A Business Guide to Working With Recruiters

Last Updated on 1st December 2021 by Freddie Chirgwin-Bell

A Business Guide to Working With Recruiters

We know that recruiters and recruitment agencies have a poor reputation. However, we have found that a lot of this comes from a few bad seeds. On the whole, we are a hardworking honest bunch. We are the professional matchmakers of business. We match you with your perfect employees.

Let’s face facts. Recruitment takes time, sometimes a lot of time. With that in mind, you’re going to want to get the best bang for your buck. You can do this yourself by all means, but all that time and energy can’t compare to having specialist experience and tools at your disposal.

This is where external recruiters come in. Using an agency will help save you time and effort and help sort the wheat from the chaff so that you can get the employees you need as soon as possible.

Think of all the time and energy you can save by using an agency? All you have to worry about is when to interview people and then who to pick. That’s it. Everything else is pretty much taken care of.

How To Have The Best Recruiter Experience

I’m going to double down on the whole matchmaking/relationship metaphor by stating that like any good relationship, it’s all about communication.

Recruitment is a very fast-paced industry. Good candidates never stay on the market long. So you have to be quick but also have to communicate with us to ensure that we are all on the same page and that we can find the best person for you.

TL;DR Version is this:

  • Stay in touch – Don’t be incommunicado.
  • Be sure about the position and the salary (and listen to us about salary expectations)
  • You need to be able to interview quickly and offer positions quickly – You snooze you lose
  • Only use two agencies max. Any more and you will start getting a lot of duplicate applications and contests for who wants to be paid
  • ADVERTISE THE SALARY ON ADVERTS
  • Using temps? Have accurate diaries of who’s there and for how long and send that.
  • Always give interview feedback

What We Do

Recruitment agencies are time savers and heavy lifters. A lot of recruitment is paperwork, checking, conversations and getting people to where they need to be. We are skilled in all of these aspects and we take it off your hands.

The finding of good quality people isn’t complicated, but it can be time-consuming, so this is where we can source them, find them, talk with them, and get them to you ready for the day.

It’s a great job, we love it. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what we do and how we do it.

At the end of the day we help streamline your process by finding the right people for your role, and from there you have to make the decision.

The time and hassle and headaches saved by using an agency are definitely the better option (but of course we would say that).

What You Need to Do

The two largest factors in a successful recruitment/business partnership are communication and speed.

Todays candidate market is incredibly fast paced. This is nothing new but when people are slow in making decisions they can lose out on securing amazing candidates. This is one of the biggest issues to overcome as an agency so what you need to do in advance is:

  • Make sure you know you want to hire someone, have the job description/responsibilities ready, as well as good salary expectations
  • Know that when we send you a candidate, you need to be able to make a decision quickly. You need to be able to interview quickly and make up your mind just as fast.
  • On your decision get in touch with us quickly. You really don’t want to hang about and lose out on a good person.

The other side of this coin is communication. This is vital during recruitment as you need to be effective at every stage to ensure a smooth process. Falling short in this area is the number one cause of headaches and frustration during recruitment.

We will be constantly emailing and calling you to let you know who’s coming in, when they’re available, what they’re like, and more. You need to be as responsive as possible when working with an agency as the speed aspect applies greatly in this capacity.

If you don’t communicate your intentions early enough, we could be submitting candidates that don’t fit the bill, because we weren’t aware of your exact criteria. It’s small issues like that which then quickly spiral into bigger issues.

Responding to emails quickly, calling us back or answering the phone are vital for us, as any delay could mean loss of a candidate or them losing interest in the role. This is also much more about you staying in touch. Poor communication reflects poorly on your image as a business.

Talking with your agency is so important, so with that we always recommend actually having a sit down meeting with the appropriate HR person, and the manager who’s going to be overseeing the role.

If you’re a small business then the MD and the person’s supervisor works best. The reason for this is that we can get to better understand the requirements as well as the personality that would best fit your department or company culture.

It might sound a bit new age but the effect of personality and culture fit in your business is really important for employee retention. That’s why being able to communicate and talk with you clearly and honestly from the beginning will make everyone’s lives easier and stack the odds in your favour of finding that perfect person.

Don’t Be Cheap

Salary. The dreaded money portion of this answer. This is a huge sticking point with a lot of businesses. YOU NEED TO INCLUDE A SALARY.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a fixed figure or a range but giving an indication of the salary is necessary for you to be able to get the right kind of candidate for the role. Think carefully about the salary or rate of pay and display it clearly. That way you can find the right people for the role.

If you’re not sure what kind of salary you should be offering, talk with a recruitment agency. They have the knowledge and experience to best steer you as to a good quality salary that will secure you a candidate with the right experience and skills.

Furthermore, you’re going to need to look at what you are offering compared to the role. If you’re after a Chief Financial Officer, with 20+ years experience, then why would you even think of putting the salary at Minimum wage?!

Sadly this happens all too often where we receive a humungous list of responsibilities and experience wanted and then a pitiful wage. This causes us a whole host of issues as obviously finding people willing to take a pay cut is difficult. I mean would you even consider it? Or would you find it insulting?

Be selective

You need to select a good recruitment agency carefully. Weigh up your needs with their experience, track record and any specialist industries they may recruit in.

