Tag Archives: Employment Agencies Act

The Rules of the Game


The Employment Agencies Act

Did you know that Employment Agencies in the UK have a set of Rules to work to?

They’re called The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003.

This is the legislation that governs our industry.

They cover all elements of the Recruitment process from general obligations to, special situations where more than one agency is involved in the supply.

Like all rules and regulations they’re subject to interpretation by, highly paid legal professionals and rulings and case law by High Court Judges, but the fact still remains that we do have the equivalent of the Haynes Manual to Recruitment.

The Employment Agencies Act (among other things)  ensures we’re open, honest, and transparent, about our service, which can only be a good thing.

If you’re interested or would like to know more you can find a copy of them here.

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Permanent Recruitment Solutions

Recruitment Agency Permanent Recruitment
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 A lot of Employment Agencies will find you a Permanent job.

In fact when you’re searching for a permanent job it can sometimes be hard to find jobs NOT being advertised by Employment Agencies (I’m going to shorten it to EA if you don’t mind, I’m getting fed up with typing Employment Agencies all the time).

But if you don’t understand how it works or what’s in it for the agency then it can seem a bit bewildering, and if you’re only point of reference is the Job Centre or whatever they’re called now then this may shed some light on the whole thing for you.

An EA (remember Employment Agency) is the name for a business that will place people into permanent roles.

All EAs are governed by the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003.

I’ll split Permanent Recruitment into 3 areas and give you my understanding of all of them.

In every one of these cases the Hiring Company is responsible for paying any fees to the Agency.

File Search

This is one of the names given to the most common type of Permanent Recruitment.

This is where a company asks an EA to help them find someone (they have to ask! the EA can’t just see a company advertising, copy it, and then start firing off CVs that they hope will be a match – although I reckon some of them do) and the EA will then search their database and use other means to find the best person that matches the brief.

Sometimes the Recruiter will know suitable candidates, as a result of the relationship they’ve built up over the years, and will know just the right person.

Other times they will need to go through hundreds of names (yes hundreds) to draw up a credible shortlist which will ultimately be whittled down to the best 3.

Once this is done, the CVs should be presented with a justification as to why they’re a good match, and then the client will arrange to interview to make their own mind up.

This isn’t the end of the process, during the placement the EA should liaise between both parties until the placement is successfully concluded.

Once the person start the agency is then paid an Introduction Fee.

This can vary greatly depending on the role but typically will be a 4 – 5 figure sum (and I’m not including the number after the decimal point either).

If the placement isn’t successful there will often be a rebate period in which the company would see a percentage or sometimes even the entire fee returned.

Search & Selection

This is a similar process but with often a different fee structure (either more expensive because it tends to be used at the higher salary levels, or staged payments).

In this process the company will again take the brief, but will research and find people in an appropriate role and approach them on behalf of their client.

If they’re felt to be suitable the EA will submit a shortlist and then in agreement with the client will draw up a list of candidates to be interviewed ultimately ending in a placement.

Head Hunting

I’ve heard this term used, in my opinion wrongly, a number of times and I’ll give you my understanding.

Head Hunting is where a company KNOW who they want by name and ask the EA to approach them on their behalf.

Again they give the EA the brief. The EA will generally carry out face-to-face interviews and make recommendations, and the client will carry out their process and make an offer.

Ninety nine per cent of the Permanent recruitment solutions I’ve offered has always been the first type, hence why the explanations on the last 2 may be subject to minor corrections, and a bit brief.