How to use a recruitment agency effectively
Details, advice and information for how to get the most out of working with a recruitment agency
There are many things you can do to assist your recruitment agency do the best possible job for you and to make your relationship really effective and long lasting.
Our advice for how to use a recruitment agency effectively includes:
Write a good job 'spec'
It is essential that the job specification is well written and focussed. For more information, read our separate article on how to write a job spec. A good job description will enable your recruitment agency to work more efficiently in finding suitable candidates and will save you time in the long run as it can be used as a checklist when evaluating CVs. It sounds obvious, but make sure your job specification is actually relevant to the job you are advertising. A generic job specification may seem like it saves you time, but not when all your applicants are trying to demonstrate their suitability to the wrong criteria.
Make time for the process
Respond quickly to your consultant and prioritise making time for evaluating CV's and organising interviews. Consider blocking off periods of time in your diary and inform your consultant when these are. This will minimise the risk of losing good candidates who may be offered a position elsewhere more quickly, and will keep the process moving. The more your consultant knows, the more they can help you.
Treat the relationship with your recruitment agency as one that is ongoing - a partnership not a one off transaction. Optimum results require both sides to make time for each other.
Enquire into the experience and expertise of the consultant managing your account. Make sure you are happy with their credentials, that they understand your requirements, have discussed their proposed strategy with you and any deadlines you wish to set. A face-to-face meeting is by far the best way to ensure that these criteria are all met.
Consider giving the agency exclusivity on your job vacancy. Giving the role to more than one agency will not necessarily get you better results. This is partly because you will be able to dedicate more time to your chosen consultant and show them you mean business.
Furthermore, managing multiple agencies is likely to become difficult and would cancel out one of the main reasons you decided to use a recruitment consultant in the first place – to save time. Multiple agencies often means duplicate CVs, which is wasted time for you.
If you're not comfortable with offering exclusivity; for example, if it's a new agency relationship - consider offering them a lead time on the role. This works best if as above, you make time for the process and inform the consultant of the times you have blocked out.
Nurture the relationship and think long-term
Be sure to 'check in' regularly and give feedback at every stage of the process. Nurturing the relationship will keep your business at the forefront of your consultant's mind – and the more your consultant knows about what you do and don't like, the easier they'll find it to fill your roles with the best candidates in the best time.
If you induct your consultant fully into your business and culture you will both be more confident working with each other and more likely to develop an ongoing relationship which will save time on future hires.
You may also reap extra benefits from the relationship, such as information on the market. Our Industry Viewpoints hub contains a wealth of such industry news, insight and analysis and we also produce annual local and industry salary guides.
Find out more about how our approach to recruitment works to provide the best recruitment solutions for our clients.
Or click here for more employer advice articles.