What is a chef recruitment agency?
Once more commonly referred to as employment agencies, recruitment agencies act as the conduit for employers and chefs to meet, often confidentially. But how do chef recruitment agencies work for chefs? Put at the most basic level, they in fact work on behalf of employers to find suitable candidates to fill their vacancies. Many employers use them, and signing up with a recruitment agency will sometimes give you access to jobs that aren’t even advertised, as well as those which are.
Table of Contents
Chef Recruitment Agencies: How Do They Work?
The hiring process is difficult for many businesses, and in the current market for chefs, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. So, how do chef recruitment agencies work to alleviate the situation? Read on, we’re about to get into it in depth.
Responding to the jobs market
In early 2020, 54% of businesses reported having difficulty finding unqualified candidates, and by 2030, there are expected to be 85 million unfilled jobs worldwide. The numbers in the hospitality sector dwarf even those figures. Chef recruiting agencies can facilitate the entire hiring process for businesses of all sizes and types.
Let’s focus first on some benefits of using a recruitment agency for chefs.
There are several ways in which recruitment agencies operate, allow us to elaborate on some of these.
In the beginning, a company (the employer) will contact agencies about a job opportunity they have and on which they would like an agency to help. So, what form might that help take?
Depending on the recruitment agency’s response, it might entail some, or a combination of:
- CheckIng their current database for candidates who match employer requirements
- Recruiting the right candidates by posting the job to their agency job board (if they have one)
- Through the use of advertising on third party job boards
- Distribution of the job via agency mailing lists
- Distributing the job through the agency’s, and agency recruiters, social channels.*
- Through the use of direct outreach on social channels, i.e. Linkedin, XING, Facebook etc.
*in the case of specialist recruitment agencies this is worthwhile because they’ll have industry specific network followers.
It will then propose the sourced candidates to the company for approval, and the most suitable candidates will get an interview.
Do Chefs Need A Recruitment Agency?
As well as matching you to suitable jobs, recruitment firms offer many other benefits. A specialist sector agency, in this case, a chef recruitment agency, can tell you the best ways to break into a particular career based on their knowledge of that industry and their assessment of your career to date. A specialist recruiter can provide you with a realistic roadmap to reaching your desired career outcomes.
Their network allows them to submit your CV to a wide range of employers. Sometimes speculatively, having first gained your permission [while preserving your anonymity until it is appropriate to disclose].
Sometimes sending it forward for vacancies, ones with which they know their clients need help. Furthermore, clients often ask agencies to give them preferred access to new talent when it comes to market. That “new talent” might well be you.
Get Your Curriculum Vitae Polished
Conscientious agencies will also be happy to help you improve your CV, as well as provide you with interview preparation.
In the event you don’t get selected for a job, your agency will provide you with constructive feedback as well as suggesting alternative options and approaches for you to take.
A Word of Caution
Be mindful, however, that agencies work for the employer, not for you. It is the employer who pays after all, not you. They may mismatch you against the job criteria if they must recommend a certain number of candidates for each role. Do not be afraid to speak your mind if you believe that the role is not for you. This may be how chef recruitment agencies work but you need to be firm about how you want them to work for you.
Why Specialist Recruiters Are Best for Chefs
As specialist chef recruiters, we know the field and we avoid forming relationships with employers which would require us to act as CV factories for them. We do not agree to Curriculum Vitae quotas. We aim to find them the best chef for their position and don’t promise to “generate paper” for their HR departments. In short, such job mismatching is much less likely with us.
Consider A Hybrid Approach
Rather than solely relying on agencies, try to find other sources. Apply speculatively to companies you are interested in working for, build contacts through social media, and make connections through networking to find upcoming jobs. However, if you are working with a thoroughly professional chef recruitment agency, keep them informed; let them know if you’re interviewing, and where you’re interviewing, and when.
This builds trust and has two additional benefits for you:
- It might spur your agency into acting on your behalf with greater urgency
- It keeps the door open for you to work with them in the future
How do chef recruitment agencies operate for chefs?
