Apply Direct to the Employer or via a Recruiter?


March 10, 2022

Direct employers v recruitment agency? We’re frequently asked by engineering job seekers about the benefits of using recruitment agencies to find jobs, versus applying for roles directly with the employer.

For at least the last 40 years, recruitment firms have been working with employers to attract and hire talent. This has been beneficial to both employers and job seekers. Typically, the employer pays a ‘placement fee’ to the recruitment agent when a successful hire is made. There is no charge to the job seeker.

Many recruitment firms possess significant expertise in recruitment, and historically have developed deep networks and close working relationships with both employers and job seekers. Consequently, they have been a connecting force in matching the demand and supply of talent. 

In Australia, there are over 8000 recruitment firms, ranging from small, boutique operators through to large multinationals. Some recruitment firms are ‘generalist.’ Others are ‘niche’ and focus on specific industry sectors and/or employment disciplines, including engineering.

Like most industries, the recruitment industry has benefited from the introduction of recruitment technology that increases the speed, efficiency and ease of recruitment. There has been significant uptake of ‘rec-tech’ by both recruiters and direct employers. This has democratised the talent acquisition process – meaning that both recruiters and direct employers have almost equal access to job seekers who have professional profiles online.

Are you looking for an engineering job right now? Whether you secure your next role directly with an employer or via recruitment agency, we would suggest you take the following steps:

  • Register your professional profile, via the career website of direct employers. Many corporate and government employers capture job seeker registration in very sophisticated ‘applicant tracking systems’ that form a talent pool for the employer and are searchable by their internal recruiters.
  • Likewise, register your profile with relevant recruiters, such as those who specialise in recruiting engineers or who have experience in a particular industry sector that employs engineers.
  • Ensure your professional profile is up to date on, as well as other job boards and recruitment platforms used by direct employers and recruiters. Most online recruitment platforms will alert you via email when suitable roles matching your profile, are advertised by direct employers and recruiters.
  • Actively search and apply for relevant engineering jobs advertised on employers’ career websites, recruitment agency websites, niche and general job boards, recruitment and others social platforms.


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