When you decide to work with a recruitment agency, it’s usually with the hope that they have knowledge and connections to help you attract the best candidates to your company. However, with so many recruiters out there, it can be difficult to know which firm will be the best fit and provide the best service.
We know that our relationships with the businesses we recruit for, as well as with candidates, are what enable us to do a good job. Sadly, not all recruiters feel the same way and as a result don’t provide the best service to their clients. To help you find a recruiter who understands your business’ needs and culture, Adam’s tech consultant Sam Smith has put together a list of some of the top attributes you should look for to work out whether a recruiter is the best fit for your business.
Only passing on relevant CVs
To make sure that every candidate I send you is relevant I need to meet you and discuss your needs, not only for a specific role but also in terms of your company’s culture.
I believe that quality control is an important part of my job. I only send my clients CVs that fit with their criteria or with what I know they typically look for in an employee. I also make sure that any candidate I submit hasn’t already been put forward for the role via a different agency.
Some recruiters take a far less targeted approach, though. They will send CVs to every company they work for without any kind of checks or filters.
All this does is waste everyone’s time. If you find a recruiter is consistently sending you unsuitable candidates, talk to them to ensure they understand what you’re looking for. If it continues, consider ending the relationship in favour of an agent who listens to and respects your needs.
I would never approach someone working for one of my clients to offer them a job with a rival business. If they haven’t contacted me directly for help with finding a new role, this isn’t my place. Some recruiters do poach candidates though, which can cause irreparable damage to their relationship with that client.
Respecting boundaries also means being patient. I may want to hear from you about a candidate I’ve put forward, or be keen to find out about new vacancies, but repeatedly calling or emailing will only annoy you.
I need to ensure any business I work with understands what information I need to do my job properly, as well as any deadlines I’m working to. All of this comes from having open discussions from the beginning of our relationship. As well as ensuring I understand exactly what type of person you’re looking for to fill a given role, it also means I’ll only be in touch when it’s necessary.
Providing clear terms and conditions
It’s essential to sign a contract with any recruiter you work with and it’s just as important to read the terms and conditions thoroughly. A good recruiter will have clear T&Cs and will be happy to talk to you about what is included in the contract.
Part of my job when I start working with a new business is to ensure they understand every element of our contract. It’s in my interest as well as yours to be open at this stage as it prevents misunderstandings further down the line.
Make sure you’re clear on any charges before you sign anything. As with any business, there are a few unscrupulous recruiters who will sneak things into the small print, so take the time to read any documents carefully and ask questions if there’s anything you’re unsure of.
Being a member of a professional organisation
If you’re in doubt about a recruiter’s credentials, check to find out whether they’re a member of an industry organisation, such as the Recruitment & Employment Confederation or the Association of Professional Staffing Companies. You can also check whether they have a CIPD Chartered Membership, like we do.
Membership of these organisations involves signing up to a professional code of conduct and the recruiter will be vetted to ensure they reach certain standards.
Agencies that specialise in specific sectors may also be members of industry organisations. We’re a member of the British Interactive Media Association, for example, because of our focus on the digital sector.
Understanding your industry
Specialist recruiters will almost always be able to do a better job than those who try to work across multiple sectors without becoming experts in any of them. We understand the sector you’re operating in and know what questions to ask.
When you start talking to a recruiter, spend some time finding out what level of knowledge they have of your industry and how much experience they have in this area. I am always happy to discuss this with new clients.
Talk about your company beyond the job you’re hoping to fill, too. This will help me gain a deeper understanding of your business and company culture, as well as give you confidence in my ability. Ultimately, it will mean you receive a better service.
A recruiter should become a trusted partner for your business. At Adam, we are privileged to say that we have been working with some companies for years. To find out how we can help your business recruit the best people who are the right fit for your teams contact us for an informal chat.