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Why use a specialist recruitment agency?

Posted: 3 Dec 2018

Why use a specialist recruitment agency?

Typically, employers cite time and cost savings as the main benefit of outsourcing recruitment. A good recruitment agency will also advocate on your behalf and enhance your ability to attract the best talent.

Choose wisely and these benefits will increase over time as the recruitment agency’s knowledge of your business deepens.

Benefits of using recruitment agencies

For large organisations and SMEs, particularly those in technology and knowledge economy businesses where competition for highly skilled talent is intense, building a relationship with a specialist recruitment agency streamlines the process of identifying, screening and selecting suitable candidates. The more you work with the recruiter, the better the recruiter will understand your talent requirements. This helps the hiring process to become increasingly efficient, saving you time and money. In addition, the recruiter can draw on their experience of placing candidates with your company when talking to potential hires. In effect, the recruiter becomes a brand ambassador for your company which, in turn, makes it easier for you to attract talent.

For smaller owner-managed businesses and start-ups who may not have an in-house HR resource, the experience and advice of specialist recruiters can help avoid expensive hiring mistakes. Often, business owners have so many different tasks to juggle that they focus on what is urgent rather than what is important. Unfortunately, this means hiring is often left to last minute. When this happens, it can be tempting to select a candidate for speed rather than suitability. Choosing the wrong candidate is almost always an expensive mistake, especially if they remain in place after the probation period has expired. While it may be frustrating to leave a role unfilled for a period of time, it is always better to hire the right candidate than to hire the wrong person and have to replace and/or manage them out of your business at a later stage. If you do make a mistake when hiring, deal with it quickly and learn from it. The longer you leave it, the more complicated and expensive it is likely to become.

Building a successful recruitment agency relationship

When you decide to outsource recruitment, it is very important to be clear about what you expect from the recruitment agency and to put a good contract in place. Both sides need to understand each other’s expectations in order to build a successful relationship. The contract should cover the responsibilities of both parties, what is and what is not included in costs, data obligations, the process for handling disputes, and so on.

Before deciding to work with a specialist recruiter, it is a good idea to check what other clients and candidates have to say about the agency. One way to do this is to read the agency’s testimonials and online reviews.

For candidates, trust is a very important as the agency will often play an important role in their career progression. Typically, candidates expect the agency to provide:

  • Confidentiality
  • Sector knowledge
  • Information about upcoming opportunities that may not be posted online
  • Accurate information for a prospective employer explaining why the candidate is a good fit for a role
  • Advice on preparing for interview
  • Help to negotiate salary and benefits

For employers, the recruitment agency will:

  • Provide industry insight on what other employers are offering including guidance on salaries and benefits
  • Provide access to relevant talent potentially including qualified candidates who may not be actively seeking as well as access to a pool of contract and temporary workers for short-term roles
  • Streamline administration
  • Screen and select potential candidates for interview
  • Schedule interviews and where necessary, advise on what interview questions to ask
  • Check qualifications and conduct background checks
  • Liaise with candidates and answer queries

Generalist vs specialist recruitment agencies

A question employers sometimes ask is why use a specialist IT recruitment agency like Eolas Recruitment rather than a generalist agency which potentially can draw from a larger pool of candidates. The main benefit is industry knowledge. The last thing most employers want is to have to wade through applications from candidates who are not qualified for the vacant role. Also, in very competitive sectors like IT recruitment where candidates are in short supply and roles often have highly technical requirements, it is important that the recruiter can recognise a candidate with potential — for example, an entry level candidate who has acquired relevant developer skills through self-directed learning, volunteer or work experience. Specialist recruiters also tend to have better networks and deeper insight into sectoral trends as well as employer and candidate expectations.

Things to watch out for when selecting a recruitment agency

In recruitment, as in most other aspects of business, planning ahead is vital. It helps to have clearly defined roles and know what you are looking for. Take advice from your recruitment agency but be careful when selecting the agency as not all agencies will have the sectoral knowledge and expertise to suit your business.

Things to watch out for include:

  • Industry knowledge
  • Client testimonials and candidate reviews
  • Track record of the consultants
  • Sector knowledge
  • Access to relevant networks

To find out more about how Eolas Recruitment works with employers or to arrange an introductory chat, please get in touch.

 

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