Why do employers use recruitment agencies?

The most common reason, particular for lower-level jobs, is simply to save time and effort. Many organisations don’t have the staff to sift through all the applications that can be generated by an ad in a newspaper or on the Internet, so they use an agency to bring the numbers down to a manageable level or even fill the post for them.

For very senior or highly specialised appointments, employers will also often use a recruitment agency that specialises in finding people for that specific profession or level of experience, one which has good contacts in that field.

The third reason is confidentiality. The employer may be a high-profile organisation which wants to avoid the publicity that a particular job advert can attract or an avalanche of unsuitable applicants attracted by their name. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.