If you are planning to work with a recruitment company make sure you appoint a good one! There are many CV farmers out there and you need to avoid them at all costs.
The tips we give here are primarily for HR professionals and to be honest recruitment companies themselves. For a candidates guide to recruitment agencies and search consultants see our separate articles.
I have compiled this list based on many years of working with search and selection companies. You could say it’s the opportunity for a bit of a rant and you would be right. But I have tried to make it an objective rant – if such a thing exists. Here are my 6 tips to find a company who will add value and be worth their fee:
The Standard Pitch: when seeking to work with a company 99% of recruitment agencies will tell you how they will ensure everything they do will be tailored to your needs. This is not normally the case. Ask them what they plan to do to make sure their offer is tailored to your needs. Make sure they tell you how they will get a real understanding of the key jobs in the company and the company culture.
Meet the Recruiters: more often than not you get to meet some slick Account Director, not the people who will actually be doing your recruitment. There are very often huge differences in the quality between people doing the two jobs. It’s too late to find that out when the assignment is starting to go wrong.
Sector Expertise: be very careful about appointing a recruitment company with no experience of your sector. It will mean they don’t understand the company or your jobs particularly well. Plus they may not have the candidate contacts that you need. Candidates need to make sure they are aware of this when going to agencies. If you go to the wrong one you are far less likely to get the job you want.
Candidate Experience: find out how the candidates put forward for interview have been treated. Recruiters tend to receive a big commission based on placements. This means that from a candidate’s perspective they can appear not to be interested unless they happen to have a job on their books for which the candidate is a good fit. For those in HR – you will most often find the best candidates with the most professional recruitment companies.
Honesty: work with a recruiter that will be honest with you. There is nothing worse than saying to a line manager that a shortlist will be presented in seven days. Only to find your recruitment company has no chance of putting forward a decent shortlist. It’s the HR person whose reputation is at risk here.
Be Prepared to Fire a Recruiter: it is a major pain replacing a recruitment company. But there are occasions when it’s the only thing to do. It’s far better to cut your losses and find the best company with which to work.
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