We all know the core reason that recruitment agencies exist - to help find talented people the right opportunity, and to help companies find that person with the perfect skills and personality for their team (plot twist: the perfect person doesn’t exist, but that’s a whole other blog post).
So that’s our bread and butter, but to keep the analogy going, there’s a lot of sandwich filling inbetween that helps add to the *hopefully* great experience that our clients (that’s both companies and individuals on the job hunt) get.
People looking for a job (definitely you at some point!)
We look through so many CVs, and so we end up having a pretty good insight into what Hiring Managers across different companies are looking for, and the best way to present your CV as a result (and maximise your chances of getting the job you want).
A big part of our job - which maybe gets overlooked - is our ability to offer advice and guidance on things like CV formatting.
Check out this blog by my colleague Rhona about CVs: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/crafting-perfect-cv-jobs-tech-rhona-kennedy/
Skills to improve:
One of the bonuses about working across a specific area (testing roles in Scotland) means that even though I’m not a technical person, I’m pretty savvy about the current market and future trends and the key things that companies tend to look for.
That means if you are keen to develop your skills in a certain area I can advise on what companies seem to hire for, and hopefully help you make a more informed decision!
Salary Negotiations (and not just for a new role):
Part of the great thing about working with a recruitment consultant is that we do the difficult stuff for you! It shouldn’t be awkward, but it can sometimes be a bit awkward and difficult to negotiate things like salary for yourself, but that’s what we are here for. It’s also tricky sometimes to ‘big up’ yourself because in the UK we have an annoying tendency (me included!) to be pretty self-deprecating and not advocate for ourselves. It’s much easier when someone can do that for, and calmly lay out the facts about why you deserve *that* salary.
I can also advise on market rates to help you in salary reviews, and there are websites that track average salaries across certain job titles in specific areas to help give you some actual facts and figures to back this up.
Side note: Please don’t be afraid to get in touch about things like this, I’d be glad to help! The whole point of this blog is to show the other ways in which I can help, so please take me up on it!
People looking to hire (maybe you at some point?)
First and foremost, we’ll be upfront about how realistic your job description is. Maybe you are looking for someone who is a ‘unicorn’, and believe me, they are called that for a reason - they don’t exist! Maybe your salary is not in line with the seniority of the role, the market average, or the skillset you are looking for. We help to determine the absolute musts, and where you can be flexible, all in order to help you get the right person in the door.
You might be a new company on the market, or new to a certain city and not sure how to compete with companies who are well know. Here’s where I can help - I can let you know what is attractive to most people whether it’s salary, benefits (*cough* flexible working *cough*), and whether it’s just the company’s motivations.
Community within tech is such a massive thing, and I can point companies to different meetups or opportunities where the company can not only get involved, and network and chat to potential future employees but really get to be known as one of the ‘good guys’ in the local community.
Briefly mentioned above, and pretty obvious. As someone who works across a niche area (testing roles in Scotland), I know average salaries across Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh like the back of my hand, and I can let a company know where they stand, and what we can do to help them stand out more if salary is something where they struggle to compete compared to larger companies.
Quick note for people on the other end of this: Companies are not being ‘stingy’ or ‘underpaying’ if they can’t always offer as much as someone else. For example, banks in Edinburgh and Glasgow boost up average salaries but your local friendly small-to-medium enterprise just doesn’t have the same resources. I know it’s a pain but if you are in that situation where a smaller company is offering slightly less than a larger company can, don’t get p*ssed off because I can guarantee it’s not a slight on you! Rant over.
Recruiters, applicants and companies all have the same goal in mind: to get through an application process as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
With this in mind, speeding up the interview process and cutting out unnecessary steps is something that I (and everyone at Cathcart Associates and every recruiter ever) will try to do. If a tech test is unnecessary we’ll try to skip that step, if we can do a quick call and then an in-person interview to try and save time on both sides, we will!
These are just a few of the things that I can help with, but it is by no means an exhaustive list - please do give me a shout on 0131 510 1500 or firstname.lastname@example.org to chat some more.