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There are two steps in choosing an employment agency in Alberta.

The first is to find one that specializes in your field. The second is to make sure they are legal.

Why Specialized?

Specialized employment agencies are preferable because they understand the industry they serve. The knowledge and connections that they have in their field enables them to reach more qualified 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 Alberta, an employment agency is anyone who helps employers recruit employees in exchange for money. All employment agencies in Alberta must comply with the Consumer Protection Act and the Employment Agency Business Licensing Regulation.

The Fair Trading Act protects consumers from unfair business practices such as misleading advertising or advance-fee loans. It applies to transactions when the consumer or vendor lives in Alberta.

The Employment Agency Business Licensing Regulation requires all employment agencies in Alberta to be licensed by Service Alberta.  Licenses need to be renewed every two years.

To find out if an employment agency in Alberta is licensed, visit:

The link above will tell you if the agency in question is licensed AND what type of license it has. Service Alberta offers two types of Employment Agency Licenses; National and International. National Employment Agencies are able to recruit Canadian residents to work in Alberta.

If the ability to recruit applicants from other countries would benefit you, you will want to find an employment agency with an International license.

The most prominent rule in Alberta’s Employment Agency Licensing Regulation is fee prohibition. Licensed employment agencies are paid by employers to find employees.

They cannot accept payments from 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 Alberta, visit: