CareerTips & Guides

Recruitment Agencies: Spoilt for Choice – Or Are We?


Dubai is known as the land of the plentiful, and this quote is so true with regards to Recruitment Agencies. The number of Recruitment Agencies in the UAE is vast and is partly attributed to the economic and business boom witnessed in the region over the last decade.

So how do you know which one to partner with, either as a Client or a Candidate?

As with many things in life, and especially here in the GCC relationships are so incredibly important. With this in mind, do not overlook that ‘gut’ feeling you have when agreeing to be represented by a Recruitment Agent or indeed engage them on a search assignment.

How an agency responds to you from either side of the equation, whether candidate or client, is a clear indication of their approach in business. Within the recruitment industry, many believe that because the client is paying a fee, they should feel more satisfied. However, someone’s job is a huge part of their life, and as an expat, a job could be the difference between remaining in country or returning home. Fundamentally, as a candidate, it is your life choice that a Recruitment Agency is managing. With 2 sides to this business equation, both parties have the right to feel as important, so chose well.

As a candidate an agency may be attentive and give you time to learn about your past experience, your requirements of a new role and try to understand why you are looking to move on. If so, then this is a good sign. Furthermore, if they return your contact attempts, then this too means they recognise you as a good candidate and one which they believe they will be able to place. Equally so, the reputable and professional agencies are those who will also advise why you may not be the ideal fit for a role but will also maintain a relationship and contact with you. Don’t be afraid to follow up with an agency from time to time, as the reputable and professional firms will welcome this and recognise that you are trying to stay fresh in their minds. Be cautious as to how many agents you approach to work with, as if too many agents represent you to a client, then your profile will be remembered but not necessarily for the fight reasons.

As a fee paying client, if an agent takes the time to visit your company and try and learn about your Company culture, why the role is vacant and the desired person, experience and profile they are seeking then this is clearly a strong signal. In addition, if they agree to sending a shortlist of a specified number of pre-interviewed candidates, then again a good indication of a reputable process and company. However, if they soon start to send through numerous profiles, experience suggests that they are just scouring their database and hoping one of their existing profiles matches your requirement, reducing the need to spend time and effort specifically on your assignment.

There are numerous brands within the Recruitment Arena here in the UAE, some local, some international, some good and some not so good, but as with all companies this is a reality. In business we end up entering into an agreement because one person has impressed us, put effort into maintaining this relationship, and the experience you encounter as a candidate or a client has a high probability of being a positive one.

Here’s hoping you find the right one for you!

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Charlize Fisher is a freelance writer who has lived and worked overseas for over 10 years. Originally from the UK, she has accrued many international adventures both personally and professionally. Currently working on her debut novel, she is a published content writer for multiple platforms including websites and magazines. Capture your audience and allow your words to sparkle and shine, contact Charlize at or

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