Recruitment Consultancies: Good Practise V Bad Practise

Blog Post Published 24th July 2015

Recruitment Consultancies: Good Practise V Bad Practise

One Child w. pencil

What makes a good recruitment consultant?

Recruitment Consultancies provide a service and, as with all service companies, the quality of delivery will depend very much on the companies you deal with. Recruitment Consultants in general seem to have a similar reputation to Estate Agents and we often come up against a negative perception of the industry. But, like Estate Agents, the service provided is very valuable if delivered in the right way.

So what separates a good recruiter from a bad recruiter?

It may sound clichéd but essentially it comes down to how much they care about the service they deliver and how much they are concerned with helping your business.

Bad recruiters are those that see only the fee at the end of the process, they do not take the time to learn about your company and the environment in which you work. A good recruiter is one that provides a genuine consultancy based service to your organisation and takes the time to understand the type of person it needs to help it thrive.

Recruitment is not a numbers game but too often it descends in to one. Many companies will post their job opportunity with multiple recruiters who will know it is a race against time to get applications over and “beat the other agencies”. This is not how it should work but it is a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

Does the company advertise the role to 3 or 4 different agencies because they believe this is the best way to recruit or is the industry at fault for turning it in to a numbers game?

The issue is that bad recruiters thrive when it is turned in to a numbers game. Where the good recruiter takes the time to speak with the candidate, register them with the agency and ensure they are well informed; the bad recruiter simply sends the CV across without even speaking to the candidate. In such circumstances the first agency to send an individual’s CV to a company is the one who gets to represent the candidate in the process, which means the recruiter who performs their role with care and diligence can be punished for taking the time to get it right.

In some cases this has the knock-on effect of forcing a good recruiter in to bad practise and the whole thing perpetuates. The company with the vacancy does not receive any genuine value from the service and so continues to advertise with multiple agencies and the agencies involved remain in a race against time to provide a mass of CVs for every role.

The reality of recruitment is that the majority of candidates are available to every agency. The CV search engines used are simply a tool of the trade; they are only part of the value offered by a good recruiter. If all a company wants are matching CVs it would be a lot cheaper to simply buy a license for a job board!

A good consultant can provide so much value during the recruitment process; both to companies and to candidates. When a recruiter knows your business, the working environment, the personalities involved and your industry they can provide so much more. They can give you advice on a competitive salary for your role, on the likely availability of suitable candidates and, crucially, they can provide you with applications from candidates that they know will be a good fit for your organisation.

By working closely with one recruiter you allow them the time to learn your business and to build a relationship based on trust. You will have an ally that can manage the recruitment process on your behalf and help you with the tough choices involved. You will receive only a short-list of good quality candidates, which will save you the time and effort of sifting through tens of CVs that have simply been found using a keyword search.

The ironic thing is that most recruitment companies will offer a discounted rate to businesses that enter a sole agency agreement. Such agreements allow the recruiter to take their time and deliver a good quality service and your business gets more for less!

Next week: how to get the best from your recruitment consultant