“Are you going through a recruitment agency?”
Your friend works at a software company and needs to hire a programmer. She's been searching for someone for a few months, but hasn't found any qualified people. You want to know how she's been looking for candidates, so you ask this.
Are you going through a recruitment agency?
When you want to do something, but you can't do it yourself, you "go through" another person or organization. Here are some examples of situations where that happens:
- You go through an employment agency to get a job.
- You go through a recruitment agency to hire someone for a job.
- You go through a travel agent to buy a plane ticket.
- You go through a website to buy things online.
An "agency" is a company that comes between a business and its customers. Customers go to the agency, which manages products and services from lots of different sources. Common examples are:
- real estate agencies
- ad (or "advertisement") agencies
- modeling agencies
- talent agencies (for actors, singers, etc.)
There's another meaning of "agency" as well, which is a government agency. A government agency is a group within the government that's responsible for one specific set of jobs. Well-known agencies in the United States include:
- The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
- The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)