The right people can make all the difference in finding you the right job, no matter what stage you are at in your career.
Finding a job isn’t always straightforward, finding the right job more so.
Recruitment agencies are potentially one of the best resources you can use. They’re a resource that keeps working in the background while you get on with the rest of your life. It can be a bit like having a personal valet, except instead of laying out your clothes for you, they lay out job opportunities. Only, unlike a personal valet, you don’t have to pay them for their services.
Getting An Early Peek At Upcoming Chef Jobs
They’ll contact you when positions which strongly match your abilities and ambition surface. Occasionally they’ll be able to give you an early “heads up” on positions which will open up soon but which have not yet become available elsewhere. In effect, sometimes, they’re the people with the backstage passes you want to have.
What is the process of joining a recruitment agency?
Sorting out the agencies you want to with, from those you don’t, is the first step. Once you’ve decided on the agency which suits you best, contact them by phone, or send your CV and cover letter to them by email.
After You’ve Made Contact
Make sure you summarize your skills and qualifications, as well as the type of job you’re seeking. To confirm receipt, you can call the recruitment agency shortly after sending your email.
Alternatives to email
An alternative to email is to visit their website. It’ll almost certainly have a site resource to make it easy for you to upload your CV and will offer an option to tell them something about yourself and the type of position you would like. It will also have a Contact Us Page. Make use of these.
Hearing Back From Your Agency
To assess your situation and discuss your career plans, you will usually be invited to an informal interview, either virtually or in person with a recruiter at the agency. In-person meetings with recruiters do still take place but these “meetings” have become increasingly “virtualized,” especially since the pandemic.
Keeping In Touch
Make sure you maintain a good relationship with your assigned recruitment consultant. They know what employers want, so act on their advice. Unless you have a compelling reason not to, accept interviews your recruiter recommends and ask them for feedback.
Getting Off A Temporary Agencies Books
With recruitment agencies who specialise in temporary placements, it is important to let them know when you no longer wish to be on their books, otherwise they may continue to contact you.
How Do I Apply For Jobs Through Recruitment Agencies?
First you need to find them. Using your preferred search engine, try punching in a variety of “keywords” i.e. “chef recruitment,” “chef recruiters,” “chef recruitment agency,” “chef head-hunters,” even “chef jobs” etc. You can usually rely on search engines to place some of the best firms on page 1 or page 2 of the search engine results page.
Some Browser Tips
Open your chosen sites in background tabs and when you’re finished, go check them out. Some agencies will appeal to you more than others. Go with your gut instinct. Check out the website navigation. Many of them will have their own chef job boards, so take a look there, just in case they have a currently advertised opening, one which might be right for you.
Chef CV Upload Page
Even if they have nothing on their job board for you, they almost certainly have a CV Upload page. This is the ideal place to send them your Curriculum Vitae (resume for those outside Europe) and advise them of your requirements.
The “Contact Us” Page
Another useful resource is the “Contact Us” page. You should find details on email, phone and perhaps even social accounts. Use whichever is best suited to you at the time.
Assuming you’ve chosen your agency well, and you have sent them your details, you should receive an email acknowledgement to confirm receipt of your Curriculum Vitae. These are often automated but nevertheless that’s enough for you to know they’ve received it. How soon the agency contacts you after that will depend on the volume of chef jobs they currently have on their books and how good a fit your Curriculum Vitae makes you for those positions.
When the agency contacts you
However, once you’ve had a consultation with a chef recruiter they’ll act as a mediator between you and the employer. That begins when your recruitment consultant submits your CV and organizes your first interview with one of their clients.
Help With Your Interview Preparation
Besides providing you with the interview details, they may also provide you with interview tips and pointers to help you ace the interview. Some will offer advice which takes into account the context of your interview i.e. “in person interviews,” “phone interviews,” or “virtual interviews.”
Recruiters have an edge here which can help you. They have that edge because they know the client. In many cases, they have client relationships which go back years. Therefore they will know exactly what it is about an applicant which gets their client’s serious attention. This will ensure that you walk into your interview, virtual, phone, or in-person, feeling totally prepared.
