How to find a job when most jobs are through agencies?

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Sephiroth
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I feel like I'm wasting my time applying for jobs because like 95% of the jobs I find are through agencies. I get the feeling they aren't even sending my applications to the companies because I'll get maybe one e-mail a month telling me my application has been passed on. I apply for 5-10 jobs per week.

I don't believe it's an issue with my CV or cover letters because I have a fairly good success rate at getting interviews when I apply directly to a company.

So what to do when like 95% of IT jobs are through agencies? Limiting myself to the 5% which aren't would mean applying to like one job a week, which is no good.

It really irritates me that you have to apply to apply for a job these days. Not to mention your reward for this annoyance is that the agency gets to take part of your salary when you do find a job.
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rugbyladosc
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Whats wrong with agency work?

Just look about i spose
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Sephiroth
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I said what's wrong with it. You're applying to apply for a job, and most of which probably don't even send your application to the employer. To me that's not looking for a job, it's wasting time. When I filter out say 10 jobs from hundreds, pick the ones that fit my skills and what I am looking for, I want my application to reach the employer, not get filtered out by some agency who decide I shouldn't be applying for that job.
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nojoegohome
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(Original post by Sephiroth)
I said what's wrong with it. You're applying to apply for a job, and most of which probably don't even send your application to the employer. To me that's not looking for a job, it's wasting time. When I filter out say 10 jobs from hundreds, pick the ones that fit my skills and what I am looking for, I want my application to reach the employer, not get filtered out by some agency who decide I shouldn't be applying for that job.
First question, why haven't you found a job yet?

On agency's

They don't legally have to have a job vacancy to advertise a job. They like getting your CV, giving you assessments and keeping them on record to look good for potential employers.

Because of this at least half of IT jobs advertised (75%+ for jobs from an agency) either do not exist yet or are never fulfilled.

Another thing is that when an agency sees an employer looking to employ someone. They advertise a job with the same requirements and try to undercut what the employer was willing to pay and take the difference as commission.
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Sephiroth
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(Original post by nojoegohome)
First question, why haven't you found a job yet?
That should be obvious based on the thread content. In fact the rest of your response pretty much answers that for you.

On agency's

They don't legally have to have a job vacancy to advertise a job. They like getting your CV, giving you assessments and keeping them on record to look good for potential employers.

Because of this at least half of IT jobs advertised (75%+ for jobs from an agency) either do not exist yet or are never fulfilled.

Another thing is that when an agency sees an employer looking to employ someone. They advertise a job with the same requirements and try to undercut what the employer was willing to pay and take the difference as commission.
This is exactly what I thought! That I've been applying for "jobs" that don't actually exist. Which isn't good because it means I'm lying to the job centre when I write them on my progress sheet. But it's impossible to know what's real and what isn't.

I hate agencies for the two reasons you mentioned, plus the fact you aren't guaranteed your CV is sent to the employer even if it does exist.

I think I've spent too much time being conned into applying for fake jobs and this is why I'm having no luck. But what can I do when like 95% of the vacancies advertised on job sites are through agencies? Perhaps I need to broaden what I'm looking for.
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fazsnatch
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Agencies are pretty useluss at times but then again both my first two IT jobs have been through two agencies for two really big companies. Just got to keep applying maybe you get 1 response out of every 50 i work it out.
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nojoegohome
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(Original post by fazsnatch)
Agencies are pretty useluss at times but then again both my first two IT jobs have been through two agencies for two really big companies. Just got to keep applying maybe you get 1 response out of every 50 i work it out.
Some agency's are decent and sometimes you get lucky but its easier to just apply to businesses directly.
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Sephiroth
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(Original post by fazsnatch)
Agencies are pretty useluss at times but then again both my first two IT jobs have been through two agencies for two really big companies. Just got to keep applying maybe you get 1 response out of every 50 i work it out.
Which agencies are these?

