Making the most of your recruitment partners

Written by
Changeboard Team

18 Jan 2010

18 Jan 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Recruitment success in 2010

In the current economic climate there are a significant number of job seekers in the UK however, there remains a very limited amount of outstanding talent available. Ambitious businesses should always look to recruit the best talent in the market, rather than merely the best available on the market. However, it can be challenging to find these people and if you do find them it can also be challenging to entice them to join. 

94% of the skilled workforce are not actively looking for a job, so in order to be able to access the best people in your field it's essential to form strategic partnerships with recruiters. For the majority of senior management and specialist vacancies there are usually only a handful of suitable people. Without the right recruitment partner it could be like finding a needle in a haystack in a dark room.

Forming a partnership with a well connected, experienced recruiter can enable you to bring in the talent to transform your business. Look at it as an investment in the future. If the optimists are right and we are coming out of the economic doom and gloom, you need to invest in talent to ride the wave of the upturn. If the pessimists are right and we are headed for a ‘double-dip’, businesses must get the best people in order to optimise business performance during these difficult times. Put simply, regardless of the wider economic conditions, the quality of the people in your business will determine how successful the business is. 

Building a partnership

But what does it mean to work with a good recruitment consultant and how can you ensure that they do a good job that will serve you well in the long-term?

Your recruiter should become your partner

When choosing your recruitment partner, you need to work with a company that matches your business’ culture and has an understanding of your vision and aspirations. Your recruiter should be a business partner that helps you achieve your goals – to find great people who will deliver great Results for your business. Bear in mind that a recruitment firm will effectively be an extension of your marketing department because they will be talking to the market about your employer brand. Therefore, the market’s perception of your business will be influenced by the experience they have with that recruiter.

They should be able to provide you with valuable advice and knowledge. Give you total transparency so you are informed throughout the recruitment process.

It's a common mis-conception that the best bet will be to work with an industry specialist. While a specialist recruiter might be able to provide you with access to an extensive candidate pool, they will also be offering those same candidates to your competitors. Some of the most savvy and innovative businesses, partner with firms who provide them with sector exclusivity to ensure that they get access to the best talent before their competitors thus staying ahead of the curve in the ‘war for talent’.

Brief your recruitment partner

It's essential that you invest the time to brief your recruitment partner to ensure that they have an in-depth understanding of your business and requirement so that they can provide you with the service you want and enable you to attract the best talent. Our experience proves that it's also hugely beneficial to profile successful members of the existing management team. This enables us to develop a strong understanding of the backgrounds, style and behavioural traits of a successful colleague and develop a clear brief to recruit to.

Look for the personal 'recruitment' service

Your recruiter should provide you with a personal service

You should have a single point of contact at your recruitment partner and you should feel like your contact is always available and approachable. You should be in direct, personal contact with them at all times rather than communicating by email. A great recruitment consultant will make you feel that you are their most valued client and your assignment is their main priority.

Your recruiter should always meet candidates before introducing them to you. It is very difficult to judge someone solely on their CV. A good consultant has an obligation to meet with the candidate before introducing him/her to you to ensure he/she has the skills needed to perform and as importantly, fits your business culture.

The interview process

Your recruiter should be available to assist with the interview process

While you may not always want this to happen, your recruitment consultant should offer you the opportunity to assist you in preparing the interview questions and even to join the meetings. Joining you in meetings will enable them to better understand what you are really looking for.

Fee structure

Your recruiter should offer you equitable fees

Hiring recruitment consultants can be costly, but they should offer you different fee options, which you should make sure to agree in advance. Fee structures should incentivise the recruiter to do their best to find the right talent.

Above all, you will get the best possible return from recruitment consultants if they are treated as partners rather than transactional suppliers.