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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Recruitment agencies

Jobcentre Plus offers a wide range of job opportunities. To increase your chances of getting a job or to improve your skills, you could also join a recruitment agency.

The benefits of registering with a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies work closely with people looking for jobs and employers looking for people to fill jobs.

If you work with a recruitment agency, they will know what type of job you want and help you find it. Some recruitment agencies specialise in a particular area of work.

Recruitment agencies may offer you temporary jobs as well as permanent or full-time jobs. This can help build up your work experience, skills and confidence if you want to get back into a permanent full-time job.

Recruitment agencies may also offer:

  • flexible working hours which may suit your situation and needs
  • training to make sure you have the skills you need to get the jobs available

What to look for in a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies must meet the standards set by the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

If you're looking for temporary work, the agency must agree with you:

  • the terms and conditions of the work you will do
  • the type of work you will do
  • how much you will be paid
  • how and when you will be paid
  • how much notice you will have to give (if any)
  • details of any paid holiday

An agency must not:

  • refuse to pay you because they have not been paid by the person you work for
  • charge you for finding or trying to find you work (there are some exceptions, mainly with entertainment and modelling jobs)

You do not have to use any of the services that an agency charges for, for example, training courses and getting help with your CV.

Agencies must give you all the information they have about:

  • the employer you are working for
  • the type of work you will do
  • the hours you will work
  • how much you will be paid

The agency will make sure that you have the skills and qualifications you need for the job. They'll also make sure that you are not breaking any laws by doing this work. They must tell you in writing about any changes to your agreement.

When you register with an agency they will ask you for information about yourself so they can find you a suitable placement or job. Information may include proof of your identity (such as your birth certificate or driving licence), your experience and any training or qualifications you have. They will also make sure that you are willing to do the job before putting you in it.

An agency won't give your information to any other organisations unless they are trying to find you work or they need to for legal reasons. They must get your permission before they do this.

An agency can offer you a job at short notice. They can also finish temporary work at short notice without being responsible for any unfair dismissal or redundancy pay. Always make sure you understand your contract.

Getting the most out of a recruitment agency

It's important to think about how you want to work with recruitment agencies. Remember, you are telling them about your skills and they will help you find a job. You are working together.

To make the most out of your recruitment agency, make sure you:

  • keep in regular contact with them
  • give them all the information they need, including all your contact details and references
  • are honest
  • keep your CV accurate and up to date
  • tell them if there is a particular type of job you don't want - be upfront and save time
  • listen to any advice they have about improving your CV, remember they are professionals and they want to help you get a job

Talk to your agency if they aren’t finding you work - it may be there are no jobs available. Think about other types of work you are willing to do or register with another agency.

If you need more advice about recruitment agencies in your area, please contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

For more detailed information on the rules that agencies must follow, use the link below.

Further help and advice

You can also download the Jobcentre Plus 'Recruitment agencies' factsheet below.

Provided by Jobcentre Plus

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