I applied to 14 jobs today, 10 were through agencies. It's really difficult trying to avoid agencies completely. Got an e-mail back from one of the 4 non-agency jobs and had a phone interview arranged before I'd even applied for all 14. This is why I hate agencies, I just don't see anything at all happening with them, nevermind at that speed.
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goodmen
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Yeah agencies are a complete joke, I'm pretty sure most don't bother reading your covering letter which is very annoying considering how I long I try to take over them for each job.
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Sephiroth
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GRB seem to be decent from what I've experienced, but they don't get a lot of IT vacancies. Web Recruit seems good too, at least I know when they send my app to the employer as they e-mail me. But still annoying when they don't. All of the others I've submitted applications through have seemed like putting my CV/letter into a black hole.
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anongeek
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How much experience do you have ? - most agencies don't handle graduates without experience, so if that's the case it's not surprising you're not getting many responses.

Stick with agencies that specifically handle the graduate market and direct applications.
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Sephiroth
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Not much. That could be where I'm going wrong. I may as well stop using job sites like Monster and Reed because most of their jobs are through agencies.

Graduate agencies like GRB don't have a lot of jobs on them unfortunately.
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graduate_recruiter
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Direct applications are always more likely to succeed. As everyone here has said, loads of the time the jobs that agencies post don't even exist... especially at the moment - it is expensive to hire through agencies, so when companies are cutting back, this is often one of the first places they start. That's why it feels like the agencies are taking over - they are having to work a lot harder to find the right candidates that companies will accept.

graduate_recruiter
gradrecruiter.blogspot.com
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mprules
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Look for specialist IT Agencies In particular as they will have a higher success rate, the larger ones will not have the knowledge base to place you.

I can only speak for my experience with agencies btw but this is how it went...

Emailed my CV on a Friday at 2pm to them.
By 4 i had a missed call and voice-mail asking to ring them back. Called back at 5pm and was asked to come in for an initial interview On Monday. At the interview they went through my CV asked my salary expectations and then went and got a Java Specialist(who knew his stuff and was even able to talk at length to me about specific details of the placement companies including my bosses not stuff easily found in google either). A week later after some correspondence I had sent them a second draft of my CV and had a phone interview Tuesday of the week after i had an interview and the next day offered a job.

Finally the Recruiters took me out for lunch at there expense to celebrate the job. So there not all bad!
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Sephiroth
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Which agency was that, if you don't mind telling me?

I've never once been asked by an agency to come in for a chat with them. Could be because they have no offices in my local area though. I normally just apply to jobs through Monster or whatever, it goes to the agency and 5% of the time I'll get an e-mail saying my CV was sent to an employer. Or the agency will ring me the next day asking what kind of jobs I'm looking for and fail to mention whatever I applied for.
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SuperPatchKid
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(Original post by goodmen)
Yeah agencies are a complete joke, I'm pretty sure most don't bother reading your covering letter which is very annoying considering how I long I try to take over them for each job.
(Original post by nojoegohome)
First question, why haven't you found a job yet?

On agency's

They don't legally have to have a job vacancy to advertise a job. They like getting your CV, giving you assessments and keeping them on record to look good for potential employers.
...Another thing is that when an agency sees an employer looking to employ someone. They advertise a job with the same requirements and try to undercut what the employer was willing to pay and take the difference as commission.
(Original post by Sephiroth)
I feel like I'm wasting my time applying for jobs because like 95% of the jobs I find are through agencies. I get the feeling they aren't even sending my applications to the companies because I'll get maybe one e-mail a month telling me my application has been passed on. I apply for 5-10 jobs per week.

I don't believe it's an issue with my CV or cover letters because I have a fairly good success rate at getting interviews when I apply directly to a company.

It really irritates me that you have to apply to apply for a job these days. Not to mention your reward for this annoyance is that the agency gets to take part of your salary when you do find a job.
Hi guys,

I work for a software recruitment company so maybe I can shed some light on some of this.
Goodman - yes, I do read cover letters. Although really everything should be in your CV, if you have a good cover letter but none of it is in your CV I would call you about it, but I'd probably just ask you to put the info in your CV anyways before sending it off.

