As regular readers of my blog would know, I network a fair bit and twice in the last week I’ve been asked who is the best recruitment agency in Oxfordshire so thought I’d try to answer.
It’d be very easy for me to say Thompson & Terry Recruitment, and whilst in certain circumstances I am confident we are certainly contenders, in others we are a million miles away from the best recruitment agency in Abingdon, let alone Oxfordshire.
In my experience there isn’t a one size fits all model when it comes to recruitment and in this blog I will cover the factors to consider when working with an agency:
What sector is your vacancy? And do you have a larger recruitment need?
What is your way of working?
Do you have an experienced recruiter or hiring manager in-house?
How much time do you or the hiring managers have?
Starting with sector
It is so important that the agency you instruct understand the job type and indeed your sector. Here at Thompson & Terry Recruitment, we are so strong with office based vacancies, but if you were hiring a driver for example, I would always recommend my good friend Lorraine Thompson at Driver Hire in Oxford. Any good recruiter will have a phone book and if they can’t help they will always point you in the direction of an expert that can.
It’s definitely worth considering your recruitment strategy, diversity of specialism and volume of need. One client of ours is global with such a diverse recruitment requirement and the HR Director likes to have a tiny handful of agencies to support her. Whilst we recruit locally, she uses Hays in 25 different countries as they have the resource to deliver on that scale.
What is your way of working?
Outlining your way of working is so key to any strong working relationship. I know for some hiring managers, volume of CV’s and speed is the most important factor, and in that scenario I would always recommend going to a high street agency that register a book of candidates as they are normally able to deliver in this way.
Where we at Thompson & Terry Recruitment differ is when working with busy hiring managers, as we interview every candidate for an hour and will only submit with really detailed interview notes if we’d personally employ the candidate ourselves. As a result last year c. 84% of the first CV we sent last year got the job, which we are so proud of against a national average of 5%; although it is worth stressing that due to our process we are normally much slower than a traditional high street agency.
Do you have inhouse skills and resource?
If the answer is yes, then I would always ask a client if they need to use an agency at all?
Whilst any good recruiter should go above and beyond in order to ensure that they have a good understanding of you as a business and the role as well as your culture and values, naturally nobody will ever know your business as well as you do! As part of our interview feedback call, we always ask the candidate if there were any surprises and if the client described the job and business as we did, and proud to say that in 9 years of running Thompson & Terry, we’ve only had a disparity on 3 occasions, which is 3 too many despite c. 2000 interviews if my maths is correct. However it’s quite common for the client to build detail.
If you don’t have the skills and resource inhouse and are looking to select an agency, my advise would be to ensure that their values are focused around honesty, transparency but also carrying out a very thorough process. I know many agencies (us included) will offer to sit on interview panels with you or it might be worth looking at a really good HR consultant, who again we’d be really happy to recommend.
There definitely is a ‘best’ agency in Oxford but the best agency will be different depending on your business, your recruitment requirement and the skills you have internally so it’s definitely worth reflecting on this blog before finding the ‘best’ agency for you and your business.
If you are looking to work with an agency, please do get in touch as I will certainly be able to recommend an agency that is right for you, whether that be Thompson & Terry Recruitment or another in our network.