How does using a chef recruitment agency benefit you?
Recruiters offer direct access to employers, and more to the point, knowledge of employers, which may prove to be the greatest benefit to working with them. They also have a few more advantages for you, please keep reading.
Don’t let AI Sabotage Your Future
Using them also gets you around the seldom spoken of, but very real, danger of algorithmic “auto rejection.” You see, when you apply for a position online, blindly, you will compete with hundreds of other applicants. If you’re applying to a larger firm or a group chances are that they use what’s known as an “Applicant Tracking System” (ATS). This is a tool used by Human Resource Departments to sort, grade and store online applicants. Many of these now use “Artifical Intelligence” (AI). The problem is that ATS AI is imperfect, and worse, often weeds out CVs before they reach human eyes, meaning your chances of getting through to an actual human are much slimmer.
Recruiters Always Get You Through To The Human in Human Resources
A good recruiter will always make sure their candidates are the subject of a phone call or virtual meeting with HR or the Hiring Manager. The make sure you get noticed in a way people applying online seldom does.
Interview Preparation Makes Perfect
Throughout the process, you can count on your recruiter to be open and transparent, and tell you if you’re a good match. As well as getting you in front of the hiring manager, they’ll ensure you’re as prepared for an interview, or any follow up interview(s) as possible.
Help With The Housekeeping
A recruitment agency may handle some of your hiring paperwork, and can even advise you on your employment contract after you get a job. However, such advice cannot compare to that offered by a legal professional, so consider yourself warned. For legal advice, the best people to consult are solicitors/lawyers.
The recruitment agency advertises a job, what should I do?
Many recruitment agencies post their vacancies online. It is possible for anyone to apply for these positions, but it does not necessarily mean you will be “signing with the agency.”
What is the cost of using a recruitment agency?
Recruitment agencies should never charge you for their services.
Employers pay recruitment consultants based on whether you have been successful in starting your job. As a chef making their next career move, you should never be liable to any recruitment agency fees.
Why don’t recruitment agency job ads list company names?
Although they advertise for jobs on behalf other companies, they won’t disclose the name of the company to the applicant until they’ve been selected to put forward to the client. The actual company name is often left out of recruitment agency job ads, in effect the employer is anonymous. Several factors may contribute to this.
Here are a handful:
- The recruitment agency may have been asked to work in the background and not make things known, or it may be a client-driven decision because they haven’t communicated internally that they are hiring yet.
- Another reason is that recruiters do not wish unscreened applicants applying directly because this is destructive to their business model.
- Some clients have excellent businesses but an awful online presence. A good recruiter will wish to compensate for what’s not online by speaking directly to the candidate of the company’s strengths, which aren’t on display on the internet.
- It eliminates bias from the candidate’s side and reaches a wider audience.
In your role as a candidate, you will have your own opinions about companies or industries, and seeing that information in the job description may put you off. It is possible to focus more on the job itself if you leave out the company name.
In order to find a job, why should I use a recruitment agency?
Recruitment agencies seem unnecessary to many people, since they can find their own jobs. Jobs are all over the internet after all.
How can a recruitment agency help me find a job?
Some of the biggest benefits are, however, by design, hidden. Very often employers don’t wish the public to know they’re hiring. Why is this? There are so many reasons for this that to do the subject justice would require us to devote several articles to the subject.
Here’s a few:
- They wish to make a change in their kitchen but don’t want this known to staff ahead of time.
- They’re located in a small rural setting and don’t want to advertise because refusing local applicants can generate bad will among locals in the event of a turn down.
- They know the talent they need isn’t in the market looking for work, so they go to specialists who know where the right talent is found.
- In general, agencies have access to and knowledge of way more jobs than you might find on your own. Many jobs do not appear on traditional job sites, and others are in unknown companies.
We have placed people in jobs where they hadn’t heard of the company before, but they’ve profited greatly because it turned out to be a great company. However, it can also be an excellent way to get into well-known but difficult-to-reach companies.
Finally, we hope you know how chef recruitment agencies work, at least most of the time,