Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

6 Benefits of Using a (Good) Recruitment Agency

By James Ball | Apr 11, 2016 | Attracting Staff

No cowboys sign - symbolising a 'good recruitment agency' with no cowboysDo you refuse to work with a recruitment agency? Have you heard the horror stories? Or have you yourself been left in the lurch by some “talent attraction” cowboys?

We’re (really) not all that bad.

Yes – I am going to be a bit biased – but the truth is; there are some really positive things that (good) recruitment agencies can do for you.

No bullsh*t. Here are the facts…

1. Get access to more, better candidates

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment; it takes time, resources and the knowledge to try out different strategies.

Recruitment agencies already have a huge head start, set up with the following:

1. Job Boards. Because they’re constantly recruiting, agencies are able to negotiate great value, long-term contracts with job boards across the UK – getting your advert in front of the right people, pretty much immediately.

2. Talent Pipeline. Candidates will actually track down and register for agencies that have a good reputation in the industry. So a (good) recruitment agency will already have a network of engaged, skilled and friendly candidates to approach with your vacancy.

3. Passive Candidates. It takes skill, confidence and experience to approach passive candidates and persuade them to consider a role – using different mediums, including (but not limited to) social media, email and the telephone.

Gone are the days when a short newspaper ad would do the trick – recruiters have to adapt and change with the times, finding new techniques to fill roles.

Having this broad candidate reach leads nicely into our next benefit…

2. Save time

The number one reason why people use recruitment agencies? To save time.

The recruitment process is certainly not a quick one and (especially with popular roles), recruiters can end up spending hours and getting nowhere.

Recruitment agencies take away some of the hassle…

  • Screening CVs.
  • Candidate communications, including follow up.
  • General administrative duties.
  • Initial interviews.
  • Salary negotiations.

And because this is what they do day-in, day-out, they can do it all quicker anyway – they know exactly what to look for, the questions to ask and can read any warning signs early on.

It gives HR Managers (or whoever deals with recruitment) time to deal with more important things.

3. Market Knowledge

It is a recruitment consultant’s job to keep up to date with the latest news, developments and current affairs in the industry they’re recruiting for.

This is where niche agencies excel (it’s pretty impossible to keep up-to-date with every sector).

Such insight will enable them to guide you through the entire process, advising you of any changes that might affect your process.

For example, an agency will be able to help you with salary bench-marking.

They’ll know what the ‘going rate’ is right now, whether there is a skills shortage or candidate surplus and how this might affect your chances of recruiting.

(Click here for some tips on how to recruit, regardless of any skills shortage!)

4. Recruitment Knowledge

Of course, recruitment agencies are just better at recruiting in general – it’s what they do.

  • They know how to make sure your job advert ranks highly, using popular keywords and phrases so that the maximum number of people actually see your vacancy.
  • They know how to write a compelling, attractive job advert that actually gets people to apply.
  • They know how to quickly, but effectively screen a CV, sussing out weaker candidates early on in the process.

And so much more!

This recruitment knowledge, built up on the job, is priceless.  There’s no substitute for experience.

5. Employer Branding

Agencies know how important employer branding is – not just when it comes to recruitment – but to a business as a whole.

They’ll (of course) represent you professionally throughout the entire process, but they’ll also ensure that candidates get a feel for your company culture and brand as well – something which is so important these days.

It’s also good to have an agency on your side, because they’ll back you every step of the way.

For example, if the successful candidate receives another offer/counter-offer, they’ll help with negotiations and help persuade the (right) candidate to choose you.

Candidates are more likely to listen to a recruiter – the outside, experienced party who they trust.

6. Less risk

(Good) agencies will put their money where their mouth is and offer you a rebate period.

If the successful candidate leaves within a certain amount of time then they’ll either replace them (for free) or give you some of your money back – depending on the terms.

So, it’s not as much of a big deal if a candidate doesn’t work out (you don’t go back to square one)!

The “downside”

OK I know, as a recruiter myself, I’m going to be (a little bit) biased.

But I promise that all of the above is true – if you go to a good, reputable agency.

Of course, you will have to pay a fee. But you usually end up saving money in the long run – consider all those man hours, job board fees, the cost of hiring the wrong person, LinkedIn Recruiter etc.

I’m sure, you’ve heard horror stories, or perhaps even experienced a bad agency yourself. But try not to tar us all with the same brush.

Recruiter Pro Tip

Here are some of the warning signs that a recruitment agency probably isn’t very good…

  • They don’t want to chat. At the start of the recruitment process, consultants should spend a fair amount of time getting to know you, the role and the company. How else will they find the right person for you?
  • They pressurise you. Advice is one thing, but pressure is another. If you start to feel like an agency is putting unfair pressure on you, then it could be a sign that they’re panicking.
  • They send you loads of CVS. Some roles will bring in more CVs than other, but if you keep getting sent inappropriate or low-level ones, then your consultant clearly hasn’t listened and probably isn’t really bothered about filling your role.
  • They don’t communicate. If you’re finding it difficult to get in touch with your consultant and you haven’t heard from them in a while, then they’re could be struggling with your role – or of course they could just not really be bothered with it.

My advice is to chat with your consultant if any of the above is true for you (they could just be mega-busy) but if nothing improves, then look elsewhere.

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Want more advice?

Here are some great, interesting articles on how to find yourself a good recruitment agency.

Good luck!

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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