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Recruitment agencies are organisations that find people jobs and take a fee from the companies that they place candidates in and it can sometimes make job hunting easier. Employers have started using recruitment agencies more and more as the agencies can provide a sample of candidates to organisations that the recruitment agencies think would be suitable for the role. This eliminates hundreds, even thousands of unsuitable CVs getting sent into hiring companies.
Ultimately, the emphasis of sifting through applications has been transferred from the employer to the recruitment agency. Depending on the agency, the terms of them putting you forward may change but your rights will not. The top end agencies ask that you pay a fee to them for putting your CV forward. This, however, is rare and most recruitment agencies will take you on for free.
Recruitment agencies work very closely with employers and are aware of all available positions open in the job market so that they can place people quickly and efficiently.
Some recruitment agencies offer or suggest training to those on their books if there is a high demand for a certain type of job in a particular field where jobs need to be filled.
Candidates must apply to the agency saying what type of job they want and when they want to start work. They must specify if they want to work temporarily, part-time or full-time. Most agencies will return to the candidate with a number of options with different grades of commitment, hours and possible pay.
Some recruitment agencies specialise in certain fields of profession. Film, television and acting are the most famous where agents can demand as much money as the film stars that they place in roles.
There is lots of job advice out there to help you get noticed by recruitment agencies.
An agency cannot refuse to pay even if they have not received their commission. They cannot charge for finding work unless there has been a specific agreement of which you are fully aware before you sign on.
Recruitment agencies will know companies well, including their pay structure, typical hours of work, type of work expected and any special regulations affecting their company.