In a previous article we covered essential tools for startups. A recruitment company is another one of these tools that can certainly spur growth. Choosing to work with a recruitment agency to fill open positions in your company can have a lot of benefits. It can save you money and time, as well as supply you with better qualified employees sourced from a larger pool of talent. With so many different agencies available in just about every niche, choosing the solution that suits your company the best might be a confusing process, but there are specific factors related to consultancies that can help when mulling over your options.

A woman reads notices for jobs in the window of a recruitment agency in London

Corporate Philosophy

Agencies look for ways to appeal to companies on many levels in order to build and retain relationships with as many businesses as possible. You need to understand to whether there is synergy between your corporate philosophy and that of the company you are looking to engage. You will need to work closely with the company. Express Staffing explains that an agency must be open and honest in their approach to recruiting. Partner companies should think of their recruitment consultants as an extension of their company, not just a third party. This makes it clear why there must be a good fit.

Determine Your Needs

The first thing you should do before even looking at agencies is determine what you need from the company and the employees they’ll be sending you. Think about how long you’ll need the new hire. If you’re looking to fill a permanent position you’ll want to stay away from temp agencies but if the position is for a fixed amount of time you have more options in your search.

You also need to get a job description and person specification together. If you are unsure of how to do then you can hold fire and do the process when you have found a company that you trust.

The next step in determining if the agency in question is right for you is to see if they work with your specific industry. Staffing agencies may specialise in a specific area and only recruit employees for that sector. For example, if your company is in the technology field but the agency you’re researching only recruits administrative workers, you should look elsewhere.

Research Their Process

Once you determine whether or not an agency is right for you on the basic levels, you can begin to evaluate them on a deeper level. You’ll want to see if your company and the agency are a fit on a business level and if you will be compatible.

Your first insight for this can be obtained by looking at the ads the agency places to attract recruits. You’ll be able to tell right away how aggressive the company is in terms of recruiting candidates. You can also get a first impression by talking to a representative through email or by telephone. This interaction will give you some hints about their business style. You’ll want the company to be professional and capable, as well as organised, since they’ll be screening and possibly training your new hires.

You should also try to find out how large their database is. This will determine how fast your open position can be filled. If the company has a large database with candidates that have already been screened, your position could be filled almost immediately, but if the firm has a small database you may have to wait for then to find and recruit the perfect candidate. You shouldn’t, however, let this determine your choice automatically. Larger companies may have a deeper network but smaller agencies might be more in tune with your industry and have better qualified people on hand.

If your industry or the available position requires specific skills or certifications you should see if the agency puts their recruits through the proper tests and training. If you require testing that the agency doesn’t provide you may want to look to another firm that does provide testing. This can extend to other forms of testing like drug testing and background checks, too. These tests will not only ensure that your new staff member is properly qualified to do the job but it will save you time and money in training.

Shop Around for Value

Once you’ve narrowed down your search you can turn to specifics in regards to price and value. You can start by asking other companies that have worked with the agency if they feel the company was worth hiring.

You can then move on to the actually fees that the firm will charge you. Larger, national firms may charge more just because they’re in high demand thanks to their brand. Compare prices of your selected agencies and see which one will give you the best deal. Remember that you can also negotiate terms if you plan to use the company for multiple positions; agencies are usually willing to offer discounts where they see fit. Dangling the carrot of them being your “preferred supplier” can work well.

By keeping these tips in mind, you should be able to find a recruitment company that will fit your needs, your budget, and your business philosophy.

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