• Recruiting

Job Search: Working with a recruiting agency

Looking for a new job can be a daunting experience. You may ask yourself, ‘What type of job am I actually looking for?’, ‘Should I look at specific jobs or companies first?’ ‘Maybe I should ask a friend.’, ‘Is working with a recruiting agency an option?’ Where should you start? 

Let’s consider two approaches you can take when looking for a new job: self-directed job search and guided job search.


When you’re directing your own job search you have a lot of control over the process, but it also means you need to work out everything on your own. What are the pros and cons in this approach?

1. Networking and using your connections. This is great if you have time because referrals often mean you have a higher chance of being considered favorably for an interview. But this approach may not bear fruit if you’re in desperate need of a position NOW as companies may not be hiring for the position you’re looking for.

2. Apply directly to companies you’re interested in. Some people will suggest sending your resume to companies you want to work for, whether they are currently hiring or not, just to get your name out there. It could work out for you! But be wary as HR staff at some companies really don’t appreciate individuals who send unsolicited resumes because when they’re not actively hiring they feel it’s a waste of their time.

3. Browse jobs boards and apply directly. This is a good way to direct your search because you can filter for conditions and locations you want, and you know that the company wants to hire for a specific position you’re interested in. However there are always a lot of other people applying for the same job, so there is a lot of competition, so you may need to apply for a lot of listed jobs to get success.


When you register to work with a recruiting agency, you will have experts guiding you throughout the process! Recruiting agencies have access to clients and jobs in their database that they can match you to more easily than if you do the search yourself.

Although, there are some common misconceptions people have about recruiting agencies.
For example:

  • It costs money to register!
  • I’ll get a lower salary because the recruiter gets part of my salary as their fee.

In fact, companies partner with recruiting agencies to find them candidates who meet their requirements to interview. The company will pay the recruiting agency if they hire one of their candidates, and the rate is usually calculated at a percentage of the hired person’s salary. 

This means the recruiting agency actually has a high incentive to negotiate a higher salary for you because it also helps them!

What a recruiting agency can offer you:

1. Inside knowledge. They have insight on the real-time state of the job market, so you have a better idea of how you stand up to the competition.

2. Active contact.They will look for you, and keep you in the loop regarding opportunities you might not hear about.

3. Personal guidance. Good recruiters will also offer support throughout the process, e.g. coaching and counselling before company interviews. They can also provide advice on how you can grow and develop your career.

4. Negotiation. Recruiters have a direct line to clients’ HR staff, so they can communicate about sensitive matters and negotiate on your behalf about job conditions at the time of a job offer.

5. Ongoing support. Even if you’re not actively looking, you can stay registered with a recruiting agency, and adjust your degree of activity. If you want to hear about better jobs than what you’ve got at the moment, letting your recruiter know is a great way to be alerted about jobs you might not see if you’re not frequenting job boards.

Note that many recruiting agencies will post job listings on job board websites to let you know what positions they are currently working with, and may not be able to share the names of their clients publicly until you have officially registered for their placement services.

In summary, there are two main approaches you can take when looking for a new job. The self-directed approach puts the onus on you to do all the leg work, including finding the right job, company, and negotiating. A guided search allows you to work with a recruiting agency that will find jobs that match what you are looking for. 

So why should you work with a recruiting agency like Link Japan Careers? A recruiting agency has a wealth of knowledge about the industry, they will help you through the job searching process, offering guidance and suggestions to help you land your next job!