10 Tips on Working with a Recruitment Agency
Whether you’re working with Ten2Two or using another recruitment agency, we feel it’s important you get the most from your recruitment agency. Here are our top 10 tips on how to get the most from your recruitment agency:
1. Set yourself recruitment goals
When you set out on your recruitment journey, ask yourself whether you’re looking to meet special business demands or busy periods of trade? This will help you determine the type of employee you’re looking for – permanent or temporary. Your next focus points should be skillset, experience and attitude. Once you have a rough idea of this, you’re ready to get the recruitment ball rolling.
2. Take a professional’s viewpoint
If you needed an expert in law or finance, you’d probably contact one. So it makes sense to use a professional recruitment agency to handle your hiring process – whether you have an HR department or not. An agency will pre-screen and shortlist candidates quickly and effectively, saving your staff time and your business money.
3. Know your recruitment process
Your recruiter will start by advertising your role, monitoring responses to find a good selection of applicants. Next they will contact candidates to get a better understanding of who is most suitable, including providing relevant background checks. Your recruiter will also contact successful and unsuccessful parties and arrange interviews.
4. Choose a reputable agency
Finding your next star employee can feel like a risky business, so it’s important you’re choosy about who you work with. A less reputable agent may be slow in responding to briefs, supplying a mediocre selection of candidates – or none at all. As a rule, if they’re REC affiliated, you know you’re in safe hands.
5. Work to a rough timeframe
It can take weeks to find the candidate you’re looking for – in fact, the CIPD says it takes 8.13 weeks on average to fill a vacancy at a cost in excess of £4,000. And that’s even more if you choose the wrong candidate. So it’s important to get the process right first time – not guaranteed by any means, but with the right agency on board, you’re headed in the right direction.
6. Get to know your recruiter
Once you’ve chosen your recruiter, why not invite them to come and visit you at your organisation? It will give them a really good understanding of your business, helping them to see how you work and what your company culture is like. And this in turn will help them find the right candidate for your role.
7. Understand the costs involved
Most recruitment agencies work on fee finding terms of payment. So if you don’t end up recruiting anyone, you won’t pay any money. It’s best to have an upfront discussion about fees before you instruct an agent to work for you – that way you’ll feel confident about any decisions you make down the line.
8. Be open-minded and ready to listen
Your recruiter will know the local jobs market inside and out, so be prepared to listen to what they have to say. Sometimes they may provide a solution you may not have initially thought of – e.g. they could suggest using flexible employees rather than permanent. We say it’s best to keep an open mind from the outset.
9. Consider ‘try before you buy’
If you like more than one candidate or if you’re not sure about someone, you can always ask to ‘try out’ a candidate first. This is a good option if a candidate is between jobs or if they work on a freelance basis. It gives you the flexibility to make a sound decision.
10. Keep it short and sweet
It’s our experience that by asking the right questions in the initial interview, you’ll have a good idea of whether a person is a good fit for your company. The second interview is an opportunity to build upon this. A good agent should not only be able to deliver strong candidates, but they can advise you about the stages of interview – however, if you’re still interviewing by a third or fourth stage, it could be time to go back to the drawing board.