A Beginner's Guide to Selecting the Right Recruitment Agency

You probably know that one of the greatest advantages of choosing a recruitment agency is that it saves time and money. Instead of spending hours going through resumes and conducting telephone interviews, recruitment agencies handle everything for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax knowing that you're receiving the highest level of customer service imaginable.

But how do you find a good recruitment agency? What important factors should you consider? Here is what you should know.

1) Reputation

The best way to determine an agency’s credibility as well as its ability to provide quality service is by reviewing customer reviews on sites such as Google or Facebook. Many companies use these types of review websites because they can be easily accessed from any device with Internet access.

When searching online for “recruitment agency in your location” you should find many positive comments about specific recruiters and firms. If there aren’t enough reviews available, it may indicate that this company isn’t very popular among potential clients. You also want to look at whether the website has been updated recently. Some older web pages have outdated information and links which make them less reliable than newer ones. Hire an agency with a great reputation.

2) The company’s policies and procedures

Most reputable agencies require prospective employees to undergo background checks before being hired. This ensures that only qualified candidates receive jobs through your company. It also provides peace of mind so that both parties know what to expect during the hiring process.

Make sure that all applicants go through a thorough background check before starting work. A recruiter cannot legally hire someone without conducting a criminal record check. Additionally, some agencies offer pre-employment drug testing. While not mandatory, most organizations insist upon providing a clean bill of health prior to beginning the interview process. Focus on hiring an agency whose recruitment policies and procedures adhere to what you need.

3) Recruitment best practices

How does the agency conduct interviews? Does it follow standard procedures for scheduling interviews? What if an applicant needs special accommodations? Is the agency willing to take time off of regular business hours to accommodate working parents and those with other obligations? Do they respond quickly to requests? Will they help you schedule appointments? Are they responsive to emails sent via social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter? Can you contact them directly?

All of these questions relate to the agency's commitment level toward their clients. Try to choose an agency that implements industry-accepted practices.

4) The cost of recruitment services

Recruitment fees vary widely depending on industry, size of organization, location, and more. Fees typically range a certain amount per candidate screened. Additional charges may apply for additional screenings beyond the initial application stage.

Other expenses include advertising, travel reimbursement and benefits packages. For example, some agencies allow new hires to purchase personal insurance plans while others require workers to pay full price for medical coverage. Ask about pricing details before signing up with a particular agency. Also ask about discounts offered to repeat clients.

5) The agency’s recruitment experience

An experienced recruiter knows how to handle each step of the recruiting process efficiently. They are adept at handling different kinds of positions, industries and cultures. Make sure you are finding a recruiter specific to your field such as sales recruiters. They will be able to recognize trends in market demand and adapt accordingly. They will keep abreast of current legislation, regulations and changes within HR departments. Finally, they will always stay one step ahead of technology. In short, they are experts in finding top talent! Find an agency that meets those standards.

7) References

Verify references provided by potential recruits. Check out former colleagues, supervisors, managers and co-workers. Don't forget to call references back too. Many people provide fake names or phone numbers so be cautious. Always verify dates. This is important in the process of finding a reliable recruitment agency.

8) Check the agency’s social media presence

Today, more companies rely heavily on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect with prospects. As a result, many firms use this channel to post open positions and solicit applications. However, most recruiters ignore social networks because they believe that posts made here won't get seen by anyone outside of the company. Many great recruitment companies maintain social media presence too.

But, this couldn't be further from the truth. According to recent studies, 95% of adults access social network websites daily. And 80% of consumers trust opinions shared on social networks. That means that posting openings on popular sites could generate thousands of leads. So, why would you pass up opportunities like that? Similarly, companies looking for reputable hiring agencies can also use these networks to get great options.

Finally, be wary of recruiters who claim to represent large corporations but never mention where they worked previously.