Employers: Choosing a Recruitment Agency

Sometimes I wonder if agencies outnumber the employers. Even so, businesses are still hard pushed to find a recruiter who works outside from the "quick fix" method of supplying applicants and an absence of sector or job knowledge is sadly quite usual.

When it comes to something as personal and emotive as recruitment, ethics, service, value for money and professionalism all have to be top of the agenda. Choosing the right recruiting partner is mutually cost and time effective and makes recruitment a more palatable experience. Getting it wrong is a waste of time, resources and funds.

Success and failure is a mutual responsibility between the employer and the agent. For example, have you ever declined to meet the supplier? How often do you pass a vacancy to multiple agencies hoping they will all race against the clock and give you the perfect candidates? Have you ever been delighted at agreeing the lowest fee, and then wondered why you got the minimum service to match it?

Here are some key considerations to think about before you appoint an agency:-

  • Mass market or High Street suppliers may mean brand recognition and a cheaper invoice. However, high street can sometimes be sales driven, impersonal and lacking in service, sector and job knowledge and HR support. Your account will be one of a great many. Specialist and independent agencies will compete and even undercut the bigger names. They will cherish your business and give you priority to ensure you come back only to them the next time too.
  • Never ‘scatter gun’ the job to multiple agents. They will offer the best candidate to the client who pays the biggest fee or provides the most volume in terms of work.
  • Go Local. Use an agent that knows your market in your area.
  • Ask for references. If they are good, people will be very happy to tell you so.
  • Meet the consultant in person, tell them all you can before they get in touch with the candidates. Do you really want someone you’ve never met acting on your behalf?
  • Negotiate but remember rates that are cheap will be cheap for a reason.
  • Think long term. A good agent will work at building long term relationships. It’s a small world. Your reputation must be safeguarded 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.
  • Consider interview and selection procedures. Keep on the right side of employment law. Make sure you are fair and consistent throughout. A good agency will support and advise with regards to the relevant employment law when it comes to recruitment.

Not all agencies are the same. The best ones will offer commitment, alternative employment solutions and value for money services. Finding the perfect partner is never easy but definitely worth the effort. Work with people you like and trust.

For more information or advice on HR, recruitment and manpower issues, contact:
The Dane Partnership Ltd
tel. 01276 20444
email. lorna@danepartnership.co.uk

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