By: Krystal Freeman on August 18th, 2020

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How to Find the Best Recruitment Agency for Your Business

Business Management & Strategy | Talent Acquisition

An important member of your team has recently left your company. The role is essential to the function of your company. Yet, you are unsure where to begin your recruitment efforts. Additionally, you feel as though you have a limited bandwidth, time, resources, and overall expertise. Given these reasons, you feel partnering with a recruitment agency would be your best option for finding the most qualified candidate for your vacancy. However, prior to selecting an agency, take into consideration a few of the following factors.

Client Centered Approach

If you are seeking the support of a recruitment agency, more than likely you are looking for a subject matter expert (SME). Recruitment is what they do, live, breath, and there should be a full understand of laws and best practices surrounding the recruitment process.

Yet, while many recruitment agencies are SMEs, this does not mean they take a client centered approach. Some give more individualized attention, guiding you throughout the process, hand holding you as much or as little as you want, and providing you with best practice tips on the interview process, reviewing resumes, and how to ask the hard questions.

Client centered agencies are communicating with you often, providing you with updates, being forthright if they are running into challenges, and providing you with potential solutions to mitigate any challenges they may be running into. In addition, a client centered recruitment agency may have an established process they follow but will do their best to tailor it to your needs.

Do they Understand Your Industry?

When selecting your recruitment agency, think about their industry experience and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this recruitment agency well-known in your industry?
  • Have you heard good things about this agency from other industry colleagues and businesses in your circle?
  • What does this agency’s network look like?
  • Do they have an active applicant pool of qualified talent and can they tap into their network to build you a pipeline of candidates?
  • Also ask about the types of roles this agency has recruited for in the past. Are the roles more administrative in nature, middle level managers, or at the C-Suite level?
  • In addition, are they familiar with the salaries and “perks” of your position and industry?

As you ask these questions you will gain a better understanding of the recruitment agency’s understanding and expertise in your industry. 

Size Does Matter

Recruitment agencies come in all sizes. Some agencies have hundreds or thousands of employees and smaller or boutique agencies may have less than 20 or 30 employees. Additionally, smaller agencies may be able to provide you with more individual attention and, more than likely, you would be paired with a single Recruiter or point of contact. However, with some of your larger agencies, you would be a paired with a team of Recruiters. The team of Recruiters would be assigned to your vacancy and you may have an opportunity to work with any one of them during your search.

Location, Location, Location

Location can be important when selecting a recruitment agency.

  • Does the recruitment agency understand the cost of living as to where you position is located?
  • Also, is your vacancy located in a major metropolitan area where there may be high traffic?
  • If it is a high traffic area, and working virtually is not an option, are your candidates willing to travel to your office or where the position located?
  • Location also ties back into the network of the recruitment agency. How vast and widespread is the agency’s network?

The larger the network and/or familiarity with the area, there is a better chance of a stronger applicant pool.

Support Services

When searching for recruitment agencies look at the additional support services they may be offering. For example:

  • Does the agency provide you with interview guides or information surrounding recruitment best practices, and/or education on employment laws to ensure you are compliant throughout the hiring process.
  • Also, does the agency provide benchmarking services to ensure your total compensation package is competitive with the market?
  • When offering the benchmarking services, if they find your total compensation package is not competitive, will the offer solutions to help your role become more competitive?
Testimonials and References

Testimonials are a big indicator of how successful a recruitment agency is or has been in the market. Check various social media outlets for ratings from other businesses as well as former and current employees. Also, speak with other business owners in your network about the company. What was their experience like? What services were offered? Were the Recruiters seasoned and have good understanding of your industry? Another option is to check the agency’s website for testimonials from current or previous clients.

Furthermore, when you come into the agency’s office, are testimonials of previous clients displayed for you to see? If the agency does not offer references, feel free to request a few for you to call and to conduct your own research.

What is the Recruitment Cost?

Naturally, you will consider many factors, industry knowledge, location, client centered approach, size, support services, or testimonials, when searching for a recruitment agency. Yet, in the end, it really does come down to how much you are willing to and can afford to pay. So, take the time ask yourself questions like:

  • What can I afford?
  • What services am I getting for my money and has the recruitment agency been forthright in their pricing?
  • Also, ask about their pay structure, is it based on an hourly rate or is it a fee-based pay?

With an hourly pay structure, you may pay the recruitment agency an hourly rate of pay based on an agreed upon number of hours. However, typically, with fee-based structures you may pay the recruitment agency a percentage of the candidate’s annual salary or total compensation. 

Lastly, business needs can change quickly. Ask your recruitment agency if there is a level of flexibility. For example, can they scale up or down and/or end quickly based on the needs of your business?

As a responsible business owner, do your due diligence and research. Be sure the recruitment agency you select not only fits your budget, but has an understanding of who you are as the client and your business needs. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need. You want to be sure the agency you select will be a partner in your journey to bring on your next new employee.