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recruiting agencies

November 18th, 2004, 08:28 AM
Anyone ever use these to find a job?

My bf REALLY needs a new job and so far after submitting over 100 resumes, no response yet. He refuses to consider one of the recruiting agencies, because he thinks he will get less money because some will go to them.

As far as I was told, the companies go to them saying what they need. The agency posts the position, and if you get hired, the company pays the agency a fee for finding you? Is this right?

November 18th, 2004, 08:53 AM
If your bf is hired through an agency, they do take part of his pay. It's not a one-time deal. A friend of ours is making $3 less per hour because of the agency that got him hired. Worse, he's considered a temp, which means no benefits and no job security. I, personally, can't stand agencies. But some employers won't hire you without one.

There are LOTS of job banks out there. Have him check on-line at,,, ... if I think of anymore, I'll let you know.

November 18th, 2004, 08:57 AM
Hi Raingirl,
I was an industrial recruiter for a company based in Niagara region. If it is a temporary placement then the employee is paid hourly and the organization gets paid a higher rate. If it is a permanent hire, then the employee is hired at a certain rate for three months then once the trial period is over the pay goes up according to the positions. At this time, benefits can also be applied to the employee. If your boyfriend wishes to find a job permanently, then he should approach the agency with the statement that he is looking for permanent full time. He can in the interim work contract jobs until a permanent placement is found. Many of the people working for me found fantastic jobs this way. Good luck on his employment search.

November 18th, 2004, 09:14 AM
It definitely depends on the agency. I went to one agency, and was paid half of what my co-workers were paid. My father, however, went through an agency at one job years ago, and by the time he left, he was getting almost 6 digits, plus he custom 'Vette paid for. It depends on the type of agency, and the type of work you are looking for. Some will do career counselling, others will just place you where they can. My background is banking. I got offered a couple of factory jobs, and one for $8/hr a 2 hr drive for my house working at a parts counter in an auto-parts store. Look at it this way--a job through an agency is better than nothing, even if it is a "just for now" job.

November 18th, 2004, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the info.

He has already looked on all those search engines, and plus some others. There aren't many jobs in his field (graphic design). He's applied to soooooo many jobs, and hasn't even got one response! NOT ONE! The only thing he got once (and he was so excited) was an e-mail, but when he opened it, it was a "thanks for applying but the position has been filled".

In one month he will have to start paying back his student loans, and if he doesn't find a better job by then, he doesn't know what he will do. RIght now he is getting screwed where he is. They don't pay him what he should be paid as he is overly qualified. He doesn't get salary (only hourly pay with no vacation) so he can't take time off to look for a job.

Today instead of coming here all day, I am researching graphic design companies for him, sending out e-mails and getting contact info so he can send them resumes even if they aren't hiring. I'm also taking Monday off to make calls for him.

Do you think that because he only has a cell phone number on his resume, that they aren't contacting him? I know it's a stupid reason, but all he has is a cell, and they might think it's suspicious??

November 18th, 2004, 09:51 AM
You want to find a good agency then the company pays them. You should never pay for these services. The best agencies do not charge the employee. Companies pay them to find employees

November 18th, 2004, 09:53 AM
depends on how good your BF's portfolio is. I finished Web Design and the closest I got to actually doing it, is volunteering for free for my BF's companies. This field is very hard to look for a job. I heard there's more in US. Have you tried calling graphic design companies and asking if they have any positions available?

November 18th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Lots of people only use a cell-phone, especially now. I wouldn't worry about that. I know when I was out of work looking for a job, I wasn't even getting call backs. I'm not used to that. It is VERY discouraging! I won't even get into the emotional distress I went through with my then-girlfriend, and moving into a new house. If he isn't currently working, the important thing is he does, just to do his head some good.

Another thing I would tell him to check is the job boards through the schools that offer his diploma. It may help to find some leads for unadvertised jobs.

Tell him to keep his chin up, and best of luck!

