Recruitment agency serving Milton Keynes, Northampton and the surrounding areas

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Why Should Businesses Use Recruitment Agencies?

In our previous post 'What value does a good agency add?' we considered the main reasons a business might team up with an agency to support their recruitment strategy. As we have discovered, there are numerous advantages to working with a good recruitment agency, including:

  • Access to highly-skilled candidates
  • Saves business time (and money)
  • Most agencies have an in-depth knowledge of sector/industry
  • Salary benchmarking (based on our market knowledge)
To complete the blog series, we spoke with our Managing Director Nick Peacock, to ask more specific questions on the subject. Nick established Ascendant Recruitment in 2003, and since then, it's grown to house a team of 15 highly-skilled consultants who work within a number of divisions including Office Support, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Warehousing and Sales and Marketing. Why should businesses use recruitment agencies? First and foremost, working with an efficient and reputable agency will save you time. It's a proven cost-effective method that will enable you (and your business) access to candidates that aren't advertising themselves on a job board. We often find that the best people for our roles are people who aren't necessarily looking for a new role, but will move if a great role is placed in front of them. How can clients identify a good, credible agency? Ask the agency about their processes. It's important you have a clear understanding of how the agency functions on the day-to-day. Do your research. Find out who their main clients are. If they work with influential companies or competitors, chances are they have highly-skilled candidates you could hire. You can also request references and testimonials - and check their social media to gauge how active and 'present' they are across various channels and platforms. Is it best to use an agency that's local to you? Not necessarily but we tend to become extensions of our clients' HR departments and like to be close. But ultimately this depends on how your own business functions and whether any of the roles can be done remotely (where the candidate works from home), or if they need to be in-house at all times. Some candidates are willing to travel for work, such as commuting into London, if the position is right. Ask the agency for examples of the type of roles they've filled that are similar to yours. How do agencies normally advertise roles? What are the most effective forms of advertising? In my experience, I've always found that word-of-mouth is the best. At Ascendant Recruitment, we try to utilise various forms of advertising, such as our own website, job boards and open events, and we are doing a lot more recruitment via Facebook now. Recently we hosted an 'after hours' event at an independent coffee shop, where our team of recruiters met with local candidates to discuss job opportunities. This was a nice way to meet candidates face-to-face in a comfortable and relaxed setting. How do agencies normally negotiate salaries with the client? Who pays what? Clients normally fix the salary but sometimes they look to us to guide them as we know the local market so well. The client pays a fee based on the permanent salary offered to the candidate.When we supply temporary candidates, we do so at a 'margin'. Do agencies offer industry insight? How does this benefit the client in the long-run? We have a wider view of the marketplace and can help you to put a solid recruitment strategy into place. We can pull our knowledge of the candidate and local market together to give you the best results possible and to advise you about what you can realistically achieve with your budget. We can tell you what our other clients have experienced and we can help to guide you to get the best possible results. We hope this blog series provided you with an insight into understanding the advantages of working with a recruiter. Whether you're a job-seeking candidate or a business looking to hire fresh talent, we wish you the best of luck with your search!

Should Businesses Look to Agencies for Added Value?

There is a perennial question that detractors of our industry ask: What value do agencies add? We have long been used to the many conflicting views surrounding recruitment agencies. Businesses and job-seekers continue to question their value when it comes to finding employment and recruiting candidates. Contrary to the belief of recruitment sceptics, many businesses are continuing to rely on agencies to access highly-skilled, talented employees and to recruit more general members of staff. Most businesses understand the huge value of outsourcing recruitment to professionals whilst leaving their own team to concentrate on their key value-adding duties. As such, the recruitment industry still plays a vital role in the job market when it comes to sourcing the best talent and placing candidates in new roles. In our latest blog series, we are looking at the advantages of using recruitment agencies, whether as a client or candidate. Our last piece focused on the benefits from the candidates' perspective, but today we're considering the main reasons more businesses are choosing to work with agencies.

  1. Access to highly-skilled candidates, often at short notice
Agencies tend to cover a broad range of job types, including temporary and permanent roles, contractors, freelancers and part-time and full-time positions. This means you're able to access candidates with various backgrounds, working styles and availability. If you're looking to fill a temporary position, perhaps, for example, you need to cover maternity leave, then agencies can tap into their candidate database and match you with the most suitable individuals. Most consultants use key words - administrator, customer service advisor, HR administrator, sales administrator, credit controller, finance assistant - to optimise their search and cherry-pick the right person for the role.
  1. Sector expertise and knowledge
The best recruiters have extensive knowledge of their particular sector and market. They should have expertise in the following areas:
  • Ability to access the best talent
  • Knowledge of current salary rates
  • Understand their candidates career expectations
  • Awareness of required skills and competencies for a particular role
  • Up-to-date knowledge of industry, including the main challenges, trends and forecasts etc.
Good recruiters will work with you, listen to your needs and be able to offer suggestions based on their understanding of the market. They should also have a demonstrated history of placing candidates in suitable roles. If you're unsure of the legitimacy and credibility of a particular agency, check their website and the clients listed. You can always get in touch directly and ask for specific examples and testimonials from happy clients.
  1. Salary benchmarking based on market knowledge
Recruitment agencies offer businesses guidance on salary expectations. They use salary data and local market knowledge to extract information that will directly inform the recruitment process.
  1. Time-saving (so you can focus your energy elsewhere)
It can take businesses a huge amount of time and money to find the right employee. If you factor in the money spent on advertising roles, and the hours it takes to read CVs, cover letters and interview candidates, it can be hugely disruptive to your working day and cause major set-backs. It's also risky as major roles don't get filled. This wasted time and money cannot be recovered in contrast to an agency who only charge (if they are working on a contingency basis) when they have successfully secured a person who has started the work. If you're looking to fill a role quickly, agencies are the most effective, fool-proof solution. Recruiters screen, filter and profile candidates to ensure they have the skills and competencies required for each position. Individuals registered with agencies usually rank higher than your average job-seeker. If you're looking to use an agency:
  • Shop around, read reviews and research the best agencies (both local and regional) that represent your sector
  • Use an REC member recruitment agency, as this will ensure the agency adheres to all legal requirements and best practice
  • If you can, arrange to meet with the agency face-to-face
  • Seek out agencies that are proactive when it comes to recruiting candidates. At Ascendant Recruitment we have started running 'after-hours' socials, to meet with potential candidates and assess their suitability for our client-base.
For further information, read our previous blog post on How to choose the right agency.