When it comes to career development, choosing the right recruitment agency is a hugely important (though often overlooked) step towards securing that dream job. From providing access to a network of industry experts to advising on career development and contract issues, recruiters can give you vital support when you need it most.But with so many players in the market, how do you choose the right recruitment agency for your needs? Here are five top tips to help you make the best decision for your next job search.How to Choose the Right Recruitment Agency: 5 Top Tips1. Assess Your Needs Before Approaching a Recruitment AgencyBefore you contact a recruitment agency, you need to be aware of your own needs, the kind of work you are looking for, and the challenges you feel you need a little help to overcome. In order to identify what type of support you need from a recruitment agency, it is a good idea to assess your professional portfolio and career prospects. Don’t worry if you have little or limited knowledge of the job market, as a good recruitment consultant can uncover not only what you are interested in, but also what suits your skillsets and career goals.2. Specialist or Generalist Recruitment Agency?Are you set on a specific sector, or are you exploring your options? If you are open to a new experience or currently considering a career change, generalist agencies should be your first port of call. However, if you are trained in a specialised industry, such as IT or Engineering, you may want to find an agency that can connect you to the right network and speak your language. If your agency of choice can communicate in the same way as your industry’s experts and has a thorough understanding of the trends and quirks of the industry, it can have a positive impact when they are presenting your case to potential employers.3. Ask Your PeersResearching recruitment agencies can start with a simple word of mouth exercise. There is a high chance that your peers have heard of an agency’s reputation through their own network, and have possibly even been in touch with them themselves. As recruiters are hyper-connected people, you might be surprised to find how much information you can discover by just tapping into your immediate network. Ask your peers for a recommendation. See if anyone in your immediate network has worked with any agencies you’re currently considering, and soon you will be receiving honest feedback from sources you can trust.4. Look at the Recruitment Agency’s Website: Team, Job Board and ResourcesWhen you are looking at a recruitment agency’s website, start by looking at the team’s profiles. This is where you can find out more about the experience, strengths and personality of each of consultant, and by extension, the agency itself.Secondly, search through the agency’s current job listings to see if you can find any descriptions that match your preferences. If you can, then you are on the right track. And finally, read through the resources that are available on the website, making a note of how active the agency is at helping its candidates, and how knowledgeable it is in the areas that you need the most help with.5. Follow the Recruitment Agency’s Social Media ActivityFind an agency that stays in touch with the latest developments in the job market, as well as having a reputation for success. As social media is the preferred medium of communication for many people, good recruitment agencies tend to post regular updates on their social channels to stay in touch with their network and keep them informed of sector-specific updates. While LinkedIn is the preferred channel of communication for many agencies, it is also worthwhile to check their Facebook for a better understanding of its key characteristics.SummaryNew Zealand is home to numerous recruitment agencies across a variety of industries and specialisations. Being so spoilt for choice, many jobseekers find it difficult to take the first step and approach an agency, even though they require support. However, sometimes all it takes to find the right agency is to simply talk to one about what you need.Sourced is a specialised, experienced and local recruitment agency that provides guidance to many IT professionals in Christchurch and Auckland. If you are still unsure of which agency is the best fit for your needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more.