Dealing with a Recruitment Consultancy – How does it work best for you?

Posted on: February 5th, 2013

Having dealt with candidates on a daily basis for many years, we consistently come across their confusion as to how a consultancy actually works.  In order to clarify this, we have outlined the recruitment process below:

 Stage 1:  Candidate attraction


Once a recruitment consultant is requested by a client to recruit for a vacancy in their organisation, the consultant will begin candidate attraction. This comes in many forms, advertising the vacancy on the agency’s website and various jobs boards, along with an assortment of social networks.  At the same time, the recruitment consultant will activate a search within the agency’s database to try and match live candidates to the position.

The recruitment consultant will then compile a shortlist of candidates to contact and inform them of the position, location, salary, benefits, potential start dates etc.  If the candidate is interested in the position, the recruitment consultant will conduct an in-depth face to face interview with the candidate to see if they fit the job description as set out by the client.

TOP TIP: As a candidate, we advise you to always meet your recruitment consultant in person.  It is easier to convey your experience, ambitions and motivations in person than over the phone.  Also it is the starting point to building a relationship with your recruitment consultant.  This is your career and essential to get right!

 Stage 2: Candidate Submission


Once the recruitment consultant is satisfied that the candidate is a good match for the role, the candidate will be submitted to the client with the consultancy’s recommendation.

 Stage 3: Interview Process & Feedback


Once the consultant receives responses from the client, they will inform their candidate as to whether they were successful in reaching the next stage or not.

Unsuccessful candidates will return to the consultant’s active pipeline and will be provided with feedback.  Candidates successfully called for interview will be informed by the consultant of the interview details (Location, Time, and Interviewer). At this point the consultant will also thoroughly prepare the candidate for interview covering: interview style, potential questions, dress code etc.

From CV submission to first round interview it usually takes one – two weeks to hear back from the client. Once the interview is complete, feedback will be provided and quite often, second round interviews will be conducted on successful candidates.

An important point to note is that depending on the client, the time taken to give feedback on candidates may vary from a few hours to a week, dependant on the clients’ internal procedures.

  Stage 4: Offer & Acceptance


Once final round interviews are complete an offer will be made. Your Recruitment Consultant can negotiate terms if required to, on your behalf.  Offers are always dependant on the successful completion of references checks.  These are sometimes conducted by the recruitment consultant, but more often by the Company. Some industries require these to be complete before starting but others are more relaxed and complete when the candidate has started work.

The recruitment process duration will vary from client to client but the most important thing for candidates to remember is if you are  interested in a role advertised by a recruitment company, fully commit to it and  be sure to dedicate time to the process as it could lead to progression in your career.

Candidates going though an agency for a vacancy are at a clear advantage for the following reasons:

  1. They are normally on a shortlist of 4-6 NOT 1 of hundreds as they are when applying direct
  2. They are advised on CV layout and presentation
  3. They are thoroughly prepared by recruitment consultants before interview


If we can assist you with your job search, please contact our team on 0117 925 5988

Bristol recruitment icons