Employers – How to choose a recruitment partner
Exchange Street Director, Robert Perry has been recruiting Financial Advisers in all areas of the UK for almost 20 years. As September is a busy time for new vacancy instructions, Robert takes a looks at how employers can choose the best recruitment partners to work with.
When the kids go back to school and the holiday season is over many companies start to look at recruitment again. Exchange Street typically receives a number of new assignments from our long standing clients along with a handful of instructions from new clients, many of whom are small businesses with limited recruitment needs. This got us thinking about how a small businesses choose who to approach and what they should look out for when they are looking to form a partnership with a recruitment agency for the first time. Therefore, while we would always suggest giving us a call at Exchange Street, here are a few tips on how to identify the best recruitment partners.
Word of Mouth
Who do you know in the market who uses recruitment agents and can they recommend a good one? Often your current members of staff will have used a recruitment consultant in the past so they may be able to point you in the right direction. Recommendations can help you differentiate between those with a great sales pitch and those who truly deliver.
Typically a specialist in your field will be better equipped to assist you in finding the best possible candidates to meet your current needs. Not only will they have a better understanding of your needs but in most cases they will have access to a far larger talent pool of industry experienced candidates. Be aware that simple Google searches will be dominated by huge ‘catch all’ recruitment firms with deep pockets but little expertise. Try looking at which recruitment firms advertise through industry specific job boards and publications.
These days most recruitment firms will have a professional looking website. Take some time to read about the firm’s ethos and approach. Of course what these websites say doesn’t always correlate with how the individual recruitment consultant will work but it’s a good starting point and something you can ask about when you make an initial approach. More and more websites will have ‘meet the team’ pages where you can look at the background of the consultants who you could be dealing with.
When you are recruiting through an agency, the consultant involved will make the first impression of your company on any potential recruit so it is well worth conducting a detailed fact find with that individual to make sure they know what they are talking about and will represent your company in the right way. Ask plenty of searching questions and try and put yourself in the shoes of potential new recruit.
While it is certainly possible to find a good recruitment consultant with relatively little experience, experience is not only a good indicator of knowledge but also if a recruiter has been successful enough to stay in the market for a number of years it is likely that they are pretty good at what they do. In addition, recruiters with long term careers in the market will appreciate the importance of generating repeat business rather than one off hits.
Services from agency to agency can differ greatly and you should expect to pay a higher fee from a specialist firm with experienced consultants. Given the huge costs associated with recruiting the wrong employee (and often having to start again) it is often better to pay the extra few percent to get the right employee first time as specialist agencies will source candidates from a greater talent pool. Given that most search assignments are paid when the employee starts there is nothing to stop you working with agencies on different fee rates in the knowledge that you will only pay the higher fee if that agency delivers a significantly better candidate.
If you are an employer within Financial Services, General Insurance or Claims and are looking to forge a long standing recruitment partnership, please give us a call on 0161 973 6900 and put us to the test!