You need to urgently fill a position. You have tried filling it on your own with no luck and you need to engage a recruitment agency. What do you do? Who do you call? What does the project look like and what are your expectations?
The relationship between HR team/hiring manager and recruitment agency can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial to both sides when each side approaches the relationship as a partnership.
Get to Know Each Other
Have you taken the time to get to know the recruiters in your market? I mean really get to know them. You wouldn’t hire an employee based on their resume alone, would you? It’s hard to understand each other and the value each brings to the partnership if contact is only made when there is an urgent need. Take the time to get to know recruiters—remember a recruiter is representing your brand—you want to make sure you have the best fit working with you.
Get to know all of the people in the agency that would be speaking to candidates. Will they be leaving a good impression—could these candidates end up being customers or partners down the road? Are they knowledgeable about the job? The company? Are they following up and representing you and your brand the way you would?
Do this before there is an urgent need! Meet a few firms and say you just want to understand who they are and what they offer and decide who is the best fit for you and your organization. On the flip side, recruiters should get to know you, your organization and what make you unique.
If the recruiter doesn’t understand your brand, culture and placement in the market or business as a whole, would you want them to represent you? Choosing the wrong recruiter can diminish your brand and reflect negatively on your organization.
When you have a good relationship with an agency the following will happen:
•In time, they will get to deeply understand your business, including such aspects as culture, processes, practices etc.
•They will be more willing to go over and above for you.
• They will give you great advice and feedback that allows you to do your job better.
If those things don’t happen, you don’t have the right partner working with you. Go back to meeting other recruiters.
Partners Don’t Compete
You need to work with your recruitment agency like a partnership. After all, you want to hire the right person, don’t you? There is no partnership that exists where the two people working together are competitors. This causes friction, lack of transparency, confusion and frustration which ultimately lead to no one being successful.
The goal here is that both parties win! Work cooperatively, and it’s more likely the best person will get the job in less time with less stress, ultimately saving your organization time and money.
Select a Recruiter Who Is an Ambassador
You engaged a recruitment agency that isn’t brining forward the results you’re looking for, and you need to move in another direction. That’s fair, but what isn’t efficient or effective is engaging multiple recruitment firms to recruit for the same position.
While it may seem to increase your odds of hiring the best candidate, it can actually be detrimental to your organization and brand. Let’s say you engage three recruitment agencies to headhunt for one specialized position. What is the possibility these three firms are reaching out to the same pool of candidates? It is very likely.
Through the help of LinkedIn and candidates getting to know multiple recruiters, the chance of this happening is higher than you think. What does a candidate think when they are approached by multiple recruiters for the same position? They aren’t sure who to trust or which will recruiter will represent them the best. Not to mention, how much extra work does this cause you managing all of these agencies and keeping each of the candidates straight?
Additionally, if a recruiter knows they are competing for a job, they might not be completely committed to finding the ideal candidate. While recruiters should only take on projects they can fully commit resources, all too often, they know they’re playing a numbers game against time and will just throw candidates into the mix as quickly as possible in hopes something will stick.
Think about it this way: if you’re a home builder and you want to hire a framing company and you say, “We’re going to hire three framing companies each to frame a house and whoever gets the house framed the quickest to our specifications will get paid,” what do you think is going to happen to your relationship with these companies, the quality of work and their commitment to you?
There are many feelings towards recruitment agencies and the service they provide. If you have had negative feelings working with them, then chances are you haven’t engaged an agency that can truly be an extension of your brand. There are a lot of great ones out there who really do care about your company and your success and that work hard to get the job done.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Shannon Neighbour is a Partner at Svensen Neighbour Recruiting, a boutique recruitment agency in Edmonton, Alberta. Passionate about people and their stories, women’s advocacy and giving back.