Employer Insights

Job Active and Recruitment Agencies

Mark SmithPosted by Mark
min read

It always seems incomprehensible to me, after spending over twenty years working within recruitment agencies both within Australia and the UK, that there is confusion about who does what within the recruitment sector in Australia. So I have taken it upon myself, to write a few words on what is the difference between government recruitment service providers and private recruitment agencies. Firstly let’s start with a little history. 

On the 1 July 2015, Job Active replaced Job Services Australia, which was itself was formerly known as Job Network. The Job Network was an Australian Federal Government funded network of not for profit, community and private organisations who were contracted by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to deliver employment services to unemployed job seekers on income support payments. 

The network was established in 1998 replacing the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service) and the providers were selected through a competitive tender process. Contracts were awarded for a set period of time and the providers were assessed every six months and given a star rating. The services provided by JobActive differ according to the level of disadvantage of the job seeker, their circumstances or the allowance they are receiving from Centrelink. Employers can register themselves on the JobActive website and can advertise and manage candidates free of charge. In contrast, recruitment agencies are a fee for service, paid by employers, looking to access talent they cannot source themselves. Probably the best way to describe the difference between JobActive and recruitment agencies such as people is… 

Recruitment Agencies find the best talent for a job. JobActive finds a job for a person. 

This is a very important distinction. Recruitment agencies are not tasked to find a job for the candidates they register. Instead they must find the best talent available for the role they are recruiting. To do this, they must maintain a network of quality candidates and have an awareness of their availability for work. Many job seekers complain that recruitment agencies never help them find a job. 

The problem with this statement, is that it misunderstands the role of a recruitment agency. The recruiters must source the best talent for the roles they have been tasked to fill. If, however, the job seeker was working with a Job Active service provider and they had not found the job seeker a job, then the criticism is fair, as that is exactly what Job Active is tasked to do. So there you have it. 

Recruitment agencies are different from JobActive service providers and as a recruitment agency, people2people is tasked to find the best talent in the market for the roles we are tasked to fill…and to do it fast.