Recruiting new employees can be a costly and time-consuming process for organisations; one that uses up significant resources, but rarely offers any guarantees.

For many years using a ‘recruitment agency’ has been a last resort for hiring managers, but recently there has been a wind of change.  Many businesses are now turning to recruitment agencies, with a move towards ‘partner’ relationships between employer and agency.

Some of the main reasons why organisations are now developing closer relationships with recruitment agencies are:

  • Recruitment consultants are experts in assisting with job descriptions and adverts. Sometimes when employers advertise vacancies, they do not receive applications of the required calibre. The CVs they receive simply don’t hit the mark. Often, this is down to poor marketing; the high-calibre people they need simply don’t see the advert. If they’re not aware of the opportunity, they can’t apply for the job.
  • Recruitment consultants are professionals at screening, filtering and profiling candidates. Your in-house team might not have the same level of expertise.  Again, this leads to time and cost efficiencies in the long run. It should lead to a quicker turnaround on filling the vacancies, which in turn leads to increased efficiency of the organisation
  • You are statistically more likely to access the best jobseekers on the market (both active and passive). People who are actively looking for new positions are more likely to register with agencies. In addition, most recruitment agencies will position their vacancy adverts on a range of job boards, and they should understand what it takes for that advert to rank highly in candidates’ job searches. All of this is knowledge that you only get from working in the sector.
  • A recruitment agency will improve the efficiency of a company’s recruitment process through direct access to national job boards. Negotiating your own job board contracts can be costly and time consuming, so utilising the right agency’s access to job boards will put you in front of the best candidates on the market.
  • When interviewing candidates, the benefit of using a recruitment agency is they can conduct interviews on an employer’s behalf, which can save time and money. A recruitment consultant first provides a candidate screening – potentially over the phone – to begin the process of narrowing down the applicants. They can learn a little more about the individuals on the shortlist and eliminate any unsuitable matches from the process. The recruitment agency can also conduct background checking on candidates invited to interview, meaning the employer’s HR department doesn’t have to. When it comes to the final round of interviews, a recruitment agency can advise on what interview questions to ask.
  • Recruitment agencies will ordinarily only shortlist the correctly qualified personnel, meaning that you don’t have to. Again, a huge time saver.
  • Using a recruitment agency could give you flexibility in your recruitment planning to meet cyclical/market demand e.g. holiday cover in busy times such as Christmas. Temporary recruitment agencies will take a huge amount of the pain and stress away from companies who need quick access to temporary candidates.
  • Salary benchmarking – If you’ve got a role and you’re unsure what the correct salary is for the position, the recruitment agency is ideally placed to give you an accurate market rate using salary data and local market knowledge.
  • Expert sector knowledge – If as a hiring manager you need to get expert opinion and knowledge of current recruitment legislation, you could make the recruitment agency your first ‘port-of-call’. The agency should know all the relevant requirements and legalities surrounding the industry they’re in.
  • Some consultants are qualified, and some agencies are members of Recruitment Federations. They set the standard so that Businesses can work with the best recruiters. They work alongside the agency to champion good recruitment so that the business will receive the best talent and right people to help their businesses grow.

If you decide to use a recruitment agency, use an REC member agency. This will ensure that your recruiting process adheres to all legal requirements and best practice.

It is also a condition of membership that recruitment businesses have a complaints policy and procedure in place, and member agencies are subject to the REC’s disciplinary and complaints procedure if the agency fails to live up to its promise under the Code.