Although my Mom has a vision of me working in a beautiful boardroom with professionals in suits, the outside world visualizes Recruiters equal to sleazy used car salesmen with hairy chests and gold chains.
Right? (no offense to used car salesmen… )
So if you are a client or candidate seeking to add quality professionals to your team or wish to find a new career opportunity, how do you identify a GREAT recruitment agency to work with?
1. They are experts regarding your industry: Make sure the recruiting agency understands your industry. In a perfect world, you want a niche recruiting agency which specializes only in your industry. It is like learning a foreign language – you can take a class in Spanish and only be able to ask where the bathrooms are, or you can move to Mexico and become absorbed in the language… and thus turn into an expert! A quality niched recruitment agency will make sure their recruiters are “absorbed” in the industry and can quickly identify quality candidates as well as quality hiring companies.
2. They provide Hiring consultation: A mature recruiting agency will be more than a “match making agency” and will provide training for effective interviewing for both their candidates as well as their Hiring teams. Additionally, look for agencies who assist with resume reviews for candidates, write job descriptions for clients, and provide consultation on compensation ranges to both candidates and clients.
3. They develop a relationship: Working with a recruiting agency should be about developing a relationship, not a one-time business transaction. You should be assigned a dedicated, seasoned, Account Manager… and this Account Manager shouldn’t leave after just a few months. If you don’t feel your Account Manager is honest, transparent, and is genuinely interested in helping you, then this isn’t the recruiting agency for you.
4. Clients – They offer a guarantee: Find out if your selected recruiting agency focuses on quality and offers a guarantee on their placements. If your recruitment team has a robust recruitment and screening process, they will feel so strongly in their ability to identify excellent professionals they will offer a money back guarantee.
5. Clients – They do more than search job boards: A quality recruiting company will “direct source” into targeted companies to find quality candidates rather than just post positions and wait for the unhappily employed or unemployed to apply. This means that you are going to hire an employee who has made a career choice to be a part of your company… not just someone who needs a job.
The last statement I would make is about payment. I would always recommend you work with an agency who behaves like you have them on retainer, but only gets paid when they make a placement. And by the way, as a candidate you should never have to pay a dime! These agencies are few and far between, are true partners to you and your organization, and practice the “and then some factor”.
I would love to hear your thoughts about what characteristics you like in a great recruitment agency.