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Recruitment Agencies: Choosing the Right One For You

Posted by Robert Warburton on in Online Recruitment

Choosing the best recruitment agency for you can be a minefield. Whether you’re an employer looking to fill a raft of graduate positions, a small firm looking to recruit your next Mr or Mrs Reliable, or a candidate on the hunt, knowing how to choose the right recruitment agency for you is going to be the difference between a headache and a breeze. Whether you’re an employer or potential employee, every Recruitment Agency wants your business, so how do you work out if you want theirs?

Recruitment Agency Requirements: Which Side of the Fence are You on?

The first simple question is whether you are an employer or employee? Your requirements are going to vary hugely. Whilst there is information out there pertaining to both, such as WikiHow’s Nutshell Guide, you’re going to need some specific targeted advice for your circumstances.

Recruitment Agencies: The Employer’s Perspective

Recruitment can mean big bucks wasted with not a lot to show. On the other hand, expertly carried out recruitment by an agency might just be the difference to your profit margins this year. It depends on learning to play the game to your advantage.

  • What are your needs? It seems obvious, but before you dare pick up a phone or make a click of a mouse, be sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. It won’t take long before you’re being subjected to sales pitches, and if you don’t have a clear agenda of exactly what you are hoping to achieve from your recruitment plan, then you’re going to be sucked in to the first Recruitment Agency you contact without being really sure if they are right for your business. Before getting off the Recruitment Agency Starting Blocks, ask yourself: do we need temporary, permanent or contract staff? Are we looking for a certain number of positions? Do we need specific skills or general skills? What is my objective? Then match all further contact with Recruitment Agencies against this. Also make sure you’ve asked yourself – what do I want in terms of communication with my chosen Recruitment Agency?
  • Get Comparing Online: Get friendly with a Search Engine and start determining a short list comparing one Recruitment Agency to another by using online info. Compare differences from one to another whilst ensuring they cover your industry and have a good reputation.
  • Know Your Stuff: Get talking to your colleagues and business associates and ask for feedback and reputations on those agencies on your shortlist. Check that a certain Recruitment Agency that looks appealing is registered with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
  • Get in Touch: Once you’ve got a honed shortlist, get in touch and get through the sales pitch. Ask hard and piercing questions about how they cast their net, how wide, and how they screen candidates as they bring in their haul. Ask for details about placement retention numbers. If they are worth their salt, they’ll be able to tell you. Ask what their ‘after-sales’ and guarantees are like.
  • Get Haggling: Don’t settle straight away for the fee and package they state, there’s room for manoeuvre.

For further great tips on Choosing a Recruitment Agency from an Employer’s Perspective, head over to LinkedIn Pulse.

Recruitment Agencies: The Employee’s Perspective

The thought of starting out on a new job hunt via a Recruitment Agency can leave you procrastinating and brushing up on ‘How to Block a Number’ on your phone. With a little preparation, it needn’t be like that. The purpose of a Recruitment Agency is to get them to work for you, not for you to feel cornered by them, so do some homework and go into the relationship certain of what you are looking for.

  • Ask Yourself Some Questions: Really, don’t just jump in feet first without asking yourself some pertinent questions first. What is your objective? What are your definite requirements? What can be negotiated on? Where are you looking? What type of company do you want to work for? Have in mind a clear vision whilst also being open to suggestions.
  • Get Hunting: Do some online research and collate a short-list. You’ll quickly be able to ascertain who covers your field, and how their scales tip towards the employer or the candidate. Ideally, you want one nicely balanced in the middle. You can dismiss any Recruitment Agency that doesn’t cover your niche.
  • Get Recommendations: both from your own network and from feedback and reviews online. You’re entrusting a Recruitment Agency to get you the position that you desire, a job you’re going to be heading for day in day out, don’t chance it. Listen for key phrases in feedback about the amount of contact you get, about whether people stay in the positions found for them, whether an agency has been true to its word.
  • Know Your Market Value: It’s worth doing this research before you actually contact any recruitment agencies. At the end of the day, the employer is paying their wage packet, and they want best bang for their buck. Therefore, you need to be armed and ready with a realistic and fair salary expectation before you even make a call.
  • Get in Touch: Once you’ve done the above homework and made your shortlist, it’s time to contact your chosen few. Ask for information about their screening process (you don’t want to have your time wasted turning up for an interview when you clearly aren’t a round peg for that company), get a feel for how they communicate with you – do they understand your skills? What have they currently got to offer?

If you’re a potential candidate and are looking for more pointers on choosing a recruitment agency for you, then have a read of this article.

Recruitment Agencies: Making the Grade

Whether you’re an employer or an employee always remember that a Recruitment Agency is working for you. It’s a relationship that reaps the best rewards when there are clear expectations driven by you. Choosing a Recruitment Agency can seem daunting, but with a little forethought and planning, you can choose the right agency for you.

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Robert Warburton

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