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Must I use agencies for jobs?

For the last couple of occasions we’ve been looking for a new employee, we’ve used some fairly ineffective advertising in the local press. However it never seems to deliver us a decent crop of applicants and we get a whole lot of mailshots from agents giving us CVs of local people who just couldn’t be bothered to read the job ads. If you’ve seen the Nottingham Evening Post you’d sympathise.

 So now we need someone with a practice background, good communication and computer skills, an enthusiasm for the scuzzy end of accounts preparation for musicians and a sense of ambition. I’d love to get my hands on someone without having to pay an agency their obscene percentage, but can’t see an alternative if I want to choose well. Is there any haggling to be done with the agencies? Or are there third routes?


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By refs8
21st Apr 2010 22:11

Totally agree !

Totally agree we have the same issues as a small firm we are used as a stepping stone and are also based in Nottingham. We have decided to go down the trainee route via AAT and train owe own and seems to work better. Agency may supply experience but these never tend to stay anyway. At least with a trainee route we do get a good response.

One tip that we use is if you know other accountants ask if they have any CVs recently if they are not recruiting we have found this helpful a couple of times before

Good luck !





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21st Apr 2010 23:50


To be honest I think recruiting is down to sheer luck. You can find someone wondefully suited - and I guarantee they will turn out to be useless.  You employ someone "third rate" out of desparation, and they turn out to be gems.

I found one of my staff in a prison cell studying whilst awaiting parole - I kid you not.

Another I found outside a court room in tears terrified and unrepresented facing soliciting charges - that was the best bit of pro bono spur of the moment defending I ever did and ended up with me gaining my most trusted member of staff and a close family friend.

Now, I'm not advocating that you start hanging around Nottingham Crown Court, or taking day trips to interview prisoners, but it does show how fickle fate can be. 

Are you looking for someone qualified, experienced, and therefore probably set in their ways? Or, do you want someone you can mould into your way of working?: If your adverts in the local press dont bring in applicants, is it the press, or is it your adverts that need changing? 

I imagine in Nottingham there is a lot of cometition for the best applicants - not a problem we have here "out in the sticks".  Oddly, we do seem to have a lot of people seeking work - maybe I could send you a few, but its a hell of a commute :)

One thing I do agree with you on - agencies should have vultures as their mascots.  


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By Crendon
22nd Apr 2010 10:20

there are other options....

You could post your own advert on Gaapweb job board (paid advertising)- you may still get some agency responses but should also get some genuine ones.

Or get a web based agency like Webrecruit to do the initial advertising (they should get better rates from the job boards) & weeding out - they will be cheaper than a traditional agency but won't have met the candidates.

Or try Gumtree if there is a local one to you - I've got temporary staff this way before and not had to weed out too much rubbish.

Or haggle HARD with the agency - they are all chasing the same jobs at the moment so now is definitely the time to do a deal.

Good luck!

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22nd Apr 2010 12:18

Trust to luck

Nottingham Crown Court is a really nice place actually, although my visiting as a juror really didn't give me enough time to be chatting up offenders and I guess the judge wouldn't have been a fan.  And yes, blind luck seems to be a major factor in recruitment.

I'm actually looking for someone a bit like the 27 year-old me when I set up the practice, with qualifications and/or experience, with wit and charm and who may get to inherit 'the farm' one day if they're up to it.   The adverts have varied but if you're looking for an accountancy job in the paper, I think you'd be reading all the ads in that section.  And if you ain't looking for a job, the ads section goes unread.

Will have a look at Webrecruit and Gumtree and haggle appropriately!  

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