4 things to consider when choosing a recruitment agency

By Robert Half on 5th February 2019

The recruitment agency you choose to work with should be as good a fit as the candidate they help you hire. Here’s how to assess whether a recruitment agency could help you, how much their services cost, and what to look for when making your choice.

1) Do employment agencies really help?

Employment agencies are highly skilled at helping businesses find, evaluate and hire high-quality candidates as quickly as possible. This is especially useful when you consider that almost two in five businesses (39%) discover they’ve hired the wrong employee just two weeks after making the offer. One third of businesses (33%) turned to an employment agency to help them correct the hiring error.

Not only helpful in establishing a good fit, an employment agency can also help you speed up your hiring times. The average hiring process lasts 28 days, according to research by Robert Half. This is a far cry from the 1–2 week turnaround that candidates expect from an employer. In fact, 58% claim to have accepted a second-choice role because their first choice took too long to reach a decision. 

A recruitment company will take candidate expectations into account and—as well as keeping them informed at every stage—will use techniques to help you speed things up

2) How much do recruitment agencies charge?

Recruitment agency pricing will all depend on the calibre of agency you choose to work with. While some recruitment vendors may have lower prices on the surface, this may provide some insight into the depth of their talent pool or their levels of service. Specialist global recruitment companies and executive search firms might have higher fees but are far more likely to be able to access quality talent which isn’t available to everyone, as well as provide long-term customer service to both their candidates and hiring managers. 

3) Choosing a recruitment agency

Once you find the best recruitment agency for you, filling vacancies becomes easier and easier each time. The right recruiter will get to know you, your team, your business and the way you like to work, so hiring becomes much more intuitive, with more tailored shortlists, higher output and longer tenure. This is why finding the right fit is important from the start. 

As discussed previously, the type of firm you go for will be determined by the frequency with which you hire, the types of roles you hire into and how senior the roles are. Once you know this, you can begin to look for the following qualities… 

4) What makes a good recruitment agency?

A good recruitment agency should ideally offer the following as part of their service:

-    Hiring for happiness and long-term fit

When a recruitment agency focuses on hiring for long-term fit and happiness rather than just qualifications or experience, businesses get far better value.

A Robert Half study on happiness at work showed that when hired for fit, employees acclimatise more easily and make better contributions faster. A recruiter can conduct skills tests, thoroughly check references and conduct more in-depth interviews to ensure you find the employee who matches the role perfectly.

-    Better team diversity

Unconscious hiring bias is something we’re all guilty of, whether we know it or not. By interviewing candidates or reviewing CV’s with preconceived expectations, businesses can often lose out on the very best talent.

A good recruitment agency will help you increase the diversity of your teams by using techniques which are designed to eliminate hiring bias. This can include the offer of blind CV reviews, direct starts, and hosted interviews.

-    Global reach

The global talent shortage is making it increasingly difficult for employers to find the talent they need to fill open roles. In the UK alone, 82% of hiring managers said that they’re struggling to find the talent they need.

To be in with a better chance of obtaining quality candidates, try to work with a specialist recruitment agency that right for your business. 

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