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Here are a few important tips on working with external recruitment agencies.
A) Pay close attention to the questions they ask you regarding the position and your company during your meeting with them. If you are not comfortable that the recruiter did a thorough job analysis with you and asked questions not only pertaining to the job, but also about your business, your management style, the culture at your company, or anything else you deem important, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere.
B) If you start receiving a large number of resumes from your recruiter, and many of them are really not what you are looking for, be on alert. Some recruiters will send anything they have that’s even close, hoping something will stick. Maybe give them some feedback that they have missed the mark and where they missed it. If things don’t improve, it might be time to move on to a new source.
C) Specialized Recruitment Firms are recommended. If you have a position for say, a VP of Sales, then look for a recruitment firm that specializes in Sales Recruitment. Generalist recruiters can often do a decent job for lower or mid level roles but specialized recruiters will have the network, the industry knowledge and moreover, will be able to better recognize the most talented people in their (and your) area of expertise. They will have determined processes, have created finely tuned questions to ask candidates, and have a deeper understanding of what’s important to the role.
D) It’s generally accepted that if you are working with a recruiter, then you should probably allow them some time to find someone for the vacancy before opening the file up to other recruitment firms. If you are in desperate need to find someone quickly and feel it’s necessary to use more than one recruitment company, then it’s a good idea to inform all parties you are working with multiple firms on the role. From the recruiter’s standpoint, they are investing a lot on time, money and resources to help you with this hire. If you let them know the situation in advance, it won’t cause negativity if they don’t fill the order for you, especially if they are working on a contingency basis.
There are a number of instances when it makes sense to utilize a recruitment agency for an open position within your company.
1. The vacant position is vitally important to the success of your company.
Senior positions such as the C-Suite, VP level as well as Senior Sales, Operations, or Product Development roles for example, are so vitally important to the success of your company that it would only make good business sense to have additional resources dedicated to finding the best possible candidate for the vacancy.
Most companies have someone internal or a team that is responsible for the recruitment function and most of them do a pretty good job, and likely do an excellent job. Yet, a business leader who is personally responsible for the department the hire will end up working in, has to ask themselves this question: Am I 100% confident that our internal recruitment team is going to find (or has found) the best possible candidate for this position?
Now, it is possible that they have found the best candidate for the position in question. It is also possible (or even probable) that there are some passive candidates in a recruiters network who might be even better fits for the role in question.
2. You don’t have the resources or the time to recruit properly for the opening.
Some companies just don’t have the time or resources to do a proper search themselves. A Recruitment Agency specializes in sourcing, screening, and qualifying high-quality candidates for a company and doing it quickly. They have not only resources, large networks but expertise and should have the ability to recognize the most talented people for your organization.
3. The role requires a specific skill set or background that is hard to find without “head hunting” or targeting specific skills from similar businesses.
This one might be quite obvious, but you’re not likely to want to pick up the phone and call your competitor’s office to see if someone wants to come and work for you. A Recruiter can do this for you if it’s deemed that industry knowledge/experience/expertise/past success is vital to the role and people coming from other industries notoriously fail in your environment.
You should keep in mind though, and this one can get quite sticky, and if it becomes apparent or the industry grapevine gets wind that your company is having a recruiter “headhunt” their talent, there may be negative perceptions in the industry in general as a result. A good recruiter should be able to keep the lid on this for you, until the candidate has some interest in learning more about the opportunity and is unlikely to inform his current employer of the communication.
4. The opening needs to be filled immediately.
Recruiters have large networks of people and the wherewithal to get your job vacancy in front of a large audience in a short time, or at least they should be able to. If you need someone immediately, say to replace someone who unexpectedly left, a recruiter is probably your best bet.
5. Your company doesn’t have a great network or are fairly new in the local market.
Recruitment Agencies do more than just find candidates for you. They also help to positively brand your company to their candidate pool. Many strong candidates are often wary of the new company on the block and would prefer to work at a larger, more recognized brand within their industry. Having a reputable Recruitment Agency represent your company to a prospective candidate in a positive light can be the difference between a candidate accepting a job offer and moving on to perceived greener and more comfortable pastures.
President & Senior Recruiter