Depending on your experience, you may view recruitment businesses as a necessary evil or a vital part in helping to secure the right candidate for you. Whether you are about to recruit for the first time, or you have used recruitment agencies or consultancies previously, it’s important to choose wisely and manage the relationship effectively.

Let’s start with the basics

The first question you should be asking yourself is “what exactly is the role I’m recruiting for?” This may seem obvious but thinking about the vacancy, the demands of the business and your particular needs will make it easier to choose the right service for you.

Why am I recruiting? Is it a new role, replacing someone, is it business critical, a project…? Is it a permanent, interim, or temporary role?  What is the seniority level? Is it a niche role or do I need a Jack of all Trades? Answering these questions will impact on which recruitment business you should work with and, more importantly, the success of your campaign and ‘level of pain’.

Once you’re settled on what you need and why, narrowing down the right agency, shouldn’t be too difficult. Recruitment businesses fall into three groups:

  • High Street: They tend to be volume based, recruit across a wide variety of industries and levels, and usually focus on local vacancies. The roles can be permanent or temporary and are more reactive, a pile it high, sell it cheap attitude.
  • Boutique/Niche: Will focus on a handful of specific disciplines or on a specific profession, for example, Accountancy, Legal, Marketing. They will be more consultative in nature, offering a tailored service and have a good understanding of the (local) market with access to passive and active candidates.

***There are, however, a number of small businesses, (us being one of them) who work specifically with customers and are relationship/service driven.

  • Search and Selection: Also known as executive recruitment. They will recruit senior appoints (C-suite, Director level) or fill niche roles; The service is bespoke, and they will actively source passive candidates for you and may recruit nationwide or overseas. They will also get paid on a retained basis.

Whether you need a Packer, Production Operative, Actuary or Finance Director, there is a recruitment business for you. The key is to identify what you need and why. I can’t stress enough, question, question, question.  Ask for references, testimonials, and case studies. 

The business you work with will represent you in the marketplace.

It may seem like a lot of work and labour intensive, but I promise you, it will save you a lot of pain, financially and emotionally, in the long term.