November 18th, 2004, 09:58 AM
My husband used a few agencies and got the job hes in now he is on good money they just charged the company a percentage as a finders fee.

On the monster site it has resume tips covering letters etc it might be worth him re vamping his resume

November 18th, 2004, 11:51 AM
Ok..another question, can he use his work from his job for his portfolio? He says no, but I don't see why not. Right now he is doing various design peices where he works, mostly typesetting and designing scholarly press books (University of TOronto Press). I was thinking he should buy copies of the books he designed, and keep copies of all the brochures and webpages he works on.

The only thing with that I would worry about is a privacy issue (because we have a strict privacy law here in ontario) if he were to keep a copy of a company newsletter, would that be against their privacy?

November 18th, 2004, 12:25 PM
My only suggestion is to hand deliver, mail or fax the resume---it seems to me that if an employer accepts all methods that a paper method is more promising. E-mail will get your resume deleted or stashed with everyone else's who didn't send a paper one. A paper resume means someone HAS to touch it...and hopefully place in the hands of the person hiring.

Resume and cover letter could also be an issue if you're saying he is qualified...has he had it looked at by the school he went to? Most schools offer this sort of service. Outside agencies--from what I've seen--do not do a good job at this. I've done a lot of work with resumes and can tell you that a university or college career centre will give you better advice on a resume-----even better is to ask the HR person at the school what they look for in good resumes or cover letters when hiring staff!!!!

November 18th, 2004, 12:28 PM
In the uk chris signed aggreements of confidentiality if he broke them he could be sued

November 18th, 2004, 12:50 PM
In his field, most places only accept resumes by e-mail, since he has to provide examples of his work in digital format.

So far most want e-mail, but we don't have a printer right now (which we are looking for). Right now he is printing he resumes at work after everyone leaves....

Oh well..I sent out tons of e-mails and got some contacts today.

November 18th, 2004, 12:54 PM
He still needs a portfolio in a folder in case he gets inteviewed. I suggest he photocopies the books he designed and put it in his folder. As for copyright issue, he's not distributing them, it is merely his own portfolio, no monetary gain and all that stuff, just to show prospective employers his design style and consistency.

November 18th, 2004, 12:56 PM
Oh. He already has that. He only has mostly the projects he did in school though, none of his real world stuff. Not sure it makes a difference long as it shows the work he did.

November 18th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Actually from my experience with portfolios, they were looking for "professional" stuff which means real world "work" portfolio. A mixture of both is good. Usually school projects are not that professional looking from stuff you've done at work, since there's somebody that evaluates his work to represent the company, not from a school syllabus.

November 18th, 2004, 01:04 PM
if you go onto workopolis you can add your own resume download it from your computer put it to a public resume then all agencies and companies who have a account with them can view it. Chris did this and got alot of response worth a try though

November 18th, 2004, 01:05 PM
actually, his stuff from school looks so much better than the stuff he is doing now. The stuff he does now he doesn't have much design control over, so they are plain and boring. His stuff from school shows his creative mind and his abilities.

He has a public resume for 6 months, and has had no responses. He has one on all the major search engines...

November 18th, 2004, 01:09 PM
oh not sure then perhaps he could look at his resume what about looking further?

heeler's rock!
November 18th, 2004, 07:10 PM
My last job was through a temp (recruitment) agency. They found me a GREAT job that I normally wouldn't even had a chance at if I applied on my own. Sure, it was temp so I got no benefits, but the agancy themselves offer benefits after a certain amount of time with them. Now that I'm looking again, I went back to the same aganecy and just had an interview with a company that I have been trying to get in with for over a year. They're great for weeding out unqualified people for the potential employer, so more go with them. I know I don't get paid as much as I would if I had the job on my own, but I still made $16.00 and hour in my last position, which was pretty good. It also allows you to get your foot in the door at a company that may hire in the future. :)

November 18th, 2004, 07:54 PM
I was not going to reply to this - my only experience is utilizing a firm to recruit health care professionals and being recruited by a firm for various positions. (A few years ago when the market was somewhat better :) )

We was not all that impressed with one firm and switched to another. Keep in mind these people are in it to secure a profit for themselves.

