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How to get the best out of your recruitment agency

Author: Guy Walker
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Finding the right person for your marketing team can be a full-time job so when you have endless campaign deadlines and a “to-do” list as long as your arm, having the support of a specialist recruitment agency can be a huge help. That said, engaging with an agency does require some commitment so here are five key things that you can do to make the process work best.

1. First things first, think about how important this vacancy is to you and then establish if you have the right budget.

It’s no secret that recruiters prioritise roles with better fee rates and the most amount of exclusivity – it just makes commercial sense. So rather than drive the fee rates to rock bottom and give the role out to 5 different agencies, commit to 1 (maybe 2) reputable agencies and pay a reasonable price for the service. This way you’ll get the commitment you need and the agency will deliver you a great service.

2. Check you have the time to do this.

Although you won’t be doing the search yourself, you will need to write a job description, discuss the appointment internally, meet with and provide a thorough brief to the agency, describe the culture / working environment / personalities that will fit your business, review CVs, manage the interview process (which could be six hour-long slots with 1st and 2nd stages) and then potentially factor in some negotiation at the end. Although an agency will save you a lot of time, you will still need to ensure you have availability throughout the whole process to keep things moving.

3. Has the role been signed off?

This sounds obvious but it’s a valid question. Here’s a scenario - the process is complete, you have the perfect candidate, they’re ready to commit to your business but it will now take another two weeks to get the role signed off to release a contract, by which time the candidate has been approached with a raft of other opportunities.

4. Agree everything up front.

Fees, rebate period, payment terms, time scales, the process etc. to make sure there are no surprises in the final stages.

5. Move quickly.

Things happen at pace in recruitment as companies are all competing for the best candidates. If there is a delay in the process, you’ll likely miss out on top talent as they’ll continue to have new opportunities put to them and your competitors will be moving quicker.

Recruitment isn’t a transactional process because everything about the process is people-related. The more time you can spend with your recruitment agency building that relationship, the more invested they will become in you and your business. This will then translate into time and effort spent on your role telling the market how good your business is and generating interest that stretches beyond the CVs that land in your inbox – we become advocates of your brand!

If you follow the steps above and chose the right agency to partner with, you’ll have a higher chance of success and a better overall experience.

Guy Walker is Marketing Recruitment Lead at Forward Role and can be found tweeting @forwardrole_guy and on LinkedIn.

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