Looking for a job in the UK? Then read on!
If you are really lucky you will never have to come in contact with job consultants, instead you will get to interact with company HR (which is a whole different ball game).
To make things clearer let me clarify what the difference is between a job consultant and company HR. Job consultant is usually the ‘middleman’ between you and the prospective employer. They get a percentage of the salary that they place you at (if you get the job), this is called ‘placement fees’.
Therefore a consultant needs to maximise the salary you get placed at, while ensuring you get the job. It is a tough job, to manage the expectations of both the job seeker and the employer. This means your average consultant needs to be smart, aggressive and pushy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which side of the gun you are facing. For proper opportunities you need someone aggressive fighting for you with the company.
A company HR person works for the company. Their loyalties are usually not divided. They usually come in during the beginning and end of the interview process.
Your interaction with the consultant is likely to be divided into the following phases:
1) The Initial Call
2) Pre-interview Phase
3) Post-interview Phase
4) Finalization Phase
Out of the above five phases the first (The Initial Call) and the third (Post-interview) are most important. These determine (to a great extent) which side of the gun you face.
More on these in Part 2!