5 Tips for Hiring Recruiting Agencies
When searching for a recruiting agency to partner with on difficult searches for your company, it can be nearly impossible to know where begin. Multiple factors play an important part in placement agency selection and it isn’t always as easy as just choosing a vendor. Rather than going through a length RFP process and interview a large selection of employment agencies, there are items you can prepare in advance to further your talent acquisition strategy.
A holistic approach to hiring involves the right staffing firm to handle more difficult searches or “just in time” hiring which precludes a typical search from running in excess of 60 days. We recently worked with a client on a difficult job search where timing was everything. The goal was to enter a new vertical with their existing product line by selling into a new industry. This industry, was outside their scope and benefited greatly from fresh vendors who offered products not typically associated with their industry.
Enter Blue Point Search – we provided a slate of viable candidates ready and able to develop an entirely new industry with our client’s product. Shorter run times, improved customer satisfaction, and decreased red tape meant increased revenue by adding talent to their already vast sales team. This Business Development candidate had worked with recruitment agencies in the past, but their experience was limited. They were not 100% certain they would be changing jobs and relied on our search practice to help guide through not only the interview process, but the process of turning in their 2-weeks’ notice (as easy as that sounds).
Our client’s talent acquisition strategy involved an integrated partnership with Blue Point Search which allowed for a drastically improved time to hire. They could afford to post and pray on a job board like Indeed or CareerBuilder, but at what cost? Aside from advertising costs, there are employee and team hours associated with the screening and interviewing process. For anyone who has posted a job ad before, you know the response can be sometimes overwhelming and the level of talent discouraging. In a job market like the Seattle job market, hiring is as competitive as ever. Companies are competing ruthlessly for talent and companies like Microsoft and Amazon haven’t slowed the progress of the Pacific Northwest.
The partnership allowed our client to hire faster and, ramp their new team member much quicker. This allows for faster revenue growth as the recruiting process is greatly accelerated. Staffing companies alike know the value of being first to a market, though, Blue Point Search delivers talent above and beyond what is available through the standard market.
If you’re ready to hire a recruiting agency, follow these steps to ensure you’re matched with the right partner:
Understand Your End Goal
Are you ready to hire? Is your interviewing team in place? Often, a staffing company can be delayed and thus the hiring process slowed because we aren’t collectively as shovel ready as we hope. Be ready to hire the right candidates once they’re interviewed and leave the ball always sitting with the recruiting agency. They should never be waiting on you for action items and next steps.
Limit Cooks in the Kitchen
Consensus hiring can be beneficial, though, early on the recruiting process, your recruiting agency needs to have a single point of contact to take communication and direction from. With too many cooks, a recruiter can become lost and disincentivized to actively recruit for your company. The disorganization that happens in the recruiting process can be eliminated by having tough discussions early and agreeing upon a common POC.
Ask Tough Questions
Interview your potential agency and ask about timing, market conditions, what other recruiting agencies are doing, and what separates their company. Aside from a sales pitch, you’ll need confidence and proof this company can provide for you. Candidates are difficult to find in this market and an aggressively well-networked recruiter will have a deep contact list in a given market.
A company the size of Walmart with prices that beat its competitors is in an entirely different league than a Nordstrom, for example. If the staffing agency you partner with is too large, will you receive the same amount of attention as their large accounts? Think you’re receiving a competitive rate? What do you think a volume account for this recruiting agency is paying in recruiting fees?
A staffing agency which takes on any search and any price will likely result in what you would expect from a quality perspective. While low prices are not something to be looked down upon, you should always negotiate your recruiting fees and agree upfront to a fair and equitable fee which keeps the recruiting agency and the recruiter committed to your search, while being as financially diligent as possible. Look for ways lower your fee by offering to pay partial upfront or share a search on an exclusive basis. This can result in major cost savings.
These 5 tips for finding a recruiting agency should set your recruiting strategy up for success. Not only will you end up saving money on the agency you end up partnering with, you’re assured greater results through a more robust partnership and candidate access to talent. With a properly aligned client relationship, recruiters will feel more at ease and confident when selling your company to would-be hires. You’ll be able to hire faster through more follow up and early due diligence which helped you to select the recruiting agency you need to work with.
What if we need to step away?
This is a tough one. You’ve been working with an agency for some time and now it’s clear the working relationship is not working. Results, costs, and timing are all out of kilter while you have internal stakeholders demanding results and action. What’s your next move?
Interview Another Recruiting Agency
Now. Like right now. Find them and setup an intake call. Explain the situation and the challenges you have had. Ask for an action plan to take the searches further and fill open jobs faster. You will want to look for job opportunities for this new recruiter to step in and immediately add value. Ask if they can provide a short list of candidates before the end of the week.
Design a Timeline
Present a solution along with your new staffing agency to your internal clients and stakeholders explaining the new agency will be running point on this search.
Use this as an opportunity to hire a new recruiting agency that delivers. Perhaps this is just what your company needed to reinvigorate its recruiting strategy. If you are always using the same company and they are always conducting the same searches, would it make sense that they would always or at least continue to find the same candidates?
Deliver the News
Do not think of this like a Bandaid situation. The partnership with the old recruiting agency should remain intact while courting the new agency you’ll test drive. Look for opportunities to explain the positive nature of backing away from a particular search and put them on a different search, perhaps limiting to just one to start (and regain their reputation). You do not want to create a sour relationship where an agency is now recruiting out of your company because you are no longer their client.
We could cover every facet of recruiting agency partnership and how to hire faster, though, ultimately it will come down to choosing the right company. No two staffing agencies are created equal and will require vetting like a candidate you would hire for your company. Treat your next search assignment you work with an employment agency on like an interview. This recruiting agency is interviewing for your business by recruiting candidates for your open reqs. Let’s see if they get the job.