However, once you find one or two agencies that fit the bill, STOP. Using any more than this starts becoming highly counterproductive. You will start getting a lot of duplicate applications and then the arguments start as to who referred them and thus who needs paying. It becomes a huge headache. Our advice, only use one or two agencies at any one time and this will give you the best odds without the headache.

Be certain

This is a bit of a given; however, you would be surprised the amount of time we start working to find people only for a business to turn around and say they changed their mind and aren’t recruiting anymore.

Before you start on your recruitment campaign, make sure you are certain you need someone. This is paramount as candidates don’t want to be halfway through a stressful process for you to pull the plug on the role.

If you only need a temporary role then get a temp. If you need a fully-fledged permanent role, then make sure you’ve planned it all out.

Feedback

Closely tied in with communication, after you have interviewed a candidate, send feedback. It doesn’t have to be extremely detailed, but feedback on how they performed will always be appreciated and also let them know how to improve.

It establishes a better rapport between you and the candidate, but also gives you greater insight and thought about what you’re truly after in the recruitment process.

Try it, you’ll be surprised how good it is.

Find a good recruiter

No two recruitment agencies and no two recruiters are the same. Make sure you find great quality recruitment agents.

The best way is to look for an agency or recruiter who is registered with The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). This is the industry body that ensures the regulation of recruiters and enforces codes of best practice for us.

Click on the member directory and type in your postcode. This will bring up recruitment agencies and agents in your area who meet the standards of best practices when it comes to finding you your next hire.

With a REC registered recruiter you know you are getting a good quality agency that adheres to best practices to find you the person right for the role.

A good recruiter will also have guarantees in place to help settle your mind at ease. Most operate on a no placement no fee basis and as such will have guarantees in place to refund you should the person leave before a certain time period (for example if they rock up to work for two weeks and then leave).

Another question is: Is your recruiter GDPR compliant? This is an important question to consider as recruitment agencies handle a lot of personal data. From CVs to Equal Opportunities forms, DBS checks and more.

This is all highly sensitive personal information so you want an agency that handles data with discretion and security. You also want to know that everything they are doing is legal and above board.

Be Specific & Realistic

A great example of this is accurate and honest job specs.

There’s no point in asking for a project engineer with two pages plus of job-specific skills and experience when in fact you’re looking for a graduate to fill an entry-level role.

Here’s the thing; You need to know what you actually want. If you write the job specs make sure they’re specific. Or at the very least let us know what you want and we can write up a description. An inaccurate job spec doesn’t reflect poorly on us but on you and your business.

Think about what you want the candidate to do on a daily basis and include that, but be realistic. Again, if it’s an entry-level role or pay scale, don’t expect senior-level experience or qualifications.

Build a relationship

We want to build a relationship with you. A good recruiter wants to get to know you and get to know the business. The more we understand you, your company, your company culture, your business needs the more we can tailor our tactics and search to find people that fit not only the job description but the company culture. By doing this we become much better at our jobs sourcing the right people for you.

Have an open and honest relationship with us- tell us exactly what you are looking for. It will increase the chance of us finding you the best candidates. A lot of agencies work on a “no placement no fee” basis so we want to place the best person and be successful. Your success is our success, literally. We should know the good and bad points of your business. We’re not going to reveal these to the candidate but it does give us an idea of how to overcome any objections they may have.

We also want constructive feedback. It’s really useful for us in tailoring our search and understanding what you want from the candidates we put forward. If we do put forward someone who you don’t think is suitable, let us know but also let us know why they are unsuitable.

Don’t go on the CV alone – We’ve whittled it down for a reason

There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. Sorry to burst your bubble but the likelihood of finding someone who fits your role and job description 100% is close to 0%.

What we will do is find someone as close to your job description as possible and also let you know whether they would fit in your company and its environment.

Don’t go on CV alone. A good recruiter has met the candidate, given you a great overview of their suitability and it’s worth seeing them (even if it’s not 100% obvious in their CV). 

Besides, Morgan Jones is a firm believer of “Hire People – Not Paper”. What we mean by this is that if you hire purely on what their CV says and don’t take time to consider their personality, their work ethic, the culture fit or, more succinctly, who they are as a human being then you are making a huge error. Sometimes you might get lucky and find a good candidate, but we consider the person behind the CV and will only forward people who we believe are a good fit.

We help you, we don’t replace you

A recruitment agency doesn’t replace anything in your company. We are merely an addition to it. It’s your brand we’re trying to sell to the candidates. This will attract the best people and also makes sure we can clearly communicate your EVP (or Employee Value Proposition).

We can’t replace a bad brand image.

We want to help find people that will build your business and make it a success. So we will look at what makes your business unique and provides value to a potential candidate.

A common issue is the interview process. It’s a time filled with nerves and emotions so if it goes wrong or sour, the whole interview process can leave a good or bad taste with a candidate. This reflects on how you treat employees and candidates. So make sure that you know how to treat candidates throughout the process as this is a reflection on you as a company and not us. A good recruiter will support you and help you every step of the way.

At the end of the day, you are still in control and will make the final decision. You are the one with the final say, but we help speed up the process freeing up your time and removing the hassle of the process. As we said earlier, most firms work on a “No Placement – No Fee” basis so it is in our best interest to take care of your best interest and find you the perfect person that will benefit your business.

Freddie Chirgwin-Bell