7 reasons to use a Professional Recruitment Agency… BLAH! What a bunch of rubbish.

There’s a plethora of self justifying, defensive articles coming through on various platforms about why you should use a “Professional Recruitment Agency”. Most of them make me want to curl up in a ball & gently weep.

I can’t speak for the broader market but I am qualified to comment on highly specialised skills within software delivery.

I tend to decline people when they tell me that they’re IT specialists (really, and what does an IT specialist do?) and you should do the same when it comes to recruiters. I didn’t go to see my GP about my lobotomy, I went to a brain surgeon.

To my knowledge, most Devs, Bus Analysts, SQL specialists (etc) complain mostly about:

Poor service; a lack of understanding of what you do, hard sales tactics, irresponsible / unethical actions. (I’m sure there are others but I’m trying to be brief J).

Specialists are different. They work small niche markets, where relationships are vital and too few to waste.

Specialists typically: 

1. Work a specific stack or domain – I (for example) am very little use to a Java/Oracle specialist or a Business Analyst (go chat with Garth, Nicole or Michelle in those spaces). I’ve worked software dev for 17 odd years with C# for 13 of those focusing on Johannesburg and Pretoria (I’ve branched into Cape Town as well but there’s now a team behind me). Demand market knowledge / insights that only a specialist can give you. In the same way that I can’t educate a Java Dev (That’s Garth’s job); there’s no way someone who works dev part time can do the same.


2. Save time!!! It’s not about saving time (Client side is different to be fair). When you’re thinking about leaving, you should be thinking about education and options. Educate yourself on where is the best next step for you NOT chasing a deadline (the one difference may be if you have been retrenched). I promise, the best employers would like you sooner rather than later but they’d rather get someone on board who is going to stick around, than find out 3 months later that you are leaving. No one wins in a knee jerk, high risk, guessing game – well I do, I get paid.


3. Are only chasing leads, references etc. A specialist understands the value of trust. Specialists don’t stick knives into people, within this business recruiters get fired for calling your boss when you need confidentiality. Specialist recruiters are serious, mature and conscientious professional people; we’ve had to be to last in small, niche marketplaces. 


4. How does someone who’s not in your market know whom the best players are. There’s always risk BUT a specialist recruiter should be able to (at worst) relate anecdotes relevant to you; they should be comfortable to tell you about the good, the bad and the ugly within their clients. Client doesn’t want a hardcore sales pitch aimed at manipulating you into taking a job. They want retention and return; Buyers remorse leads to people leaving. If your recruiter cannot relate a business’s strengths and weaknesses to your needs, they’re not doing their job. Specialist recruiters can do this.


5. Access to Networks. Don’t make me laugh. There’s no way there’s a network behind a recruiter when they think that CHash is a real term. You want to know whom to work for; go speak to a specialist. You want to know what you’re worth, NOT get 10% slapped on your payslip; speak to a specialist. There’s a problem you need solved, only a specialist can tell you about the people who can solve that problem. Specialists can introduce you to people that match your spec NOT theirs.


6. Negotiate you better rates!!! The whole ‘why I need your payslip’ argument is driven by people who don’t know what you are worth – they cannot make a diagnosis or give an opinion. Speak to a specialist, a specialist can/will talk to you openly about the evidence they see (you might not always like what they say but that’s life!!!) and what it means. Rates are driven by the value you can prove in interview. A specialist can tell you whether you are being unreasonable or not. It’s anecdotal evidence, based on years of layered experience, applied to you. A specialist has the confidence and knowledge to act as a broker between you and your future employer, they can represent you and the business because it’s a human, service process NOT a numbers, sales process. 


7. A Specialist’s job is to manage/eliminate risk to both client and candidate. We’re not “order takers”, we’re problem solvers. Specialists often don’t need “hard closing” skills; we’re enabling choice (keep in mind we do offer a similar service to client, it works both ways), manage risk (through education) and introduce people – “Conversation Starters” (I’m making that my new job title) if you prefer. We don’t need to force a job down your throat OR force you down our clients’ throats.


This is not intended to be a sales pitch for e-Merge (hahaha sure… call me… I have some great work… oh and send your friends too, we have cookies). This is a response to the weak wristed, mushy brained, bull floating around out there.


I’m personally tired of being stereotyped because of what I do, it’s time to draw a line in the sand.

You have the power to choose, use it; you don’t have to settle.

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