Are Recruitment Agencies in Ghana the Job Seekers Friend or Foe?

That unemployment is one of the major challenges that has bedeviled this country for decades is not in doubt. The increasing numbers of unemployed graduates is a very troubling reality. Governments over the years have done their bit to help create more job opportunities for unemployed graduates. Truth be told, relatively little success has been chalked in this exercise. The stark reality is that, the nation`s tertiary institutions are continually churning out significant numbers of graduates whereas the job market is not expanding that fast. In other words, there are more graduates than there are jobs. Intense competition and the ‘whom you know’ or better still ‘who knows you’ syndrome holds sway.
            Another critical factor is that, many graduates simply do not know where or how to find these relatively few job opportunities. This is where recruitment agencies come in. What they essentially do among others is that, they recruit employees for other companies (they are usually contracted by companies in need of employees).
Patronizing the services of recruitment agencies
            I personally think that patronizing the services of credible recruitment agencies is one of the viable routes to landing a good job. Admittedly there are a variety of options open to job seekers and it definitely makes sense to explore a variety of these job hunting options. The good news is that they are generally not mutually exclusive. This means is that, the job seeker can deploy a variety of strategies simultaneously. It is in the light of this reality I will encourage unemployed graduates to register with credible recruitment agencies while they explore other options. In this instance, the job seeker is required to pay a specified amount, usually called a processing fee. The applicant may be required to submit photocopies of certificates and other relevant documents. A form (or forms) is then filled by the applicant who also makes available his or her passport photographs (usually two copies). The details of the registration process may differ from one recruitment agency to the other. Once registered, the agency is saddled with the responsibility of prospecting for a job opening for the applicant. Once a job opening that meets the applicant’s qualifications and specifications is secured, he or she is contacted for an interview where necessary and all things being equal, the applicant`s dream job becomes a job in reality.
            The standard practice in some quarters is that, once you are employed, the recruitment agency is mandated to pay your salaries as and when they fall due. This is so because, the company that contracts the recruitment agency pays the recruitment agency a lump sum for their services and for the salaries of persons recruited by the agency for the company. This is a growing phenomenon as many well established organizations are outsourcing their staffing to credible recruitment agencies.   
When recruitment agencies publish job adverts
            One of the ways recruitment agencies operate is this; adverts of job opportunities are published in newspaper publications, on their websites or other websites that feature daily job listings. Once the job seeker applies for the job online, he or she is contacted by the recruitment agency via email, text message or a phone call and scheduled for an interview. Ideally, when the job applicant is short-listed and invited for the interview, he or she is not required to make any siform of payments prior to the interview (Unlike where the job seeker walks into the office of a recruitment agency to register for their service). This is the standard practice of many credible and time tested recruitment agencies in Ghana (such as L`aine Service Ltd. & Plato Consult). In my experience, I have landed jobs with the assistance of recruitment agencies that operate this way. This is in stark contrast to the many interviews I have attended where I was required to make some payment. As a matter of fact, in all such instances, I never got the job I was supposedly being interviewed for. It is not uncommon to find considerable numbers of job seekers attend a job interview for a single position (or few job openings) who are all required to pay a non-refundable amount of money with no guarantee whatsoever of getting the job.
            I have also discovered that in many instances, those who are fortunate enough to land the job are required to enter into a contract with the recruitment agency that stipulates that for the next couple of months, a certain specified percentage of the successful job applicants salary is to be paid at source into the recruitment agency`s account. In many of such instances, the salary due the new employee is relatively low. This is a sad reality. And there are a host of fraudulent and illegal recruitment agencies in Ghana robbing many unsuspecting clients of substantial amounts of money. What should the job seeker do then? With the wealth of knowledge shared in this piece (and this I must say is knowledge gained from experience), it is hoped that job seekers will seek the services of credible and time tested recruitment agencies and exercise caution when contacted for interviews by recruitment agencies.
            Also worth-noting is that, before one seeks the services of a recruitment agency, it will not be out of place to conduct some form of research about the company; you may do some Google search and seek the advice of others who have at one time or the other sought the services of recruitment agencies. Some job seekers have had bad experiences with some recruitment agencies whereas others have had great experiences with such companies. Some have had a blend of the two. Their counsel will be invaluable. To your job hunting success!!!
Written by Daniel Dela Dunoo
Freelance writer, blogger, published author, professional marketer and the founder of Top-notch Writing Solutions, Ghana.

Blog:  http://danieldeladunoo@gmail.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com 

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