So often we hear the negative side of the recruitment industry, it seems that hardly a day goes by without another critical post on LinkedIn! But recruitment companies can prove to be a lifeline for struggling companies and a valuable business partner in the development of growing enterprises.
There’s no doubt that some recruiters can prove to be an expensive and somewhat haphazard ally in the world of sourcing staff. Although there are some regulations around recruitment, the consultants are often painted as little more than snake oil salesmen who offer little added value.
As with any industry there are good and bad and the recruitment sector is no different but the amount of good certainly outweighs the bad and there are some very compelling reasons for using a great recruiter.
The first time a business may consider using an employment agency is when they are looking for temporary staff. It may be that they have a seasonal spike in orders or that they need to cover holidays or longer staff absence such as maternity leave. For a company that is having difficulty meeting customer demand, being able to ramp up its capacity by taking on temporary staff can prove to be a boon and certainly a weight off the directors’ minds. Where a business has a seasonal sales profile, such as summer trading or manufacturers gearing up for Christmas it is unfeasible to employ many permanent employees when they will be under-utilised at other times. Having an agency working with you who understands how your business operates and what is needed makes a big difference when you’re struggling under the weight of orders.
A good recruitment agency will have an understanding of the market and what talent is available. If you run an expanding business and you need quality employees than enlisting the help of an agency will give you greater reach. As experts in their field a great recruiter understands where to get hard to find skills and experience. They’ll have a list of already registered candidates and when looking for temporary skills then they’ll know candidates who have a track record of successful placements.
If you need a good quality temporary employee very quickly then it’s likely that your agency will have a few people immediately available who can step into the breach. Even if they don’t have the ideal person listed, they’ll have a number of ways of tracking down that ideal staff member, they’ll know what websites work, which adverts attract the best talent and will also be able to do a passive job search to find people who aren’t even looking for a new job.
Employment agencies are also a superb way to save time when you are recruiting. You can expect that when you instruct them to find a new employee they will spend time with you clarifying exactly what you want and defining a proper job spec and role requirements. When you have a professional doing this kind of task it is always quicker and with a better outcome than if you try and do it yourself.
In today’s interconnected world it’s easy to advertise a job, and correspondingly it is easy to apply. This means that every job posting garners a huge amount of applications. Your recruitment agency will sift through the applications and send on to you only the very best people that match the job specifications completely. If you have ever spent time reading through a ream of CVs you’ll know what a lifesaver this is!
It’s a legal requirement that agencies also check right to work of potential hires. This means that you’re not going to get through the entire recruitment process and then find that your new employee doesn’t have right type of visa! The fact that the agency does this all for you is certainly a weight off the busy managers’ mind.
Although it may seem expensive getting a recruitment agency to do this for you it has to be weighed against the time taken to do it all internally. Remember firstly that the agency will have the systems, procedures and experience to complete all of the admin tasks much quicker than you could. Think also about how much you and your managers’ time is worth to the business. How much value could be added to the business in the time it takes to produce a CV short list?
There’s little doubt that there are issues with using recruitment agencies but in fact these are massively outweighed by the significant help that a great recruiter can provide. Being able to hand over the task of finding suitably qualified and available people for your firm and knowing that they will always come up with the goods is tremendously reassuring to the busy executive.
We would love to hear about your experiences from working with recruitment agencies?
Whether good or bad, please let us know below.
Tom Rowbottom is founder of innovative new temporary recruitment marketplace, TempAuction.
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