Careers Service

Recruitment agencies

In this section you'll find information on recruitment agencies including how to find and register with recruitment agencies. You can also download the latest Edinburgh recruitment agency survey.

Edinburgh recruitment agency survey

The latest recruitment agency survey was conducted in August 2015. It gives you more information about the agencies you might approach while job-seeking, and how to make more efficient use of agencies.

This survey is available to download as a PDF (26 pages). Paper copies are also available for reference at our information centres.



While every care has been taken in the compilation of this survey, the Careers Service cannot accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions in the information provided by the agencies.

Benefits of using a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies can be useful in your job search. In cities such as Edinburgh, there is always plenty of casual work available, much of which is advertised through agencies.

  • Agencies can provide a gateway to unadvertised jobs and some specialised posts.
  • Some large companies outsource graduate recruitment to agencies and some may use agencies to pre-select their candidates.
  • Agencies can be a useful source of work experience through temporary or vacation work.

How to register

  • We would advise you to register with more than one agency - 3 or 4 is probably a manageable number.
  • You usually make contact by telephone, email or online and then may be invited to visit their office to register.
  • Remember to take the most recent copy of your CV with you but be prepared also to fill out the same information in agency forms.
  • If you need help in compiling your CV, attend one of our drop-in sessions and check the advice on this site.

Recruitment consultants tend to be very upbeat about finding you a job, but sometimes seem to forget about you as soon as you leave their office!

It is important for you to be proactive and telephone a named contact regularly to ensure your name is at the forefront of their mind when jobs come in.

Some words of caution

It is important to proceed with caution when registering with an agency. You should not pay to be matched with employers and avoid being talked into taking unsuitable jobs.

Be wary if a recruitment consultant provides no information about the company or the job. Finally, do not be pressurised into changing your CV to one you are unhappy with. It is your CV!

Good recruitment practice

Many recruitment agencies belong to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and should adhere to their 'Code of Good Recruitment Practice'. Contact the confederation if you have a complaint about any of their members.


Agency Workers' Rights

As an agency worker you are entitled to a number of rights at work. Gov.UK provides information on what rights agency workers are entitled to:

A guide to Agency Workers' Rights

If you are not receiving these rights you can call the Acas helpline at 0300 123 1100 for advice

Agencies throughout the UK

There are a number of ways to search for suitable agencies.

You can check the job section in the local press to monitor which agencies are particularly active in the area in which you are interested.

Visit the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) website for a searchable online directory of agencies throughout the UK.


You can try the Yellow Pages, now known as