When it comes to taking on new employees, you tend to only really have two options – use a job board (like Bubble!) or use a recruiter. Now, unsurprisingly we’ve already covered job boards in a lot of detail – mainly how to choose a job board, why niche job boards are always best, how to get the best ROI from a job board and how to measure the effectiveness of a job board – so today I thought it was about time we looked at the other side of things – recruiters.
Now, there’s no denying that recruiters tend to have a bit of a bad reputation so it’s little wonder that many businesses have no idea where to start when it comes to choosing a recruiter for their company. With that in mind and after quizzing various members of the Bubble team that have worked in recruitment in the past, we’ve come up with these key aspects you need to consider when considering recruiters for your business.
1. Age & History
When trying to choose a recruiter for your business, it’s important to not only consider the age of the company – but the history of its employees too. While an established recruiter can be a great option, it’s also worth considering companies which haven’t been around for that long but which have employees who have worked in the industry for years and have a great reputation. That said; when researching companies, it’s a good idea to also research some of their key employees on things like LinkedIn – and their reputations too.
Just like job boards, when it comes to recruiters there tends to be two main types; niche/specialist and general. Now it goes without saying that the right one for you will ultimately depend on your needs and the type of employee you’re looking to take on – but what I would say is that in general, niche recruiters tend to have more specialist knowledge of the industry they recruit in and so have established networks already in place – so it’s definitely worth bearing that in mind.
As with any other service, recommendations count for a lot when it comes to recruitment – so testimonials and recommendations are definitely something you need to look at closely. Spend time reading any testimonials they have on their website – and also ask if there’s a client (either past or present) who would be willing to speak to you directly for a testimonial. Speaking to one of their other clients should give you a real insight into how they operate and how effective they are (after all, why would the client lie?!) – and should help to give you a better idea of whether they’re the right business for you.
Similarly, when considering the reputation of recruitment companies in a certain niche, your own employees might be a great resource to turn to. Ask them who they’ve dealt with in the past, what their experiences have been like and who they’d turn to now if they needed a job – and why. Your employees should be pretty honest – and if your employees think highly of certain recruiters in your sector, chances are other job seekers with similar skills and experience will too.
When you’ve narrowed down a few recruiters, the next thing to consider is how sincere they are. What kind of questions are they asking about your business? If they’re fairly open, it suggests they really want to gain a real insight into your business before they start working, but if they’re quite closed, it may suggest they’re not really fussed about learning about your business. Similarly, look at the type of emails they’re sending you – are they personalised or a bit generic? Again, personalised emails suggest they take care with the communications they send out, whereas generic emails might suggest they’re lazy and their communication skills aren’t great.
Similarly, another thing to consider when choosing a recruiter is whether they’re willing to come and meet you face to face before you decide to take them on. Coming to meet you in person takes time and effort (and money!) – so this tends to suggest they’re pretty serious about your business.
When considering recruiters, it’s worth quizzing them about what talent sourcing solutions, methods and approaches they take when trying to find viable candidates. Do they head hunt? Use job boards? Use social media? Or a combination of all three? With this one, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer – but it’s worth considering what approaches they’re going to use to try and find you a new employee/employees – so you know what activity you can expect to see in the future should you choose to hire them.
6. Business Model
Last but not least when considering recruiters, it’s definitely worth looking at their business model. In general, recruiters tend to follow one of two business models; contingency or retained. In short, contingency recruiters work on a bit of a “no win, no fee” basis in that they’ll only get paid should you choose to take on their candidate. This means there can be lots of contingency recruiters working on the same role so it can be a bit of a race to put the best candidate forward.
On the other hand, retained recruiters tend to act as headhunters and work on an exclusive basis for you - eg. they’re the only one working on that role. This means they’ll work hard to find the candidate – but the process may be lengthy – as they won’t get paid until they find you a candidate you’re happy with and willing to take on.
Again, the right option for your business will depend on your needs, budget and preferences – however this guide should help to give you a better idea of the key differences between the two.
Just to conclude; there are lots of things you need to consider when choosing a recruiter for your business but hopefully this article should give you a good starting point.
Think I’ve missed anything off? Or don’t agree with any of my points? Leave me a comment below.