Re: certain items:

1. Do you think that because he only has a cell phone number on his resume, that they aren't contacting him? I know it's a stupid reason, but all he has is a cell, and they might think it's suspicious??

Many people utilize a cell phone only today, especially younger workers. And companies have to realize that one may not wish to put the current employer's co-ordinates on a resume/CV. It's not really a good idea to use those co-ordinates.

2. The only thing with that I would worry about is a privacy issue (because we have a strict privacy law here in ontario) if he were to keep a copy of a company newsletter, would that be against their privacy?

Unless it is specified as internal communication. a newsletter is usually
not considered private. In fact, it may well be part of the company's PR. There are stringent privacy concerns and legislation now but in many cases, that same information is available in another format.

3. actually, his stuff from school looks so much better than the stuff he is doing now. The stuff he does now he doesn't have much design control over, so they are plain and boring. His stuff from school shows his creative mind and his abilities.

I have to remind my students time and again that they have to think like the companies they are applying to. And while they may have THE fanciest, jazziest web site or most creative programming solutions, those kind of elements are NOT what companies regard as the utmost significant factor. Remember that most companies want someone who is highly competent in their field, can be a team player, can adapt quickly to change, understands the market.

I guess what I am trying to say is the creative wonderful stuff is great work - but it is an opener and wonderful first impression, NOT the main course. Unfortunately, the work place - even innovative IT companies - are more interested in one's overall abilities. Companies tend to be have more practical needs. So, my advice is to have THE BEST work but also be able to understand exactly where the company is.

That said, did your bf's university/college not have a co-op program? An internship program? Could he not offer to work somewhere as a volunteer where he would be noticed? (And I mean doing it in a BIG way!) Does he know people in the industry? (That could help him obtain a position?) And - recruiters and HR people are all over our university - so I am wondering why he is not working through his univ/college? (It is a much better method than temp agencies). (But the advice to utilize it to get a foot in the door - so to speak - is good).

Anyway - those are just my thoughts on the subject. Graphic arts is a tough field at the moment but he may find he needs other courses and experience to help him in his objective.

Also, the cover letter is so very important!! It is the first item HR people will read and it has to be better than the last 100 the individual readin gthem just read.

November 19th, 2004, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the reply cyberkitten!

my bf did do an internship, and got hired on after, which is where he is working now. He doesn't have the money to volunteer. He has to stay where he is until he can find a new job. He can't even take a day off to look because he is paid hourly. He has lots of contacts, but that hasn't helped. Most people who graduated with him don't even have jobs yet, so he is lucky. But his job now, they are taking advantage of him. He is more qualified than everyone else in his department, but he only get's 10% of the work and a lot less pay. That's why he needs a new job.

He doesn't have access to any help at university really. The career centre there is only open during business hours when he is at work so it's not an option. I can't remember where you live, but in Ontario, most of the universities are posting their jobs at now, instead of posting them at their school. He has access to that, but there aren't any jobs at all for his field posted.

The reason I told him he should try an agency is because a lot of the graphic design jobs are posted by them, not the company hiring.

Like this one: Job (, he won't apply to it because it's through an agency. He doesn't want an agency for a temp job, he wants a full time salary job with benefits. Some agencies post these type of jobs, and I wanted to make sure he isn't get screwed by them. He isn't applying to the agency for work, he is applying for a job the agency posted (well, he won't yet because he doesn't trust it, which is why I'm trying to convince him otherwise)

Here are some other ones he won't apply to but I want him to (if you go to workopolis to the fast track catagory, a majority of the jobs are with agencies, and if he doesn't apply to them, he is missing out on a lot!)

November 19th, 2004, 08:01 AM
I can understand him wanting a salary job with benefits etc but shurely any job might be better than were he is. Also I know my hubby took a hourly contract job in the uk as he needed a job and there wasnt alot around (thats why we emmigrated here) anyway the company were he worked offered him a fulll time job. As they were paying 25pound an hour for him from the agencie Chris never got this amount and he had to py his NI and employers NI.

