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How to choose the right recruitment agency

Posted on: 16 Jun 2017, admin

If you’re thinking of working with a recruitment agency for the first time or your current agency isn’t performing as you’d like and you’re planning to try an alternative, you could find yourself daunted by the amount of choice available. In fact, over the years, we’ve spoken to many clients who have confessed that they were initially a little nervous about using a recruitment agency for the first time. Unfortunately, the recruitment industry doesn’t always have the best reputation and if you haven’t had a bad experience with an agency yourself, you probably know someone who has.

Thankfully, not all agencies are the same and by spending a bit of time doing your research, you’ll massively increase your chances of working with a good one who will be a real asset to you and your company!

Here are some tips to help you identify a winning recruitment partner:

Get recommendations: Ask the people in your network about their own experiences with recruitment agencies, both as an employer or as a candidate. Find out who they recommend, who they wouldn’t and why!

Check out their website: A search for local employment agencies is likely to bring up a whole list. Have a look at their websites. These are just a few of the questions you should be able to answer yes to:

  1. Are they well-established?
  2. Do they list any of their current clients?
  3. Do they feature many testimonials?
  4. Is the site easy to navigate?
  5. Does the website advertise many job opportunities?
  6. Do they have a specialist division for your chosen sector?
  7. Are there resources (tools and blogs) for employers and candidates?

An attractively laid out website that’s easy to navigate with useful content is going to attract more prospective candidates than one that doesn’t – it will also rank more highly in relevant Google searches, making it easier for people to find.

Read their reviews on social media: You would expect any recruitment agency to have a LinkedIn page and it’s worth checking out what they are posting and how active they are. Although you can no longer leave company reviews on LinkedIn, many recruitment agencies have GooglePlus and Facebook pages where people can leave reviews. It’s well worth checking these out because they can give real insight into how your prospective agency treats its customers.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to two or three agencies you like the look of, these are some questions you should be asking to help you decide which agency to choose:

  1. Where do you find your candidates?

What you should be looking for: Your agency should have a variety of ways of sourcing candidates and not be relying too heavily on job boards. You would expect this to include candidates sourced from personal recommendations, social media campaigns (which is likely to include multiple social media channels and not just LinkedIn) and online marketing. This means your agency will be able to potentially find suitable candidates who are not actively looking in the job market but are open to change.

  1. Do you have recruitment experts for different specialisms?

What you should be looking for: One of the main benefits of using a recruitment agency is the time it can save you by taking much of the work off your hands. However, if your consultant doesn’t have a good understanding of your role, the industry you’re recruiting for and the local marketplace, there is a risk they could misunderstand the type of person you’re looking for and waste your time by sending you irrelevant CVs.

On the other hand, a recruiter who specialises in a particular sector will be able to quickly get to grips with understanding your role, know where to find the type of person you are looking for and be able to offer you guidance on what’s currently happening in the marketplace.

  1. Do you meet all your candidates in person?

What you should be looking for: Finding the right person for a job isn’t just about skills and experience – it’s often just as much about team fit. If an agency is doing their job thoroughly, they will have taken the time to interview a candidate in person first (giving them the opportunity to get to know them better) before deciding whether to put them forward for your job. This way, you should find that your agency only puts high quality, suitable candidates forward for your roles.

The extra time you’ve taken to select the right recruitment company should prove to be a valuable investment of your time. By asking for recommendations, reading independent reviews and understanding their recruitment process, you’ll be in a position to choose a partner you can trust to act on behalf of your company and help find your talent of the future.

If you’d like some help finding new talent for your team or you’re a candidate looking for your next opportunity, please contact your nearest office on 01908 200270 (Milton Keynes) or 01604 439380 (Northampton).

We recruit across Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Accountancy, Human Resources, Bid Management and Warehousing & Logistics.

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