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How do I know the agency I work with has a good relationship with a firm?

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​Ever spoken to an agent and felt every single word was a complete lie? Of course you have! We’ve all come across a dodgy recruiter or twelve who has bragged about placing every lawyer in the U.K. But how do you know if the agency you considering working with has a good relationship with a specific firm? Here are 5 ways to assess:

  • Check their LinkedIn testimonials to see candidates the agent/agency has placed. It is one thing to go to an agency’s website and read an anonymous post about how Barry at Blah Blah Agency did such a “fab” or “stand-up job” job in placing me in a new role with a US firm but it is better when you see a placed candidate with an actual name and company speak about an agent on their LinkedIn page.

  • Is the agent recommending tweaks to your CV based on a detailed brief from the company and regular instructions over several years or is there an insistence to send the CV straightaway without any tailoring? The latter is often a bad sign.

  • Ask specific questions about the interview process and candidates the firm tends to be particularly interested in.  If for example, an agent is unsure of who the interviewers tend to be and what is involved at each stage, it likely the agency doesn’t have the strongest relationship with a firm.

  • Ask the recruiter why the firm is looking to hire. Often hiring manager will tell agencies whether the vacancy is a replacement, newly created role, or expansion.

  • Speak to people you trust in your wider network about agencies they like working with and the interviews a specific agency was able to secure.

At a time when agencies are competing with each other for jobs and candidates, it is important to work with an agency that has your best interest and takes an active role in assisting you with the process from the first interaction to starting a new role. It is therefore imperative to work with an agency that assists and provides you with market updates for the long term.