Finding senior-level project engagements can be a challenge, one reason accounting and finance consultants are increasingly relying on employment agencies to locate the best opportunities.
Whether you call them employment agencies, staffing agencies, recruiters or search firms, they all fulfill the same basic function: They find candidates for jobs at client firms for a fee. And the client pays the fee, not the candidate. Here's how to determine which employment agency is right for you.
Types of projects
Your chances of success at finding a new consulting position are greater if you work with an employment agency that specializes in accounting and finance positions. Some agencies might have more experience with placing consultants on tax-related projects, for example, while others focus on business systems and analysis. Do a little digging to find out what specific types of projects and positions a firm offers.
If you're a senior-level professional, find an agency that regularly works with consultants who have extensive experience in the field, as the agency will have a solid reputation among employers for providing seasoned workers. Review the agency's website, but also use your social media connections and networks like LinkedIn to get the inside scoop from colleagues on how the agency does business.
Positions and client companies
A successful employment agency should provide consultant testimonials so you can gain a sense of the types of opportunities available to professionals who register with them. You also can request information about the kind of organizations where the agency typically places consultants. Consider whether the agency focuses more on placing full-time candidates or specializes in interim staffing and management or project consulting.
Look for an employment agency that has alliances with leading professional associations and a broad client network. A firm that has deep relationships within the accounting and finance world will be able to provide you with greater access to rewarding project opportunities.
Seek out agencies that provide career and industry resources, such as insight into salary and hiring trends. An agency might share this information and offer tailored advice to job seekers through a blog or newsletters. Without up-to-date data and a deep understanding of the industry, no agency can be an effective matchmaker between consultants and employers.
Benefits and training
Sometimes the extras make all the difference. You might look specifically for an employment agency that provides access to benefits, such as health, life and disability insurance. Some of the better agencies also offer holiday and bonus pay for consultants who meet certain requirements.
Don't forget about the agency's training options. These may include free online courses that hone specific skills, provide insight into regulatory changes or help you prepare for certification exams.
Learn why Robert Half Management Resources is the right employment agency to help you find the best consulting opportunities.