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How to choose the right recruitment agency for your business
There are around 20,000 recruitment agencies across the UK - choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Our brief guide below highlights some of the key questions that you, as a hirer, can ask yourself and gives a couple of tips to best ensure that you choose the recruitment agency that is right for you.
Assess your overall job requirements
As an employer, it is important to first look at the jobs that you have to offer, not just short term but also long term. What industry are they in? How many vacancies do you have and how often do they open up? What salaries are you offering and do you know if they are competitive? All of these questions should first be answered to create a shortlist of recruitment agencies. Each agency will have different specialisms and areas of expertise and it is important that you work with the one that best suits your needs. You may find that there are costs saved by using a smaller engaged recruitment supply chain, as opposed to a varied longer list.
Are there time restrictions on your hiring process?
Are you looking to quickly fill general low-skill roles? Do you need to quickly man a project with skilled contract workers, or do you need permanent employees who fit the skills as well as the business culture of your business? If the latter is true for you, then you probably want to make sure that you attract the right candidate at the first time of asking, avoiding wasted time and resources. Alternatively, you may be looking to fill a vacancy quickly, getting someone through the door by the end of the week. Again, different agencies have very different offerings and service levels that you need to consider for contract, temp and permanent roles.
What is the size of their available candidate talent pool?
It does not necessarily matter what location your recruitment agency is based, as long as they meet the legal in-country compliance needed for your roles. What does matter is that they have access to the right candidates for your business. Ask them about how many candidates they have that match your requirements in your chosen locations. Ask about their talent attraction strategy. Ask how often they keep in contact with candidates, which is especially important for contract recruitment. Ask how many candidates they would submit as standard for each role, or tell them what numbers you would expect.
What is their experience?
The history and story behind the recruitment agency can be indicative of the experience you may have with them – are they motivated strictly by financials and targets, or do they look at the wider process, and satisfaction of those involved? What experience do they have in your chosen sectors? How long have they worked with their clients? Do they have references and testimonials? Follow up these references with the clients.
What is the cost?
It is a good idea to assess the current cost of hire. Do you already use an agency, or do you recruit internally? How much time and resources does this use? You may be surprised at the hidden costs of your current hiring process; time, labour and money can all be wasted in an inefficient hiring process. Once you understand your current cost it can help you decide your budget going forward.
It’s a given that there is a financial cost to hiring through a recruitment agency, but all things considered, this cost is accepted as being well worth it in terms of resources saved in the long run.
Create a checklist
Once each of the points above has been considered, it may be useful to put together a ‘checklist’, summarising what is involved:
- -Assess your own requirements both current and future
- -Look at your current cost of hire including time spent and success rates
- -Does the agency have a dedicated team working in your sector(s)
- -Do they have a proven track record?
- -Can they provide references?
- -How big is their talent pool?
- -What is their talent attraction strategy?
Don’t underestimate the power of trust
Overall you need to trust the agency that you work with. Meet your account manager face to face. Set out your objectives and how you prefer to work. Get a feel for their personality and if they are a good fit for working with your business. After all they will be representing you as they search for your future workforce.
Would you like to have a more in depth discussion on your hiring requirements? Contact our team today on 01925 907020
"I have found First to be an efficient, competent recruitment agency who understand that listening is more important than speaking, a trait that many, many recruitment business fail to see. First have consistently produced good quality candidates who, are informed prior to submission of our roles, salaries and locations.
"I would recommend them as a high quality technical recruitment business, they have recently helped me in filling a number of roles within our Nuclear team that other recruitment agencies have failed in."
"I have had the pleasure of working with First Recruitment Group over recent years and we have formed a great working relationship. Their understanding or our exacting requirements is outstanding.
"The First team are highly experienced and knowledgeable across the recruitment spectrum and operate in the manner you would expect of a professional outfit of their stature. Their attention to detail and approach is faultless and their commitment and drive has helped our business with unique, complex and difficult recruitment requirements.
"Sarah, our Account Manager, is an incisive thinker as well as hardworking, diligent and reliable and has an extremely helpful and flexible approach to her work. This reflects in her team and with their ability to communicate at all levels in an honest and trusted consultative manner and gives us great faith in their ability to identify candidates who can help us to drive forward and achieve our business goals.
"I have no hesitation in recommending First as a recruitment partner and feel they would be worthy of selection for any engineering or manufacturing business looking for an intelligent and innovate solution."
“There is nothing negative about the service that we’ve received from First. Without fail they have produced positive feedback. The fact that they have placed a diverse range of skills from PA's to Engineers, just goes to show that they have the core skills, intelligence, and initiative that make them great recruiters, and preferred partners.”
Alexander Mann Solutions
"First Group are one of the key suppliers to Cobham. The team are quick to respond, friendly and professional, and as such have made a massive difference to the account. The team have supported and filled a variety of roles. Without hestitation I would recommend First."
“I have found First Recruitment to be very efficient and professional in their approach to recruitment. They were able to gain an in depth understanding of the needs of our business and source high quality candidates. I would highly recommend their services to anyone with a recruitment need.”