Recruiters – you are being judged….

When you consider  that 73 per cent of CEOs rank skills shortage as the biggest threat to their business, you can see the enormous commercial potential that is out there for recruiters. We are all used to hearing that it is the end for recruitment agencies (blah blah blah….) but a good recruiter will still give a business a substantial advantage finding the best talent – and based on the above stat that should make recruiters seem like gold to a CEO.

However, as we all know there are recruitment agencies and there are recruitment agencies. The challenge for any business is finding the right one! And for agencies that means setting themselves up to be that right one.

The below is an extract from an article I wrote recently for a magazine that wanted to advise their clients what they should look for in recruitment agency……it got a lot of positive response from the type of folk that use us recruiters, so I thought it would be useful to post here. The question is….how will your agency stand up to their judgement :

Employ a specialist firm

Choose a recruitment agency that specialises in your sector and location, and can demonstrate a successful track record working with similar businesses. Test their knowledge, ask for testimonials and take references.

They should have a large and active network among the types of talent you would be interested in hiring. Don’t confuse this with ‘an internal database containing more than 100,000 top candidates’ or some similar claim. Looking at a recruiter’s connections on LinkedIn can provide considerable insight into their area of expertise.

The recruiter

Focus on the individual recruiter who will be working on your assignment as well as the agency they work for. Does their background and experience reflect their employers brand? How long have they been working in the sector? What is their individual track record? Their personal brand (which includes their experience and networks) should stack up as well as the brand of the recruitment agency employing them. You can get very different results between recruiters working in the same agency.

What is their approach? How are they going to bring you the top talent in the market? If they are not offering anything new or different to other agencies, then ask yourself if they have the ability to deliver different results.

Don’t zero in on cost

Cost is an important consideration when choosing a recruiter, but don’t let it be the first or only one. The cheapest option is probably not the best one – if an agency’s only differentiation is that they are cheaper than their competition it doesn’t say much about their ability to add value to your hiring challenges. A more expensive recruiter may well be well worth what they charge

Settle on a simple process

Consider how you will engage with your chosen recruiter. Using multiple agencies might seem like a good idea, but realistically it may also mean the recruiter doesn’t give your role the attention it deserves. Retaining one good recruiter that can devote sufficient time to your business objectives will probably give you better results in the long run. If an agency is not suggesting you retain them, what does that mean about their confidence in their own ability?

It has never been more important for every business have a clear strategy around how it attracts and hires staff, and that it reflects the challenges of today’s highly competitive talent market. Are you positioning yourself to be part of that strategy?

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