How to select a recruitment partner

So you’re looking for staff, but not sure which employment service is right for you?

At the start of 2020, there were well over 30,000 agencies in the UK, each varying in specialism and approach. So picking just one can be difficult.

Here are some key factors to consider when deciding.

What's the vacancy?

When deciding which recruitment agency to approach, the first question any employer should ask themselves is: “what exactly is the role I’m recruiting for?”

This may seem pretty obvious, but being clear about the vacancy will make it easier to choose the right service.

Permanent or temporary? Junior or executive? Niche skilled or jack of all trades?

All of these things have an impact on which recruitment agency you should work with, so take the time to consider what you’re really looking for.

What type of agency is right for you?

Once you’ve settled on the candidate criteria, narrowing down the right type of agency shouldn’t be too difficult.

Essentially, there are three different types of recruitment agency:

  • High street
    • Recruit for a wide range of vacancies
    • Often focus on local vacancies.
  • Industry specialist
    • Recruit exclusively for a specific sector
    • Source passive candidates
  • Temp.
    • Recruit for temp or short-term positions
    • Often focus on local positions

Of course, there are recruiting companies who will do all of the above, so you might want to look around and compare a few different agencies.


Should cost be a factor?

Of course you have to work within your own budget, but any recruitment fee should be seen as an investment rather than a cost.

The cost of a bad hire far outweighs the any recruitment agency costs.  A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that although more than a third of companies believe hiring mistakes cost their business nothing, a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs relating to training, lost productivity and more.

Often, you will only pay the majority of the recruitment fee once the successful candidate has started working for you, so the onus is really on the recruiter to find the best person possible. If you are not 100% happy, they keep on looking for other candidates.

Bottom line: don’t make your agency decision a purely financial one.


OK, so how can I tell if a recruiter is good or not?

It’s one thing to narrow down your search, but how do you select a ‘good’ recruitment agency.

There are so many recruiters to choose from, each with their own USPs, so here are a few signs that you should be looking out for.

  • Do they have previous success in your industry?
  • Who else have they worked with?
  • Can they provide testimonials?
  • Do they offer a guarantee?
  • Do they have a positive external presence (social media, Google, etc)

Take time to speak to the recruiters at the agency, ask them questions and decide whether they come across as a team you would work well with.

If you get a good feeling about the recruitment agency after speaking to them, it could be that you’ve found the right agency for your needs.

Safety in Numbers

You may feel that you could just give you vacancy to several different agencies and see who finds the best people first.

We would strongly discourage this.

Working with such a scatter-gun approach has a negative impact on your employer brand and gives the impression that your company is either cheap or desperate... not traits that are likely to attract the best people.

Ideally find one recruiter that you have confidence in, as they will dedicate more time to your requirements. However, should you wish to engage more, we would recommend a maximum of three companies.

Choosing any recruitment agency is easy, but choosing the right recruitment agency for you is much more of a challenge.

If you are looking for staff in the Legal or Marketing sectors, call 2M Employment Solutions. We'll give you an honest assessment of your requirements and how we will partner with you to find the right people for your vacancies.

Contact us on 02392 387722 if you would like to discuss who we can support your recruitment process, or request a callback below.