I provided Virtual Assistant support to recruitment agency on and off for a year and a half and it was something I really enjoyed doing. It wasn’t until I started working with an agency that I realised what value I was able to bring to the business and to the team.
Although I didn’t have a recruitment background, I had a passion for formatting documents and the agency needed someone to format the CVs into the agency’s company branded templates and upload them into the company database.
I love document production and can format documents until the end of time so I really enjoyed that task. It wasn’t long before I started noticing the errors on some of the CVs I received from candidates. I was struck by a role recruitment agencies played that I had never considered. They weren’t there just to help find the candidate a job, they were also the professional who would tidy up your CV for you and present you to the company where you are applying for a role, ensuring the key skills listed in your CV stood out.
I had never thought about it like that.
When you apply for a job and are asked to send in your CV together with a covering letter, unless you’ve asked someone to proofread it for you or you go through an agency, any errors within your application will land on the company recruiter’s desk, who ultimately decides whether your application will be selected for the next round.
Although recruitment agencies don’t get their commission until they have filled the vacancy, it is also in their interest to ensure the right candidate is put forward. Rather than inundating the client with a pile of CVs, the candidates were carefully selected to ensure they ticked most, if not all, of the requirements the client was looking for. It was about quality, not quantity.
Another area where the agency required support was liaising with the client and candidate and to organise the interview.
As any recruiter knows, it can be what I refer to as a ‘ping pong’ process. Going back and forth with availability can be time consuming. Some candidates weren’t able to respond to their messages during the day if they were already employed so, in most cases, I wouldn’t see a response until around lunch time or when I logged on in the morning. I started to find it easier following up my email with a quick text too, referring to the email. More often than not, that did help to speed up the process.
One more area I supported the agency was updating their website with new recruitment opportunities. Accessing their WordPress website, I had to ensure all relevant information was entered for the vacancy.
A particular task they needed me to perform was something I had never done or even heard of before, it was using LinkedIn Recruiter to source potential candidates.
I always assumed people would contact a recruitment agency when they wanted to find a new job, but by doing a reverse look up, it enables recruitment agencies to be proactive and look for candidates to fill their vacancies. If you look up a potential candidate’s profile, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the profile whether they are fed up with their job and looking for their next move. It’s about assumptions.
I have a very inquisitive mind and love exploring so, armed with a set of key words to use and a criteria to satisfy, I started sourcing out potential candidates suitable for the roles we were looking to fill. The amount of candidates registered onto the database by the recruitment agency being proactive was immense and some of those candidates were put forward for the roles we had advertised, instead of waiting for a role to be available.
It was interesting to learn how a recruitment company worked and from this experience, I found extra tasks that I really enjoyed and felt comfortable doing remotely. It helped me learn huge amounts about an industry of which I had no prior knowledge.
If you are a recruitment agency and need someone to take over the time consuming tasks so you can focus on getting on approved supplier lists, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org