Have you tried to keep your hiring in-house and struggled to keep on top of candidate engagement and attraction? Or have you used a recruitment agency and failed to find success? You are not alone. Recruitment is hard, especially when hiring for specialist roles, and having the right support can be the difference between no hire or a bad hire, and someone who adds immediate value to your growing team to help your business thrive.
Once you’ve selected a recruitment agency that suits your hiring gap, they can be a positive contributory part of a business eco-system, providing support across recruitment processes but also giving specialist knowledge in specific markets, recruitment strategies and budget planning, CV assistance and more.
But how do you decide which agency or strategy to choose, when your current hiring strategy isn’t quite working? In this guide we explore what makes a quality recruitment agency, and how to spot a winning hiring strategy, to help you find your next hire.
What to ask when assessing a new recruitment supplier or agency
The best recruitment agencies are consultative, knowledgeable, add value, and do what they promise. We take a look at the top things to ask a new supplier when deciding to change your hiring strategy.
Ask how they retain and grow their specialist network
A significant part of a recruitment consultants’ role is to continuously develop their market expertise to provide the best service for both candidates and business. Growing an effective candidate network through regular emails, calls and networking, can help them to learn from a diverse network of different people, understand distinct skillsets, trending projects and anticipate future skills demand.
Having wide knowledge in a specialist field can mean recruiters can navigate the market efficiently, finding the best candidates to work with. An active network is especially important when recruiting contractors. Agencies should be regularly contacting their contracting network to find out how their contracts are going, and what their next plans are. This allows them to fill a vacancy quickly, as their specialist list is ready to reach out to.
Has the agency suggested providing market insights?
Going further than just their market expertise, recruiters can be beneficial for knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing across their network can help organisations with their recruitment strategies, budget planning and anticipate the next major project movements on the market. For example, a business may desire to build a new technology or actuarial team and find themselves unsure on where to start.
A good recruiter should be able to advise on specialism salaries or pay rates, the hot locations, and what is happening in the wider market. They should listen to your unique challenges, then advise on producing a cost-effective plan to meet your goal.
Ask what their success rate is, and if they can provide evidence
Find out what the agencies fill rate is in your particular specialism, along with their time to fill. This will help manage your expectations and showcase their expertise.
The best recruitment agencies have dedicated teams working in their chosen specialisms, so they can hone their knowledge and build a more specialist network.
You can then dig deeper and ask for a variety of case studies and testimonials, to help you see what others are saying about their service.
Make sure you agree a clear rate for the agencies services
When negotiating fees with a recruitment agency, make sure its clear which services you are paying for. Transparency is key. Will they manage the whole process from start to finish? Does the fee include all advertising and candidate attraction costs?
There are multiple challenges when going out to market for a vacancy. Recruitment agencies are there to save business time, as internally hiring processes can be time consuming next to normal BAU activities. Recruiters can save time and effort in taking this responsibility, but they also apply the best skills in managing the hiring process efficiently and successfully. With a clear, defined network already in place, and access to multiple resources such as job boards, LinkedIn and adverts, there is already a greater chance of success in finding the best talent.
Without recruitment support, companies might find themselves in a challenging position, unable to find the right individual for the vacancy or have difficulty attracting the best talent in a competitive market. Pay for quality and hire the right person first time around. It will save you time and money in the long run.
Ask what extra added value activities they use to build their networks
There are many ways a good recruitment agency with build their candidate community, outside of the more conventional methods, such as advertising, database and LinkedIn. Networking events or webinars are a fantastic way agencies can widen their scope and build closer relationships. Networking is a beneficial way of encouraging collaboration between similar skilled individuals, creating insightful discussions on current market trends and relevant topics. They are a chance to meet other like-minded individuals who may be embarking on similar significant transformation changes. Learning from an industry leader speaking at an event can help networks to understand how to overcome challenges and develop their careers.
Overall, when you find the right recruitment agency to work with, they can be a fantastic addition to your business eco-system. If you need help revitalising your hiring strategy, do your research, and find one that is going to be proactive, and suits your specialist needs.