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Private Employment Agencies Vs. Professional Employment Agencies

Most people correctly associate the word employment agency with recruitment agency or manpower consultant. There are however two distinct types of employment agencies Professional Employment Agencies and Private Employment Agencies. Let us have a closer look at both types.

Private employment agencies have the largest share of the market and are now quite well known to most people from personal experience at local offices and advertisements in the press. Local employment agencies deal with jobs that are clerical, junior administrative, shop staff, IT professional etc. Another type of private agency concentrates on recruitment and, sometimes, the initial stages of selection of middle and senior managers or of professional and specialist staff in fields such as, law accountancy, engineering, etc. Private employment agencies provide at times a very valuable service, especially in recruiting staff in situations where there is a shortage of the particular types of employees required. However, since they exist to make a profit, employers have to pay for any employees they may recruit in this way.

There are also pros and cons that have to be carefully weighed, especially when these private employment agencies are used to assist in the selection of managerial or professional staff. The advantages are the specialist knowledge that an agency can acquire of the employment conditions and requirements in particular fields, objectivity of view and skill in conducting the selection procedure. The main possible disadvantage in using external assistance for recruitment and selection purposes is the agent's lack of first-hand experience of the cultural and environmental aspects of the organization's work and life.

There has been substantial growth of head-hunters or recruitment consultants. As the terms suggest, these are private firms and agencies of recruitment consultants who earn fees by meeting the job needs of organizations for specialist and senior managerial staff. Much of their work is carried on by means of an informal network of contacts, whereby they keep records of career profiles of people likely to be in constant demand, and obtain information about the needs of employers for appointments to be filled. This method has provided its value to the employer and employee clientele of these agencies.

Professional Employment Agencies

Several different kinds of agencies are included under the heading or Professional Employment Agency. The features they have in common are that they are all agencies set up by particular organizations to help their own members or ex-members find employment and that they are generally non-profit -making. The agencies of this kind that employers are likely to need and use most regularly are:-

1. Career services of academic institutions: Universities and similar institutions maintain a full-time career advisory service. They serve as an employment agency for graduating or recently graduated students, are centers of information for graduates about employment opportunities and for employers who are seeking potential managers or professional specialist.

2.Employment services of professional institutions: A number of professional institutions, such as those representing accounts, engineers, etc. have an employment advisory service whereby a register is kept of members seeking employment and information is collected from employers seeking staff in particular professions.

3. Employment exchange provided by the state service for young people provides a regular liaison between employers and unemployed youth.

While both types of employment agencies have flourished, a private employment agency with experience and professionalism is the most sought after.


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