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How to Choose a Recruitment Company

With thousands of recruitment companies vying for your business, it can be difficult to choose which one to use when you are looking to recruit an Events or Marketing professional. Cost will always be an important factor, but choosing the cheapest supplier in any industry can often lead to regret. When you consider that the cost of a bad hire is estimated at anything between a few thousand pounds to six or seven figure sums it becomes clear that there are additional things to bear in mind. A recruitment agency who undercuts the market may well be doing it because cost is their only real selling point.

Here are 5 other things to think about

1. Chemistry

It’s basic. If you can’t get on with the people at a recruitment firm the business relationship is unlikely to progress well. This isn’t just about making the experience more pleasant - though that matters. If you get a sense of rapport with your recruiter it’s more likely they’ll get on your wavelength and understand your brief and the ‘soft’ as well as the ‘hard’ requirements of the role. So you’re more likely to get a shortlist of candidates that matches your needs.  And if they’re on your wavelength, they’ll be more likely to engage with and foster good on-going relationships with potential candidates.

Trust your gut instincts when you talk with recruiters.

2. Expertise

There’s an odd belief in some recruitment firms that a recruiter can easily switch from one functional area to another and be just as effective. And while there are undoubtedly transferrable skills, subject matter expertise is important. You don’t want to be explaining the intricacies of event management or creative event production to someone who has just transferred from financial recruitment. If they’re a specialist they can give you valuable insight on salaries and the market in general. And a specialist is more likely to have an existing pool of recently interviewed and relevant candidates so be more able to respond swiftly to your brief.

Whether you choose a large recruiter with specialist desks or a smaller firm that focuses on one or two specialist areas, make sure your recruiter understands your sector, your business and the context of the role. 

3. Reputation

It is important to check out testimonials, recommendations and reviews from others who have had experience with the recruitment company, as a client or a candidate. Recruitment companies that treat candidates badly will damage your employer brand so it’s essential you work with a company that will represent you well. Take a look at their website and online, find out about others’ experience before you make a final decision. Have they worked with companies similar to your own? Ask your own team who they have used in the past when looking for jobs as candidates, and who they’d recommend.

Don’t just take the agency’s word for it. What do real clients and candidates say?

4. Screening

Any recruitment firm can rustle up a pile of CVs from people who have said they are looking for a marketing manager role. But if a recruiter spends less than ten minutes on the phone with you, asks for a copy of the job description and promises to send a batch of CVs by the end of the day, how much confidence would you have in the quality of what you will receive?

Good recruitment firms will take time to find out what you are looking for, they might challenge your assumptions and ask probing questions. And they won’t inundate you with CVs in the hope that one might stick. Of course, a recruitment agency should be responsive and provide you with a good choice. But consider which you’d rather receive: a shortlist of a dozen people amongst whom you might find one or two gems, or four or five carefully selected Event Management or Marketing candidates, any one of whom would be a good match. 

Ask the recruitment company what screening they will undertake, i.e. will they meet the candidate face to face and will they undertake references?  What depth of interviewing and candidate briefing do they do before submitting a candidate’s details to you?  If you’re paying for the service, find out what it is you are going to be paying for.

When it comes to candidates - go for quality over quantity

5. Accredited

Make sure any recruitment partner is registered with the relevant professional body. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is the UK’s leading membership body for recruitment firms. Others include the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Institute of Recruiters (IoR).

REC runs a code of professional standards test for members as a benchmark for compliance with the industry standards for professionalism.

Make sure you choose a firm that scores well in its REC Compliance Test.

If you are looking for a responsive recruitment firm that specialises in Events and Marketing, prides itself in its reputation, thoroughly interviews all candidates before putting them forward for a role, ensures they are fully briefed on your company and your role  - and scored 98% in its last REC assessment, please get in touch now.  If you feel the chemistry is right, we look forward to working with you.