the recruitment firm makes it’s money, as payment for finding you the job and for filling the role. For example, if you go right to the company you get $100 per hour. If you go through a firm, you get $80.

Permanent placements are charged at a certain percentage of the total salary. For example, if someone places you into a permanent role for a hundred grand a year, you get that full hundred grand (no agency deductions), but the recruitment firm charges the company say 17% of that as an extra payment.