How to identify and secure the best recruitment partner

by 03 Dec 2012

Putting your company's recruitment needs in the hands of someone else is a huge leap of faith. Amanda Lintott provides her tips for finding the perfect partner.

Hiring and retaining the best talent has always been tough and thanks to a volatile economy it is harder than ever.

The typical role of the HR manager has changed. HR is not all about employee management and payroll, HR managers drive workplace policies as well as being a key player in financial and strategic business decisions. This is why not all HR managers have the time or resources to fill roles in-house, with many looking to recruitment agencies to not only weed out weak candidates but also to help find the right one.

Putting your company in the hands of someone else is a huge leap of faith so you need to be certain that whoever is recruiting for the role is a seasoned professional in your specific industry and has extensive knowledge of what the role is and the skills needed to fill the role.

Recruiters and companies don’t always get it right and inevitably some people will leave within a short period of starting a new job.

Recruitment is about more than just finding candidates for roles. It is about finding the right person with the experience, skill-set, traits and work ethic to suit your working family. At Career Driven we understand that a person may have all the necessary skills and experience on paper, but that does not always translate into the perfect candidate. Of course they must fill the requirements of the job efficiently, but they must also become a valuable member of your team.

Bringing in an industry-specific recruitment specialist can be the perfect solution, businesses must ensure they get the most out of recruiters.

Recruitment agencies are the first ‘face’ of business when looking for staff. They represent the business and what it stands for, so it’s important to find one that is the right fit for your company. With so many recruitment agencies across Australia it can be difficult for a business to know which one is best or how to go about choosing them.

Working with a recruitment agency isn’t just about the immediate need to fill a role. If you want an employee that will develop and grow with your business and really add value, you need your agency to understand your industry and more importantly, your business specifically.

Here are my top tips on how to pick the best recruitment agency to meet your needs.

1.         Test the consultant's expertise

You wouldn’t let the postman rewire your electricity, so why let someone who knows nothing about your industry find your next employee? Having an understanding of the industry the role is to operate in is vital if the agency is going to successfully weed out the candidates who know their stuff versus those who simply know what to say. Test your recruiter by asking questions about your industry and using specific terminology.  Ask for evidence that they have successfully placed people in similar roles.

Your recruiter is also representing your company to potential employees. You don’t want the perfect candidate walking away because the recruiter didn’t know enough to successfully sell the role to them.

2.         Take recommendations

Just like when you’re buying a product, reviews can give real insight. If you know someone who has used the agency before, ask them what they thought, what they could have done better etc. You can then discuss any areas of concern with the agency. If you don’t know anyone yourself, see if the agency has a current or former client you could talk to.

3.         What are the terms?

A good agency will be very transparent with its fees and terms. There are a lot of different fee structures available so make sure you are comfortable with them and understand all the fine print. What suits one business, might be completely wrong for another, so try and find an agency that is flexible in its approach.

4.         What if it goes wrong?

As mentioned above, recruiters and companies don’t always get it right and inevitably some people will leave within a short period of starting a new job. The important thing is what happens once you know they are leaving and how your recruiter helps you. For example, is there a fee refund policy if an employee drops out, or does the agency provide a temp while a replacement is found? Make sure that you’re happy with any arrangements ahead of time. No one wants to think things will go wrong, but sometimes they do.

5.         Size doesn’t always matter

You might presume that a larger agency will have a greater pool of candidates that are suitable for your role. For more generic roles this can work in your favour, but if you are looking for a very specific role or type of person consider a smaller agency. They can spend time getting to know your company and its specific needs. They will also know their candidates on a much deeper level and can better ensure that they are the right fit for your company culture.

Recruitment is about finding the top talent that will mesh perfectly into your workplace family. If you’re a HR manager who does not have the time or resources to fill a role then make sure you are getting the most out of your recruitment agency, and they know enough about your business to make the recruitment process seamless and stress-free for you.


About the author

Amanda Lintott is managing director of Career Driven, an automotive recruitment specialist agency.


  • by Amanda Webb 4/12/2012 10:24:26 PM

    Great article Amanda - your advice is spot on. Like your business Career Driven, our boutique consultancy, One Degree HR, has grown quickly in just over 12 months, due largely to the fact that we are HR industry experts, who recruit and acquire talent for the HR industry. We know HR, are credible and respected practitioners, and have a genuine interest and care for our clients and candidates. The constant feedback we get is ..."you get us/me" and we don't ever profess to be experts in any other field. Wishing you continued success at Career Driven, and a thank you to the clients who are rewarded when they take the 'leap of faith' with reputable agencies.