Finding the right recruitment agency can often feel like you’re running uphill through treacle.
There are so many options out there that it’s difficult to know which is the right option for you. You don’t just need an agency that can find you the right job or the right candidate, you also need one that has your best interests at heart and can support you through every step of the job-hunting journey.
What Makes a Good Recruitment Agency?
Good recruitment agencies don’t just have a roster of jobs and candidates that may or may not be a good fit for you. It’s easy to go for a company that has the most jobs or the highest number of potential employees, but ideally you want to find one that has the right jobs and the right people - quality over quantity.
1. They Match Company Culture and Business Goals
Considering we spend over 50% of our waking hours at work every day, a job needs to be something enjoyable and, for employers, the people you hire need to be the right people.
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A good recruitment agency doesn’t just throw any old position or candidate at you, they will match candidates and positions based on their values and goals and whether they are a good fit with the company’s culture.
2. They Answer Questions and Have Valuable Insights
A good recruitment agency will happily answer any questions you have about particular roles, the recruitment process, and your applications. But, perhaps more importantly, they will be able to offer you valuable insights into your industry.
This means they won’t just send you a vague, generic information pack, but will personally answer any questions you have with added insights.
3. They Focus on Candidate AND Client Needs
A lot of recruitment agencies are skewed towards their clients rather than their candidates, which can be disheartening at the best of times if you’re eagerly applying for jobs.
You’ll know when you find a good recruitment agency because they’ll focus on your needs. This bodes well if you’re a company looking for candidates, too, because you’ll get help finding someone who is the perfect fit not only for the role, but for your business as well.
What You Need to Consider When Choosing a Recruitment Agency
Whether you’re a client or a candidate, there are a few things you need to consider before signing up with a recruitment agency.
- What profession or discipline you work in - for candidates, it’s a good idea to look for recruitment agencies that specialise in placing people in roles with your skillset.
- The sector or industry you’re in - for both clients and candidates, finding a recruitment agency that deals specifically with the industry you’re in can make the process a lot smoother and stress-free.
- What kind of opportunities you’re looking for - if you’re a candidate, it’s good to know whether you’re looking for permanent, temp roles, or contract work, while for clients it’s worth having an idea about what kind of contracts you’re offering to employees.
Generic Recruitment Agencies vs Niche Specific Recruitment Agencies
For candidates, choosing a recruitment agency that has a track record for specialising in your area can help you get further in your industry quicker. These companies tend to have established relationships with key players in the industry you’re looking to go into, and they will take the time to understand what you’re looking for in your next move.
The same is true for clients.
A recruitment agency that specialises in your industry can help you figure out how to attract the best candidates and, because they know your industry well, they’ll have access to a roster of ideal candidates.
In both instances, the best companies will often insist on working with you exclusively, as providing such a personal, innovative service is time-consuming. The recruitment company will want to know you are committed to the process of using them, and only them.
Quick Questions to Ask Recruitment Agencies
If you think you’ve found the right recruitment agency to sign up with, here are a few quick questions you can ask them to see if you’d be a good fit.
- What kind of clients do you represent and how strong is your relationship with them?
- What is your process?
- Do you provide support for the interview stage? If so, what kind of support do you offer?
- What feedback do I receive and when?
Go for Quality, Not Quantity
Finding the right recruitment agency is a sensitive process that can take some time if you want to do it right.
Spend some time researching agencies that specialise in your niche and go for the quality of businesses and candidates they have on file rather than sign up with numerous different agencies in the hope of finding something or someone that fits.
If you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to reach out (in person, if possible) and set up a meeting.
Remember: you want to find a recruitment agency that’s as much a good fit for you as you are for them.