I wrote a blog recently on the reasons why to use a recruitment company exclusively (using multiple agencies). Naturally, I feel if I am giving that advice I should also assist you in how to choose a Recruitment Consultant.
It goes without saying that I believe if you are recruiting in HR or Training, then Ashley Kate HR is the correct choice and you needn’t look further. We are the HR Recruiter of Choice. However, what if you are looking to recruit a PA, or a Finance Director, or a Quantity Surveyor, or a Qualified Social Worker, or a Buyer… I think you’ve got the gist.
So I put my thinking cap on and I have come up with what I feel are the 5 easy steps you should do before deciding whether to engage the Recruitment Consultant on your assignment.
1 - Before you pick up the phone there are two things you need to do firstly, check they are a member of the REC, this is easy to do and it is essential you work with an agency that is governed by them, follow this link to see why www.rec.uk.com , and secondly, are they connected? Increasingly in this social media driven world; recruiters are networkers and the more networked they are, the more likely they will find you the best candidate. Check if they are on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn recommendations.
2 – Now pick up the phone and speak to the Consultant who will (potentially) be working the role with you. Don’t email – it’s impossible to assess their credentials properly and will ultimately take longer. Can they demonstrate to you a history of placing your type of role? For example, if you’re recruiting a Quantity Surveyor, ask them to name some companies they personally have placed quantity surveyors with? Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance. And, if they prefer emails they will prefer emailing candidates and you can’t interview and assess a candidate over an email.
3 – Ask them how long they have been working in Recruitment. Why does this matter? It doesn’t theoretically, but it’s a clue. I believe recruiting is an art, not a science because we are talking about people. It takes time for a recruiter to develop the ‘seduction’ strategies they need to attract good people. Secondly, the Recruitment consultancy world has a funny way of allowing people into the industry, trialling them and spitting out the weaker ones; it’s estimated that 50% of new Recruiters leave or are released within their first year in agency recruitment. Those who don’t make the grade go on to find very successful careers elsewhere where their skills are better suited.
4 – Do they sound credible? Ask them about the market? – If they don’t sound credible to you they won’t to the candidates you are trying to attract, you have to be a bit of a Clouseau here because you are looking for clues of blagging, dishonesty or possible ineptitude. There are brilliant Recruiters everywhere, I have worked with them. There are however poor Recruiters everywhere too; I know I have worked with some (obviously not at Ashley Kate HR!). Hopefully, if they have passed stages 1, 2 and 3, you probably are talking to a good Recruiter already.
5 - Finally, if you think they sound good and they know what they are talking about. Ask them what salary you should be paying for the role? Of course you will have your own idea and probably an amount signed off. Hopefully, it will be similar. If it is very different from what you considered- ask them to justify it with examples like you would if you were interviewing. If they specialise in that field they should produce an annual Salary Guide to assist you with this. If you still aren’t sure get a second opinion and start again somewhere else – you can always go back. But do consider this, if you believe they are the right consultant and consultancy to work with their salary and market knowledge will be accurate and it is worth taking into consideration.
For a copy of the Ashley Kate HR Salary guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact me on 0115 922 3000 or email email@example.com. I am always keen to network with HR professionals from the East Midlands, so if that’s you please feel free to add me as a LinkedIn connection.
Leon Morley has been in recruitment since graduating with a BA (Hons) Degree in History in 2008. He has recruited in the Social Care, Commercial sectors and now focusses purely on HR Leon works closely with Kim MacNamara, Claire Baker, Lucy Wesson and Emma Dobson recruiting in the Midlands.
Read Leon’s blog regarding using multiple agencies