Over many years working as a recruiter I’ve spoken to countless hiring managers and business owners who regale me with tales of using a recruiter and how bad the experience was. Sadly, a lot of this has no doubt been the fault of the recruiter, but there’s always more to it…. and when I ask them HOW they engaged the recruiter, I’m often met with a puzzled face staring back at me.
See, there are many ways to engage with a recruiter, but you generally only hear them from a recruiter that’s sitting in your office at the time, trying to win your business, their way, on their terms; let’s call him Mr Biased.
So if you’re going to use a recruiter, whether it’s my firm or someone else’s, here are a couple of things you REALLY should do:
Pick one agency and use them exclusively.
Recruiting is a hard job…. Anyone that’s done it will tell you that. So you want to make sure your agency is working hard to attract the very best people to select from, before they submit a shortlist to you. The very best way to ensure you achieve this is by picking an agency and working with them exclusively. I’ve spoken to so many people that think by pitching 2 or more agencies against each other that they’re all going to work harder. Incorrect. What you’re going to end up with is 2 semi-engaged agencies that are now treating other clients’ roles with more importance, but they’re fully engaged on those roles. Look at it this way; imagine you get engaged, then tell your fiancé’ you are going to get engaged to someone else as well, to see who works harder to please you… you’d be single before you finished your sentence.
Deal with the fact that it’s going to cost you money.
If you want to do your own recruitment that’s cool, but if you’re going to use an agency just deal with the fact that it’s going to cost you some dollars. By all means, ensure you’re getting a FAIR price (note the use of the term ‘fair’ and not the term ‘bargain basement lowest possible price that I can squeeze someone into offering me’) – then work with the agency to give them every opportunity to fill the role with someone outstanding.
The thing about using an agency (assuming they’re one of the good ones), is the outcome they want is EXACTLY the same as what you want. They want the best person placed in the role, in a reasonable time frame. So do yourself a favour, and do these 4 simple things:
These things aren’t hard – in fact they’re merely the kind of courtesies you would want any of your clients to show you. If you do these things, I guarantee you will get a better outcome from your recruitment process than if you try to make recruiters work against each other, or worse still, you compete against the recruiter also.