How a vacancy is handled by a recruitment agency

Many companies use recruitment agencies to source staff rather than having their own human resources department. In this article we look at how a recruitment agency goes about filling a vacancy for a client.

First, the client will discuss their requirements for the vacancy with a Consultant from the recruitment firm. The vacancy could be new, or filling a recently opened position, it could be short term where the need is for a contractor, or a need for a full time staff member. Within the recruitment agency, the Consultant discusses the requirements with a Resourcer, the staff member tasked with dealing with candidates. Together they will check their internal database of candidates to find someone suitable for the role.

If suitable candidates are found and they have recently been in contact with the agency, the Resourcer will call or e-mail them to both check they are still available and whether they are interested in the vacancy. If the candidate is interested, the agency will confirm they are suitable for this particular position, which may include a phone interview and technical test.

If there are no suitable and available candidates who have recently been in touch, the agency will look deeper in to their database and contact any who are registered whose availability is unknown. The agency will look to recent candidates first as they know they are more likely to be actively looking for work. Candidates who registered months or years ago are most likely settled in to their jobs and not looking to move.

If few or no candidates registered with the agency are suitable, the Resourcer will look to candidates who haven't been in touch recently, just in case they are looking to move job or their contract has recently finished. They will also advertise the position on their own website, and probably large job websites like, and more and more often on LinkedIn.

New applicants responding to the adverts will be registered with the agency and added to their database of candidates, even if they are not suitable for the position being advertised. As long as they fit some criteria in the area the agency works in, they may be suitable for a vacancy the agency receives, even if they are not for this particular one.

Whether previously known or new candidates, once the agency has a number of candidates assessed they think are right for the position, they will forward their details to the client, generally with the contact details on each resume removed. The client will then decide, in conjunction with the Consultant from the agency, who to interview. In the case of short term contracts, they may not interview the candidate, as long as their skills and experience are correct.

After any interviews and tests are passed, the successful candidate will be sent a contract by the agency. This will lay out relevant employment laws, legal rights of the candidate and agency, payment terms, and communication between the candidate, agency and client. If the candidate is starting a full time job with the company, they will have a contract direct with the client.

When the candidate is placed with the client, the agency will receive a payment. If the position is a contract, the agency will generally receive a percentage of the hourly rate for the lifetime of the contract. If it is a full time position, the agency payment is generally a single flat fee based on the first year's wages of the new staff member.

During the contract phase, the agency may keep in contact with other suitable candidates who weren't the client's first choice, in case for some reason the negotiations with the chosen candidate fail and they decide not to take the position.

When everything is finalised and the candidate has agreed the contract, they will be marked as in work in the agency's database, and if it is a contract their finish date will be recorded so they can be contacted near the time if other suitable positions are available. If a candidate has good skills and has shown themselves to be reliable, an agency will by preference place them in another contract as they are a known good worker, which is a much lower risk than using a new candidate with the same skills to fill a position.

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Article Site Code by Web Positioning Centre