HR managers in a meeting about recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be integral to your business’ success. Without the right people in the right positions, it is impossible to run any organisation successfully. The right recruitment agency helps to ensure you have the most qualified and suitable candidates for any vacancy. As well as adding quality to your talent pool, finding a great recruitment agency can also streamline your hiring processes and make them much more efficient.

What is a recruitment agency?

A recruitment agency is your key to the best-qualified candidates for roles within your organisation. They are like a matchmaker for the working world and provide the right candidates for employers with vacancies to fill. The best agencies have built up a strong reputation in their field and will have a strong network of professionals to call upon for their employer clients. They will also have expert sourcing skills honed to ensure only the best candidates are recommended for any role.

As well as general recruitment agencies, there are specialist organisations in individual industries too, ideal for more specialised roles or a particular kind of hiring such as for highly technical roles or those in medical fields.

Why a recruitment agency is so important in the hiring process

While some organisations choose to keep their recruitment processes fully in-house, working with a recruitment agency is highly effective and efficient for the whole hiring process. Once your organisation notifies your chosen recruitment agency of a job vacancy, dedicated professionals at the agency will source suitable candidates or draw from their extensive talent pool. This is invaluable for companies trying to fill vacancies quickly and still benefit from highly qualified applicants.

What are the benefits of using a recruitment agency?

Working with experts in their field makes sense in all areas of business, including recruitment. With the right recruitment agency advice, your business can reap many rewards, most notably the following benefits.

Timesaving

A recruitment agency minimises the time and resources your in-house team has to dedicate to sourcing and hiring candidates. It should result in shorter periods where job roles remain vacant, and this, in turn, should improve your organisation’s overall efficiency.

Better qualified candidates

Recruitment agencies pride themselves on having a highly experienced and qualified pool of professionals to draw upon for any vacancy that comes up. As a result, they are more easily able to access job seekers already looking for roles.

Improved matching skills

Some job roles require a very specific skillset or range of experiences. Recruitment consultants with experience and expertise in your niche will understand these specifics and only put forward relevant candidates who meet them exactly. Your recruitment agency can manage the shortlisting process so only those who truly qualify for the role reach the interview stage.

Recruitment sector expertise

Recruitment consultants are experts at screening and selecting the right candidates for any role. Your in-house team may be able to spot talent, but they will not have the day-in-day-out expertise that comes from years of working solely in this sector. This leads to both time and cost efficiencies in the long term.

Responsive to seasonal demand

Some businesses are driven by seasonal market demand, and you may only need vacancies filled for short or temporary periods. Many recruitment agencies have specialist teams who can supply pre-vetted temporary workers and can quickly get the right people in the right places, removing this stress from your organisation.

Read more about temporary recruitment solutions.

Instant access to job aggregation and job board websites

Good recruitment agencies will already have relationships with the most popular and well-known job aggregation and board websites. It removes the need to negotiate your own job board contracts or pay extra to advertise your roles across different boards and websites. The right agency will ensure your vacancies appear on all relevant job boards, drawing in a better quality of candidates.

Shortlisting support

As already mentioned, recruitment agencies can take over the shortlisting process. This allows your team to focus solely on the interview process. You can also be safe in the knowledge only those candidates who fully qualify for the role make it to this stage.

Salary benchmarking

It can be difficult to gauge where your vacancies sit on the salary scale. It could be a new role within your organisation or a long time since you’ve hired in this area. Your recruitment agency is perfectly positioned to provide accurate market rates for salaries based on their own salary data and their market knowledge and experience.

Cut Costs

Recruitment agencies provide both short-term and long-term cost savings for their employer partners. In the short term, you benefit from saving money on job listings and minimising the costs involved in bringing in temporary staff or paying overtime to existing employees while time is spent recruiting. Long-term costs include minimising recruitment costs overall as you build a strong relationship with your chosen agency and get to know each other’s ways of working.

Added value skills and services

Many recruitment agencies offer a range of additional services to support their candidates and add value to what they can offer to employers. This can be everything from using psychometric assessments, company-specific assessments, skills-testing and training to offering off-site interviewing facilities, temporary payroll services and topical, market-led webinars to keep both clients and candidates informed and up-to-date.

Top tips when choosing the right recruitment agency for your business

It is important to take time selecting the right recruitment agency for your business. There are thousands of agencies to choose from, so you need to create a shortlist of companies that suit your business needs. It can be hard to know where to start. These five top tips will help you find the right agency for your business:

  1. Define your requirements
  2. Research your options
  3. Explore their processes
  4. Test their experience
  5. Check their credentials

Let’s look more closely at each of these points for finding your recruitment partner.

Define your Requirements

Finding a good recruitment agency is impossible if you don’t know what you want from them. If you operate in a specialised industry, you may choose to select a recruitment agency with expertise in your field. However, if a more generalist agency is well-established and are recognised as a leading agency in the area, they may well have the experience and contacts to be equally as effective. You should also think about what exactly you want from the agency – do you want them to provide training or additional services as well as vet and provide candidates?

Research your options

Much like the employee recruitment process, you should draw up a shortlist of recruitment agency candidates. Then, using their online profiles, reviews and even word-of-mouth recommendations, you can explore a range of candidates and decide which ones to investigate in more depth. You can also explore who their existing employer clients are. Not being able to see every client is not necessarily a red flag, as many will have confidentiality agreements. However, some organisations will list various clients on their company website or be able to name a few when you contact them directly.

Explore their processes

Different recruitment agencies have different approaches to sourcing and placing candidates. Understanding how their processes work can be vital for deciding whether they are a good organisation to work with and align with your company’s approach. You want to work with a recruitment agency that shares your values.

Test their experience

Your chosen recruitment partner should be knowledgeable and experienced. Even new agencies should have staff with expertise in their field and that all-important pool of contacts to draw upon for each vacancy that they’re faced with.

Check their credentials

There are two main professional bodies in the recruitment sector. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has over 3,500 member agencies and 10,000 individual recruiters. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has over 1000 members and operate across the UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia. Membership of a professional body should not be enough alone to help you choose an agency. However, member agencies are bound to certain ethical and regulatory guidelines, providing additional peace of mind.

Not sure where to start? Get in touch with The Recruitment Consultancy

Working with a recruitment agency takes the pressure off your in-house teams and allows them to focus on their core job roles. If you don’t know where to begin, our specialists at The Recruitment Consultancy are here to help you solve any hiring issues your business may be facing.