There are two steps in finding the right employment agency. The first is to find one that specializes in your field. The second is to make sure they are legal.
Specialized employment agencies are preferable because they understanding the industry they serve. The knowledge and connections that they have in their field enables them to reach more candidates and screen for very specific qualities. If an agency recruits both plumbers and accountants, chances are they aren’t the best at both.
To know if a recruiter has the expertise you need, check the job ads on their website. Do they hire the type of employees you are looking for? Do they use language that is exclusive to your field? You can also check for indications of the employers they work for. If they recruit for reputable companies, they might know their stuff.
Are they Legal?
In British Columbia, an employment agency is “a person who, for a fee, recruits or offers to recruit employees for employers.” All employment agencies in the province must comply with the Employment Standards Act. The only exception is for recruiters who hire exclusively for one employer.
The Employment Standards Act requires all employment agencies in BC to be licensed under the act unless they hire exclusively for one company. Licenses need to be renewed every year. To find out if an employment agency in BC is licensed, visit:
http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/licensing/ea_name.pdf [list of licensed agencies sorted by name]
http://www.labour.gov.bc.ca/esb/licensing/ea_location.pdf [list of licensed agencies sorted by location]
If the company you are interested in is not on this list, you can always ask them for proof of their license.
The most prominent rule in British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act is fee prohibition. Licensed employment agencies are paid by employers to find employees. They cannot accept payments from the applicants who are looking for jobs. A job applicant cannot be charged by an employment agency for its services. If recruiters could charge applicants for their services; applicants who can pay could take precedence over applicants who actually meet the job requirements (which would be bad for employers).
Employment agencies can charge fees for non-recruitment services. An example would be lessons on how to write a good resume. Any non-recruitment services must clearly be identified as such.
For more information on employment agencies in BC, visit:
Red Seal Recruiting has been licensed under BC’s Employment Standards Act since October 14, 2005.