Retail / Recruitment
Agency / Employers
are many, many recruitment agencies up and down the country,
some good, some bad, and choosing the right one for your business
needs can be an onerous task. Here are a few pointers to help
Expertise: This is perhaps the most important factor when
it comes to choosing a recruitment agency. Do they know anything
about your industry? Have they recruited into your sector
before? Do they know exactly what type of people you are looking
for? Avoid agencies that claim to recruit into every industry
and every sector on God's earth because the last thing you
need is a Jack of all trades.
Size: The physical size of an agency isn't overly important.
There are some brilliant recruitment consultants out there
who simply work for themselves. There are also some very good
multinational ones. However, do make sure that your agency
of choice owns or has access to a very large database of jobseekers.
Philosophy: Ask the agency what their philosophy is, how
they go about recruiting staff for their clients. Avoid agencies
who are going to send you dozens and dozens of CVs for each
position. After all, it is their job to do the screening and
filtering on your behalf. The best agencies will send you
just a handful of very good candidates, and you'll want to
employ them all!
Be selective: Having drawn up a list of agencies don't
make the mistake of thinking a blanket approach automatically
increases your chances of success. This is not to say that
it won't work, however a consultant's time is limited and
if they think they are competing with many other agencies
your will inevitable become a low priority client. If they
believe you are focused on their efforts, they will be more
focused on you.
Build a relationship: Communication is vital in all relationships
and no less so than with your consultants. Not only do they
keep the interest and focus alive, but also new things can
be learnt with every conversation to build greater understanding
and/or update any minor changes in circumstance.
Agree timetables and methodology: A great deal of frustration
can be saved if these areas are agreed up front. A consultant
who has 'moved mountains' to find and organise meetings will
be far less likely to do so again if he feels that there is
a lack of any real urgency and he was just being sounded out
on the current marketplace. Likewise if the interview process
is unnecessarily slow and cumbersome and therefore more likely
to be unsuccessful it will have an extremely demotivating
effect on the next time around.
Fees: This is a tricky one. It really is a case of 'you
get what you pay for'. Some agencies charge fees in excess
of 30%, which may seem a lot, but if you're looking for someone
special they'll work extremely hard to find you the right
person. Others offer a budget service, sometimes 10% or even
lower. But these agencies won't spend to much time proactively
looking for the right person for your vacancy. They are really
hoping that a good CV is going to land in their laps. Don't
hold your breath with these guys. As a rule of thumb expect
to pay somewhere between 15% and 25%, depending on the salary