The world and beyond – Surviving in the economic jungle

Advice, tips and tricks on how to engage with the UK jobs market and commercial environment, from a female executive's perspective

Definitive Guide to Job Hunting 9 – The value of Agency Databases

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databaseRecently I was doing some research and came across a book written by one of the best-selling career coaches in the UK. I was quite surprised about his views on how agencies use their databases!

According to him, recruiters only consult their databases when they are bored or desperate.

I totally beg to differ!

A recruitment agency is valued by the quality of its database. An awful lot of financial and time resource go into keeping the database lean, streamlined and up to date so that they can respond rapidly to customer demands.

The cost of advertising is extremely high, and it makes commercial sense for an agency to consult its database first when a new job requirement arrives. If a shortlist can be populated from the database, there is a significant cost saving AND its quicker – The candidates are usually known to the agency and its easier to reach them to qualify their interest.

On the other hand, especially in specialist or highly technical areas, the value of having a good number of aged applications on an agency database can not be overlooked. I can think back to several occasions when I revived contact with aged applicants and successfully placed them in new opportunities  although they were not actively job hunting.

In the current competitive jobs market, the agency with the best candidate demands the fee and it’s important for them to build their databases through a range of activities, including networking and relationship building. These exclusive contacts are highly important to the agency – If they have access to candidates different to those of their competitors, it gives them a real commercial advantage.

So, contrary to what is being preached in the job search handbooks found in the mainstream bookstores, my advice for any candidate will be the following: Actively work to get your CV on agency databases. However, make sure that you are selective – There is no point in registering with too many generalists. If you target agencies that are specialists in your field, those that you know deal with organisations for whom you would like to work (Either now or in the future), and those who actively work to maintain fresh and up to date data, you will actually be increasing your opportunities of finding a new job and also maximising opportunities for your CV to be included in future searches.

Respond to their requests for refreshed information when it’s periodically sent out, and keep them updated with changes to your CV or contact details.

Just one word of warning: Make sure the agencies with whom you register conform to the Data Protection Act.  And don’t put too much personal information (like your NI or bank account number) in your CV. This way, you protect your own privacy whilst also maximising your opportunities to find that perfect job opportunity.

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Written by Cathy Richardson

April 23, 2015 at 10:30 am

Posted in Recruitment

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