Posted by Robert Half on 28 January 2015
Recruiting new employees can be a costly and time-consuming process for organisations; one that uses up significant resources, but rarely offers any guarantees. Employers fully recognise the value of top talent - those individuals that can drive their business forwards and boost the bottom line. Human resources departments face a tricky task when it comes to ensuring a flow of continual talent into the business, and making sure they hire individuals who are suited to the job and the culture of the organisation. In a buoyant jobs market, where employers are competing with one another for the most skilled and experienced staff, this becomes even more difficult.
In many cases, employers need specialist support with their hiring strategies. Using a recruitment agency to identify and attract talent, and negotiate terms, can relieve a huge amount of pressure. This approach can help organisations find the people they need to move forwards, bring them to interview, and secure their services within budget.
So what exactly is the benefit of a recruitment agency to help hire professionals? Here are a few practical benefits:
1. Ability to identify talent
The benefit of a recruitment agency is they work with both employers who are searching for talent, and professionals who are on the hunt for career opportunities. As such, they are ideally placed to be ‘in the know’ and operate as an intermediary between the two parties. The knowledge recruitment consultants possess about how to avoid hiring a bad candidate can be extremely valuable; they know who is looking for work, how capable they are, and what sort of a salary expectations people have.
Once an employer has created a vacancy and established role criteria, recruitment agencies can set about finding suitable people for the position. The 'ideal candidate' is often the one who is not actively looking for a new job but would be open to one if the right opportunity presented itself. A recruitment consultant has strong networks and a clear idea of where to find these individuals.
Another benefit of using a recruitment agency is their extensive knowledge about individual segments of the jobs market and the talent that is available in particular localities. They also learn about employers' requirements and goals. This means they can source talented individuals who are capable of doing the job.
2. Advertise roles
Sometimes when employers advertise vacancies, they do not receive applications of the required calibre. They are looking for an experienced candidate with niche skills, but the CVs they receive simply don't hit the mark. Often, this is down to poor marketing; the high-calibre people they need simply don't see the advert. And if they aren't aware of the opportunity, they can't apply for the job.
The benefit ofecruitment agencies not only advertise vacancies - both online and on the high street - but they actively seek out professionals who fit the job description. Recruitment consultants may establish direct contact with talented individuals they know, having helped them find a new job in the past, and invite them to apply for the role. Some professionals might not be actively looking for a career change, but your vacancy could just tempt them.
3. Negotiate salaries
As an employer, the last thing you want is to get to the end of the recruitment process, having identified your preferred candidate and made a job offer, only to find that you are poles apart on salary and benefits. Before entering salary negotiations, recruiters can help you benchmark remuneration against other businesses in your industry and can provide valuable resources, like the Robert Half Salary Guide which provides insights on current trends. Recruitment agencies are also actively placing skilled candidates and negotiating salaries involved in the hiring process. They can negotiate on behalf of both parties and agree a mutually acceptable remuneration package. If both parties are aware of the other's hopes and expectations from the outset, it ensures there is a realistic prospect of sealing the deal.
4. Interview candidates
When interviewing candidates, the benefit of using a recruitment agency is they can conduct interviews on an employer's behalf, which can save time and money. A recruitment consultant first provides a candidate screening - potentially over the phone - to begin the process of narrowing down the applicants. They can learn a little more about the individuals on the shortlist, and eliminate any unsuitable matches from the process. The recruitment agency can also conduct background checking on candidates invited to interview, meaning the employer's HR department doesn't have to. When it comes to the final round of interviews, a recruitment agency can advise on what interview questions to ask.
5. Deliver interim professionals
Using a recruitment agency gives businesses the benefit of increasing or decreasing their employee levels as needed. They can identify professionals for full-time, permanent roles, but also individuals suitable for interim jobs. It may be that emergency cover is needed for an absent employee, who has gone off ill or left at short notice. Or an employer may be concerned about a lack of capacity for a new project or initiative that is getting underway. Recruiters have candidates on who are willing to hit the ground running, meaning there is no time wasted getting these professionals up to speed.
6. Offer industry insight
Another benefit of a recruitment agency is they spend all day, every day, working to provide staffing solutions for organisations across a range of industry sectors such as finance and accounting, financial services, interim management, technology and office administration. As such, they have significant expertise and jobs market insight, internationally, nationally, and locally, which employers can tap into as they plan their recruitment strategy. Recruitment consultants understand employer needs, candidate expectations, and the impacts of supply and demand on the jobs market as a whole. This means they are ideally situated to help employers make educated decisions, which have a positive impact on the bottom line.
Employers don't need to go it alone, when it comes to hiring. The benefit of a recruitment agency, such as Robert Half is they can help businesses and organisations access the skills and experience they need, in good time, without breaking the bank. This allows employers to free up time and monetary resources to help drive the business forward.