Careers Service

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies can be a useful way of finding job opportunities, for both graduate vacancies and casual/temporary roles.

Recruitment agencies manage the recruitment process for organisations and companies who have chosen to outsource their vacancies. You can use recruitment websites to search and apply for specific roles, or register with an agency to be added to their database, with the aim of being matched with suitable vacancies.

Recruitment consultants can also approach potential candidates, eg by searching on LinkedIn, to source applicants with the right skills and experience.

Registering with a recruitment agency

To register with a recruitment agency, you would normally send in or upload your CV, then arrange an initial interview/discussion face-to-face or over the phone with the recruitment consultant, to help them assess your skills and abilities. It’s also your chance to specify the type(s) of work you are interested in. Try to be flexible with this, if possible, to increase your chances of being considered for more opportunities.

If the recruitment consultant thinks that you would be a suitable match for a position, they’ll usually send your CV to the employer for approval. If you’re offered an interview by the company, consultants can often help with interview preparation and advice on what the employer is looking for.

If you’re applying for a specific vacancy on a recruitment site, make sure you tailor your CV and covering letter to ensure that they’re relevant to the role.

You should never have to pay to use a recruitment agency. They may charge a fee to review and develop your CV, however - remember, the Careers Service provides this service for free.

You don’t have to accept a job from an agency if you think it is unsuitable – ask lots of questions to find out more about the role. It’s worth considering temporary work, if appropriate; this can enhance your CV by providing you with the right skills and experience for a permanent position.

Finding an agency

Recruitment agencies cover a wide range of industries and advertise vacancies for both temporary and permanent positions. Some specialise, for example, in sectors such as science or engineering, while others focus on specific roles, such as teaching or administration.

There are a few agencies which focus on graduate/entry-level opportunities, while others may only advertise roles at a higher, more experienced level, so it’s important to find ones which are relevant for you.

Specialist agencies have in-depth knowledge of their industry and can provide valuable advice on what employers are looking for. You can find links to some specialist recruitment agencies in Explore Occupations.

Recruitment agencies can also be helpful if you’re looking for local, part-time work, particularly in areas such as hospitality and catering, admin and clerical, and healthcare. There are several agencies in Newcastle, from small independents to national chains such as Reed and Manpower.

To find recruitment agencies for both graduate and part-time opportunities: 

  • MyCareer – click on ‘Organisations’ under the Search tab and select ‘recruitment’ under Occupational Areas
  • REC: Member directory - search for a member agency by specialism or UK region
  • – UK business directory. Search using ‘recruitment consultancy’ as a keyword to find agencies in a particular location

Top tips

  • Research each agency thoroughly before registering. Check if they’re a member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the professional body for the UK recruitment industry.
  • Be proactive and keep in contact with the agency. Giving a good impression and building a rapport with them can help increase your chances of finding the right job.
  • Regularly review the vacancies posted on the agency’s site and ask to be considered for the ones that interest you.
  • Update your CV regularly.
  • Ask about the current job market and how employers will view your qualifications and experience.
  • Be flexible – both in terms of the roles you’re applying to and with your availability for interviews, to increase your chances.
  • Research the role and company before any interview and think about how your skills, knowledge and experience meet the requirements of the position. See Preparing for interviews for advice.
  • Don’t rely exclusively on recruitment agencies to find a job – they should be used as just one of your methods for job searching.

Further help

All About Careers has some valuable advice on how best to use recruitment agencies.

See Save the Student: Five secrets to getting the most out of your recruitment agency for more tips.

Prospects has information and advice on how to join an agency and how to find graduate recruitment agencies. 

Graduate Recruitment Bureau outlines the service that graduate recruitment agencies offer. 

EmployAbility supports students and graduates with disabilities into internships and graduate programmes.