How to choose the right recruitment agency?
Knowing how to choose a recruitment agency is important for employers and candidates. Companies that prefer to outsource their employment search and screening process will consider points like price, reputation, references, process from the employment agencies. Some of these factors are also important for job seekers, who will select employment agencies that will understand their unique skills and actively promote their services.
Here I will limit myself to the employer’s point of view.
The best relationship a business can have with it’s search firm is based on true partnership, which makes the time you spend on selecting the right agency even more important. Deciding which Recruitment Agency to work with is often a difficult and always a significant business decision. A good recruitment agency can add value to your recruitment process by introducing a strong candidates and again to note that it is very important for any business to keep in mind that a poor choice of recruiter can even damage your brand and your business.
So what are the important issues when it comes to selecting your recruitment agency?
There are a lot to consider, but here are a few of which I think they are worthwhile to think about.
Never make a decision based on price only. Obviously most companies have to deal with (restricted) budgets and don’t want to exceed it, but that doesn’t mean the lowest priced staffing agency is always the best option for you. The cost of a wrong hire can be enormous. As you can read in detail in one of my previous blog’s on this subject; a study by the U.S. Department of Labor estimated the cost of a wrong hire to be 30% percent of the employee’s first year’s salary, and this is only the direct cost.
For a recruitment agency, finding the right candidates is their job, it’s what they do. This means that a team of staffing specialists is using their expertise to shortlist suitable candidates for your company while you can focus on your daily core business. The amount you spend on ensuring your company hires the right candidate the first time, every time, is money well spent, preserving your budget and mitigating headaches over the long term.
Before you decide on a staffing agency, always independently check its reputation. It’s easy for a staffing firm to say they’re the best, but can they back it up? To get the best candidates, you’ll need a staffing firm that’s been in business long enough to develop rapport with and respect in your industry. Those are the firms that attract the most skilled candidates.
The best firms have access to candidates you don’t. This includes professionals who may not have seen your job posting – or passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job but are open to the right opportunity. That part of the market is where you want you recruitment firm to be, searching for your company for the best talent!
My strong advice is to never include multiple agents for one position, they will offer the best candidate to the client who pays the biggest fee or provides the most volume in terms of work. Always put quality in favor of quantity.
Ask for references. If they are good, people will be very happy to tell you so.
Who are you dealing with?
Meet the consultant in person and make sure he/she is actually also doing the search for you, instead of delegating this to a desk researcher or junior consultant. What is his experience in the relevant sectors? What is his seniority level in order to be able to deal with senior management profiles for your company?
Think long term. A good agency will work at building long term relationships. It’s a small world. Your reputation must be protected by the agent who is describing your company and the job to potential employees now and in the future. A good reputation can be long in the making but sadly quick to lose.
Discuss the interview and selection procedures. A good agency will support and advise you with regards to the relevant market information such as remuneration advice and employment issues
There is a whole army of recruitment firms out there, but not all agencies are the same. The best ones will offer commitment, value for money and the ability to really trace the best talent for you. Finding the perfect partner is never easy but definitely worth the effort.