It might be worth suggesting to him to go to the agencies as if he proved himself they could take him on salary as it would probably work out cheeper for them even with benefits i know this was the case for my husband.

November 19th, 2004, 08:20 AM
The job you indicated from Ian Martin recruiting asks for the following: Experience with Ontario Disability Act is an asset

Previous experience with Municipal, Federal or Provincial Government is required

Does he have this experience? As a former recruiter, the resumes we receive are numerous so a quick scan is done into a software program and then the criteria is searched and any matching applicants are pulled and their resumes are fully reviewed. Sometimes the resume does not show this past experience as the applicant has not taylored the resume to the position applying for. Perhaps this may be the case with some of the company's he has sent his resume out to? Just a thought.

November 19th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Thanks BMD. It was just an example. He used to work for the government many years ago when he was in political science, and he knows a lot about the ODA because of me, because I used it in my job. That one is contract though, so not really applicable.

You guys scan in resumes and search for the criteria? That's cool. Didn't think people did that.

And yes, he does change his coverletter and resume and gear it towards each job posting.

November 19th, 2004, 08:35 AM
:thumbs up That's one of the most important things when looking for a new job!

November 19th, 2004, 01:33 PM
can I make a suggestion for your bf?

Instead of looking for positions that are open, perhaps he could try turning it around.

Get him to make a list of 3 companies he wants to work for. Then in the evenings or the weekends when he is not working, get him to thoroughly research those companies. He should find out everything he can, through the internet, at the library, every place he can think of.

Find out who the art director is. Or the CEO. When he knows their names, get him to search them out on the net. See what he can find out. Do they volunteer at a charity? Then he should volunteer there too. Do they belong to any professional organizations. Then he should attend the meetings - even as a guest.

Even if he cannot develop a personal relationship with someone in a position of authority at one of the companies he want to work for, he should keep as current on the company as is humanly possible. Then, if he sees an announcement in the newspaper (eg "XX gets million dollar contract for Nabisco") he can use that as an opportunity to send an email to one of the people he has researched to congratulate the company on their achievement and to say "btw, I'm a wonderful designer and I have some fabulous ideas about blah blah. Can I talk to you about them?"

This is a tactic that I used when I was in sales and I have to tell you that it works in the majority of situations. I know it sounds more than a little like hard work -- and it is. It also sounds more than a little creepy - at least it always did to me, but if it gets him in the door somewhere ...


November 19th, 2004, 01:43 PM
I work for a company that has a recruiting area. Some work in the sense that they charge the employee extra cash. Mine charges the company a fee for finding and that does not affect your pay. We recruit Hi Tech contractors, oracle, dba, Project managers ect... What happens is the company comes to us and may need a software solution or for us to implement a new software or develop one for that matter. Often with all that they need a couple of people to implement the changes. So in the end we provide the people and the software or hardware whatever.

November 19th, 2004, 01:58 PM
We (I teach at a university) scan resumes too - I think most companies use OCR now to scan resumes. It certainly cuts down the numbers when you have hundreds of applicants.

I guess I did not mean the Job Center at his university. I was thinking nore in terms of his department. Do they not have recruiters who come to the school and meet candidates. Some specific companies will come to the university (or to several universities who are in the same geographical area). And my fellow profs and I all help our students find jobs. Most of them tend to want to stay in the Maritimes and that is not always possible.

Ironically, I was recruited today by telephone by some company in Texas, lol (Maybe if they call in February and it is -25 with the wind chill factor, hehheh) And I am working with a recruiter on a Board that I chair to hire a new VP health care management job) and this one seems better than the last one. I asked one of the partners about the comment someone made here re taking part of the employee salary and she said absolutely they never do that. They charge us $100,000 plus expenses and that's it. So maybe that comment was in reference to Kelly Services or one of those temp agencies???