Finding great candidates can be difficult when you don’t have the right search tools or connections in your industry – something that is seldom an issue for a recruitment agency.
While hiring can be hard, there is often skepticism and uncertainty when it comes to the idea of outsourcing your recruitment needs to an external agency. After all, who knows your company better than you.
However, when used successfully, a recruitment agency can save on time, resources and help find specialist recruits that can align with your company’s needs. This is especially true when it comes to finding those passive candidates who aren’t exactly knocking doors down with job applications.
Like any good relationship, for it to be successful there needs to be a level of compatibility and understanding between the recruitment agency and company.
So, how can you work with recruitment agencies more effectively?
Here are six tips for optimising your experience as a recruitment agency client:
- Read online reviews about the agency prior to hiring.
Much of the skepticism and hestitation towards recruitment agencies stems from prior poor experiences with them, or negative stories from trusted sources. Luckily, we live in the age of technology and online reviews – so we don’t have to go far to find details on each and every agency.
It doesn’t matter if you use sites like Google reviews or Glassdoor, find information about the recruitment agency you’re looking to work with. Reviews can sometimes be biased, look for consistency in the clients reviews before you make your judgement too quickly.
2. Find a recruitment agency with a culture match.
Your recruitment agency should be an extension of your internal HR or recruiting team. They should make the effort to learn about your team, your culture, and what traits help someone excel at your company. Finding qualified resumes is easy – but you don’t hire resumes. You hire people.” —Chad MacRae, Founder, Recruiting Social.
Hiring employees that don’t mesh well with the existing or desired company culture can lead to poor work quality, decreased job satisfaction and a potentially toxic environment (Inc). You’ll first need to define what your company’s values, beliefs, behaviors and experiences are and then choose a recruitment company that reflects your core identity. This will better help the recruiter identify and understand the candidates that match your internal beliefs.
3. Make sure the recruitment agency specialises in what you’re looking for.
If you’re hiring for marketing it doesn’t really make sense to hire a recruitment firm that specialises in accounting. Some agencies can also be quite broad, limiting their expertise in certain fields.
Look for a specialist agency that can meet your explicit hiring needs. These specialist recruiters tend to have a better sense of the candidate marketplace in your industry and geographic area.
4. Weigh the fees vs the costs.
Agencies typically charge a fee calculated as a percentage of the annual salary and are paid based on the number of candidates placed within your company. Terms and conditions can vary, so check with the specific agency.
You will need to determine if the fees associated with the external agency outweigh the costs of doing an internal recruitment. Consider both the monetary costs as well the potential benefits of an improved hire.
5. Communication will be the key.
Make sure you create a job description that completely describes the position’s responsibilities so your recruiter knows the skills the candidate must have. Mention any policies your business follows, such as dress code and working hours. These details help your representative get a sense of your corporate culture and what type of professional is likely to succeed at your company (Robert Half). The more details you provide the better understanding the recruiter will have for your hiring needs.
6. Be realistic about the job market.
Speak with your agency about the employment market so you can determine what kinds of candidates you can expect to find within your desired budget. If necessary, run through the different ways you can adjust your job expectations and/or conditions to match that budget. In many ways, flexible working arrangements and employee perks can overcome a lower salary. Determine what best reflects your needs and adjust your jobs condition appropriately.
According to Majer Recruitment, the average cost per hire in Australia is hovering around $5000. This doesn’t take into account the potential impact that can occur when there has been a poor employee placement.
When done properly, working with a recruitment agency can bring peace of mind and the right hire into your company for less money than an internal recruitment could hope to achieve.