NoJoeGoHome and Sephirith - the agency DOES NOT take away a part of your salary - you get exactly the same. Additionally we don't undercut what they're willing to pay. You get the same wage as you would have anyways, we make an additional oneoff charge to companies based on a part of you salary. Obviously we want to get you over at a decent salary because the higher you go in it, the higher we get. Obviously I'm speaking about the recruitment company I work for in particular but you should no they aren't out to take you're money away - it costs the applicant nothing.

Sephiroth - I can't think why you aren't getting called. The only thing I can think of is that you are not suitable for the job - realistically we don't contact people who have no chances of getting the job - which makes life easier for the direct employer who doesn't have a hundred unsuitable applicants applying. So the idea is - if you're good enough to get the job, the agency would contact you and anything other is the agencies bad practice.

How are your qualifications? Have you explained your projects, programming languages in your CV.

You're welcome to message me a link to your CV and so on and I can let you know what I think - could be quite useful to see why recruiters aren't contacting you back.

Hope this helps.
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Sephiroth
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Well like I say the success rate is a lot higher when I apply direct to companies. I don't think I've ever had an interview from an employer through an agency, yet I used to apply for about 7 agency jobs for every direct job. So something is going wrong because I get interviews with direct applications.

I've started avoiding anything that's through an agency as a result. I get the impression they look at me and decide I'm not qualified for a job when an employer might think otherwise. The agency may not understand all of the technical skills I talk about that an employer would like.

I mean, there's only so many ways to interpret a job description, I'm not going to apply for stuff that I'm not qualified for. So I expect the employer to see any application I spend time making and that's why I don't like agencies. It feels like applying to apply. It's hard enough finding a job already without adding another layer to the process.

I've heard agencies don't fit graduates very well when they have little or no relevant experience so that could be an issue too. I don't mind applying for a job that asks for 1+ year of experience because an employer may be willing to over look that I've just graduated whereas an agency will just tick the no box on that criteria and throw my application away.

I'm sure some agencies are better than others, problem is I don't know which to avoid. Normally when I apply for a job through one the agency phones me the next day and asks for information yet doesn't even mention what I applied for.
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ttx
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(Original post by SuperPatchKid)

NoJoeGoHome and Sephirith - the agency DOES NOT take away a part of your salary - you get exactly the same. Additionally we don't undercut what they're willing to pay. You get the same wage as you would have anyways, we make an additional oneoff charge to companies based on a part of you salary.
They do for contract role (where a ongoing percentage cut is the norm) but not for permie roles (where 15-30% of first year salary one-off fee is the norm).

While it is in the agencies interest to get the candidate a higher salary, it's even more in their interest to close the deal quickly and move on to the next candidate. Spending time negotiating salary increases the risk the candidate might take an offer elsewhere plus reduces the time the recruiter can spend on other candidates (and the marginal return from a salary increase is negligible compared to the return on spending time for other candidates)
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lilac spooge
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I've had some horrid times with agencies. Spent lots of money going to interviews and then getting nothing from them. However, I had just had an agency call me out of the blue and they came to my local area to interview me and it sounds really promising . They said they are going to rewrite my CV and prepare me for interview.

Its all about the sell. They do not get paid unless they place you in a job. That means they will only put you forward if they think the time they take preparing you will pay off financially for them. That means you need an excellent CV and then excellent interview skills. If you don't, it may be best for you to get some advice.
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Sephiroth
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Every agency I've used has done no preparing. I've applied for the job and they decide I'm either too ******ed to apply for jobs I have a chance with or they send off my CV. Hardly much effort on their part. Unfortunately a lot of agencies will wrongfully put you in the first list. Surely I know what jobs are suitable for me better than any agency will and that's where they fail.
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