You’re recruiting through a recruitment agency to save valuable time and resources, and to benefit from specialised expertise. The key is to get the biggest impact from your investment.
This expert article shares tips for employers on how to do just that, from face2face Recruitment’s Chief Executive Officer, Kate Prior.
Establish a productive relationship
Kickstart the relationship with the right mindset, says Kate. While recruiters are there to save you time and energy, they can’t work in a vacuum. Employers still need to provide input and clarify matters.
Kate says it’s imperative to establish clear, two-way communication channels. Without compatibility and understanding, the recruitment process could present difficulties.
Provide a detailed brief
Recruiters briefed in detail on recruitment needs can provide strategic support, says Kate, and not just for current positions, for future needs. Beyond the obvious job specifications, this includes briefing on your organisation’s culture, the hard and soft skills you require. It also includes the transferrable skills of benefit.
Kate says detailed briefs enable recruiters to screen candidates and present applicants you may not initially think about. These candidates likely have new skills and new ways of thinking you can leverage for greater efficiency and competitiveness.
Be open to advice
Recruitment is an evolving industry. The best recruiters are experienced across many industries and at all levels. They’re lateral thinkers and creative, says Kate, so be open to their advice. Quality recruiters will introduce you to new recruitment techniques to widen your search and boost your chances of getting the best talent.
Establish the rules of the game
Clear communication is essential. It’s best for all parties to understand the rules of the game from the get-go to minimise misunderstanding. While recruiters can manage the bulk of your recruitment process, they can’t make some decisions or take certain steps. Kate advises mapping out expectations to avoid roadblocks.
Check out the track record
Not all recruitment agencies are created equally. And not all operate the same way.
Kate says to look for an experienced, skilled agency that works efficiently and to the highest ethical standards. Ask if the agency is commission based. This model often leads recruiters to focus on filling positions as fast as possible, even when a jobseeker isn’t the best match. Commission-based agencies can be driven more by numbers than people, and the ‘big jobs’ that pay the ‘big bucks’. Their recruiters are always under pressure to meet targets.
Kate says f2f doesn’t pay its recruiters with the low-base. high-commission model often used in the industry. Why? f2f wants its consultants to focus on people. That’s employers looking for top talent and jobseekers looking for meaningful, rewarding positions. f2f recruiters are free to do just that.
Here’s more on how f2f works.
Ask about replacement assurance
Despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes a placement doesn’t work out. Kate says it’s critical for employers to use an agency with a replacement guarantee. If unsuitable within three months, f2f will replace the candidate asap and at no additional cost.
Research areas of expertise
Some recruitment agencies have a narrow focus and specialise in limited areas. Others are so broad they struggle to provide quality support.
Kate says select a recruitment agency with proven experience in your sector, whether government, private or not-for-profit. Also ask if the agency has a track record in the type of position you’re looking for, like ICT or business support. f2f has dedicated teams working in both areas.
Check out other value add
A quality recruitment agency will outline value add on their website, so Kate advises to conduct some research online. Is the business owner-operated? Has it won awards? Is the agency fully accredited with an organisation or peak body (we’re with the Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association)? Does it give back to community?
Test the culture match
Recruitment agencies have different personalities, just like organisations do. Kate says it’s important to pick an agency that matches your culture. It will make life easier. If you choose a recruiter at odds with your values, beliefs, behaviours and experiences, you might find the recruitment process challenging.
Read more about f2f’s culture, vision and mission.
Be realistic about the job market
The job market shifts continually and presents recruitment challenges, even for top agencies. Kate advises you to be realistic about modern salary structures and talent shortages in certain industries. She also advises you to learn what jobseekers are looking for from companies and consider trends like The Great Resignation, and the impact it’s having on both employers and employees.
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Adapt to what employees are looking for
Speak to your recruitment agency about making your organisation attractive to employees, says Kate, especially important in today’s competitive job market. Is your organisation stuck in the past or do you offer attractive benefits?
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