Should I use a recruitment agency to employ staff?

As a recruitment agency owner, you’d probably expect me to say “yes every time” but actually more often than not, at Thompson & Terry Recruitment we say to clients that they probably don’t need to use an agency to fill their vacancy.

We are all experts in our profession and will probably know our businesses better than any 3rd party and recruitment is no different. Most recruiters have access to all major job boards, LinkedIn Recruiter and a database/phonebook of candidates, which obviously does have a value but can be purchased.

I think the main areas of value that a good recruiter will add, will be ensuring a fair process, speed and candidates, so I think the first question to probably ask yourself is could you do it yourself? If so, how long would it take and what is the value of your time?

If the answer to that is no you couldn’t do it yourself and/or the value of your time is higher than the agency fee then I would advise having a conversation with a good recruiter. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should use them but I do definitely believe it’s worth a conversation.

Finding a good recruiter

I think at this point the question to ask is how do I find a good one… well look no further! But in all seriousness, I think it really depends on the role itself and your network – If you are part of networking groups, trade organizations or even LinkedIn, asking whether anybody can recommend a good recruiter will likely yield good results.

Again, depending on the role, it’s really important that you consider their specialism. If you are looking to recruit a website developer, it’s probably not wise to instruct a specialist industrial recruiter, but equally most recruiters are paid on results so they will normally be honest with you.

It’s also worth considering the locality of the recruiter and the rapport you build with them – recruiting the perfect candidate can be a long process so it’s vital you are in it together and can build a great relationship!

How many recruitment agencies should I use?

We are often asked this question by employers, mainly employers that we haven’t previously recruited for and I almost always say that there are rarely winners by instructing more than one agency.

The reason is simple, like any business, recruitment agencies base their fees to achieve X return on investment or margin. Assuming you instruct four agencies, logic would say each would have a 25% chance of being paid for their work, which will likely result in one of two things:

1, A high fee to mitigate risk

2, Less focus/priority

I appreciate that’s a little black and white, and in reality, it isn’t but the principles do remain in most cases.

Equally and probably more importantly, as mentioned, most recruiters have access to the same candidate pool and therefore you really risk your reputation by several recruiters contacting the same candidate about your vacancy. We had a case where the perfect candidate was completely put

off an employer as he received 6 different recruiters contact him about the same job and was also made aware that the client had 18 interviews – that is by far the most extreme case I’ve heard, but it’s definitely worth considering the candidate experience.

I appreciate I have sat on the fence a little with some of my answers but if there was a one size fits all, I probably wouldn’t be in business. If you would like any further advice or help, please do reach out as we are always willing to give our honest opinion, even if it is that you don’t need to use us!