Recruitment is one of the fastest developing sectors of the UK business market, currently employing over 100,000 people with hundreds of recruitment agencies in London alone. But in such a crowded market, recruitment agencies are constantly trying to lower their costs in an attempt to compete with each other.
For companies looking to hire the services of a recruitment agency, the low cost option may seem appealing. But working with ‘budget’ recruitment agencies often leads to extra time (meaning extra money) further down the line. You may find yourself doing the work they should be doing, such as analysing CVs and pre-screening potential candidates. Worse still, their shortcuts could mean that the final candidate isn’t suitable and the whole process will start all over again.
If you are thinking of hiring a recruitment agency, don’t think of the price. Consider the following if you really want value for your money.
A recruiter who knows your industry will understand your business needs, and therefore has a much better understanding of what type of candidate is right for you. Unless you work in a very broad sector, look at recruitment agencies within your specific field.
The key role of any recruitment agency is to slot quality candidates into appropriate roles. In order to do this, they need to thoroughly screen their candidates and only present clients with the ones that are deemed to be a good match. It isn’t your responsibility to sift through a bunch of resumes – that’s up to them. A good indication of how successful they are at doing this is their retention rate, in other words, whether their candidates actually stay in their placements for significant periods of time. Filling vacancies means nothing if the candidate doesn’t last within the role. If you find that an agency is sending you multiple candidates, then the chances are they are not properly vetting them and are just sending high volumes through in the hope that you’ll carry out the screening process.
Terms, Conditions and Ethics
Any reputable recruitment agencies in London, and indeed in the UK in general, should be registered with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, so check this out before you sign up. They will be educated in employment law and ethical in their approach to supplying candidates. This means providing candidates who have the skills they profess to have, rather than misrepresenting them in order to quickly fill a vacancy. Similarly, beware of agencies who are reluctant to offer a guarantee should they fail to find you the right candidate. This speaks volumes about their confidence and dedication in doing their job successfully.
A budget agency is likely to disappear once a vacancy has been filled, but the sign of a good, conscientious firm is whether they continue to provide their services after the placement has been made. This means regularly checking in with the candidate and the employer to see that everything is running smoothly, and offering support if there are any teething problems.