Do you have a difficult hire? Are you getting too many applications for each position, and you don’t have time to sort through them? Are you not getting any applicants, or any good ones? There are many reasons to use a recruitment agency to help you attract top talent. However, how do you select an agency to work with? Here are some quick tips on how to select the best agency for you.
Find the specialists in your area
Do a search for agencies in your area that specialize in the field(s) that you are recruiting for. Make a list of all the potential agencies, and give them a call. Have some tough questions ready. Be judging them from the first call; Do you get through to someone who can help right away? How long does it take for them to return your call? How well do they know your industry, or the roles you are recruiting for? How much, and what type of experience does the agency or its recruiters have?
Do your core values or ethics align?
Remember who you choose to represent you will be an extension of your brand. Ask the staffing agency what is important to them. Do they belong to ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services)? This is not a mandatory organization for agencies, so it is a good sign if they belong. Check out the ACESS code of ethics. Take the time to check out the agency’s website, social media, and blogging presence (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.).
Do they set realistic expectations?
Do they promise they can produce the next Steve Jobs in less than 24 hours? Make sure they are setting realistic expectations, and not just telling you what you want to hear to get your business. Your agency should be taking a consultative approach, and take the time to understand the role and your corporate culture. This is more than reading the job description, and sending you twenty resumes that seem to fit.
Fees and Guarantees
Yes, this is the last thing you should be looking at, but the fee and guarantee discussion should be based on a mutually beneficial partnership. Look for agencies that are willing to negotiate depending on the role, volume, relationship, exclusivity, and size of your company. If you are a smaller organization, ask if they are willing to take payment installments. Unless you do retained or executive search, you will not have to pay anything until they successfully find a candidate you hire. Good agencies understand that as your business grows so will theirs, and with this in mind, your agency should be willing to help you in any way they can.
There are a lot of recruitment agencies out there, but it is up to you to find the good ones. Look for ones that work best with your organization, understands your cultural fit, and is willing to help your organization grow.
Christopher McCann, P.Geo., is the Vice President of Client Services for McNeill Nakamoto Recruitment Group. Chris supports the Vancouver operations leading the business development initiatives, client management team, and assists with the execution of the talent and recruitment search process.