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Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies

I am currently working in a very small accountancy practice (as accounts senior), and would like to get into a larger firm, still working in an accounts related job, but preferably not in an accountancy practice.

I very rarely see accounting jobs advertised other than through recruitment agents, so I have twice tried to find new employment through several agencies.  They have always said in the initial interview that they have plenty of jobs, of the type I would like, that they could put me forward for, and seem very positive towards me.  When it comes down to it however, they are only willing to put me forward for jobs that are exactly what I am trying to get out of - small accountancy practice jobs.  They do not seem willing to consider anyone without prior experience of exactly the same role.

Has everyone had the same experience with agencies?  If so, how do you get round this attitude?  If not, have I just gone to the wrong agencies or am I doing something wrong?

Thanks in advance for any help.


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15th Nov 2011 09:32

He who pays the piper

What fee does the agency charge you? Thought so.

Their job is to find a suitable person to fill the job vacancy as specified in the job and person specification issued by the client.

Sadly, that puts someone like you, who is capable but wants to do something a bit different, at a bit of a disadvantage.

Don't be too hard on the agency. If you were an employer you would want them to put forward only the most suitable people. It's not personal, it's business.

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By dreamcatcher
15th Nov 2011 09:37

It would appear from your post that you are looking to move from professional practice to industry.  This first move can be a little difficult as you will always be competing with other accountants who already have a strong industry background. 

Since the credit crunch and subsequent recession the accountancy job market in general has been very slow , I know this myself because it took me 2 years of looking and interviews to find the right role for me (which I started 8 weeks ago).

If you are looking to make a move into industry my advice would be to structure your CV to make it more industry focused and highlight areas of your experience which would be useful in such a role.

In terms of recruitment consultants I think many of us have had bad experiences of them.  My experience certainly mirrors yours where I have been told they have lots of roles in the area which I am interested and and they will put forward them.  Only then to be put forward for the sort of roles I am doing now.  The classic one for me was when I engaged a FTSE listed recuitment agency to help me find a new job.  They picked up on my CV that I had some payroll experience and seemed only interested in putting me forward for payroll jobs, despite me been a qualified accountant working for a top independent practice in the local area.  As you probably know recruitment consultants work on commission so it is often easier for them to place you in a role similar to what you do now.

I would find a small recruitment consultant, preferable who has a background in finance or accountancy and use them to actively market your skills to there clients.  To don't mention where you live.  I do know several excellent recruitment consultants in the Yorkshire region.  PM if you want contact details.

Hope this helps


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15th Nov 2011 11:13

One of the main problems is that unless you are quite senior or lucky you will be dealing with a recruiter who knows nothing about accountancy.  They fill roles by matching key words from the job spec to your CV.  Consequently you need to get those words on your CV, think about what the role you want would be described as and try to pull those skills out in your CV.  Other things to do are get on linkedin, fill in your profile well and state what you want to do. Also think about the organisations that you'd want to work for and get in touch directly, lots of larger organisations have their own recruitment teams and they are only too happy not to have to pay an agency fee by dealing direct. 

Don't be disappointed if you don't get immediate results, but do listen to any feedback you get and try to improve your 'offer', whether that be CV tweaks, interview questions or answers or even your personal image.  

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15th Nov 2011 11:49

I could not face dealing with them the last time I left a job

So that's why I'm now self-employed!  Instead of begging recruitment agencies, I thought I'd spend that effort looking for my own clients.



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By sylou
15th Nov 2011 20:55


Thanks for your replies.  There are definitely some suggestions I will look into, smaller consultants or linkedin especially.

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