Employment Services VS Recruitment Agencies

Jacquie Liversidge

By Jacquie Liversidge

Employment Services VS Recruitment Agencies

For newcomers to the country, or just newcomers to using a third-party for getting work, navigating which provider to use, what they offer and who they service can be difficult.

There is a number of important differences between employment services and recruitment agencies in Australia.

Firstly, employment services are privatized government funded contracts which can either be not-for-profit business or for-profit.

Jobactive is the primary stream, a responsibility of the Minister of Employment administrative by the Department of Employment. You are eligible for Jobactive if you receive income support payments from Centrelink.

Job seekers with Jobactive can be voluntary, but are usually involuntary and are required to meet mutual obligations as directed by their provider.

These obligations can be anything from providing proof of a certain number of applications per month, undertaking training and attending compulsory appointments.

As an involuntary client, failing to meet your mutual obligations can result in your payments being cut off.

“Because recruitment agencies’ main clients are businesses, this is where they are fundamentally different to employment services. 

Employment services need to improve client outcomes to continue to get funding from the government, recruitment agencies need to satisfy their clients staff shortage with appropriate talent.”

How Employment Services Work

Employment services work on your behalf to get you work. This can include free resume writing, assistance with job hunting and getting you work. They also offer incentives to employers paid over the period of the year to incentivise keeping you in the role.

This service can be a great option for you if you have been long-term unemployed, have a disability, face unique challenges getting into the work force or have a set of barriers which might inhibit your ability to gain employment.

In order to access this service, you must be assessed by the Department of Human Services for eligibility and then referred to a provider in your area. You also must have the right to work in Australia, and must be working or studying full-time.

Employment services offer a free service to the client, and receive their funding from the Government for outcomes provided to the client.

Recruitment Agencies:

Recruitment agencies on the other hand can take any client, assuming you have the right to live and work in Australia. Recruitment agencies are contact by businesses to fill staffing shortages, long-term and short-term vacancies. This can also include government contracting work.

Because recruitment agencies’ main clients are the businesses, this is where they are fundamentally different to employment services. 

Employment services need to improve client outcomes to continue to get funding from the government, recruitment agencies need to satisfy their clients staff shortage with appropriate talent.

So who's more effective?

It depends.

Recruitment agencies act with urgency to fill their clients staffing gaps. Employment services act with urgency to meet their targets.

To judge who is more effective, it completely depends on your situation. 

If you need ongoing support, face barriers and could do with an added incentive to get you into work, then jobactive is going to be great for you. 

If you want a job by the end of the week and require no support to get there, get in touch with a recruitment agency.

We hope that’s helped you to differentiate between the two. As always, get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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