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How to choose the recruitment agency that is right for you?

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Recruiting top talent is paramount to any business. You can use an in-house team to complete the hiring process or an external recruitment agency. Finding an effective recruitment agency will enable you to achieve your goals in the most efficient way while reducing the length of your hiring cycle and saving you time, money, and resources. As recruitment is a competitive business, it comes as no surprise that choosing the right recruitment agency can be a challenge.

To evaluate a potential recruitment agency, you'll need to know what's their average time to hire, the rate of placement, their size, locations they can cater for, and their fee structure. There are also five main factors that you should take into consideration while choosing a recruitment agency:

1. Industry experience that aligns with your needs

Unless your hiring needs are general or you are recruiting for a variety of different positions, ensure that the agency you choose understands your industry. Their understanding of your needs is crucial to finding the right candidate. It also means that you will have access to a pool of experienced hiring professionals with the industry knowledge and understanding of what skills and background you are looking for. A specialised recruitment firm tends to attract more qualified candidates offering you a wider choice and better access to top talent.

2. Service quality

Research an agency's reputation by checking its client base. A portfolio of satisfied clients from a relevant industry is a good sign. However, loyal customers are what you should look for. Ask for references or testimonials from other clients. Ask the agency to provide you with client satisfaction ratings.

3. Hiring flexibility

They need to be flexible and take the time to understand what your requirements are. A good recruitment agency will always clarify and re-clarify the role. They would visit the client onsite and would have a consultative approach, offering their input and advice.

You should have done your homework and thoroughly understand what your needs and challenges are, and be able to rank them by priority. Agency may help you find the solution that will work best for you.

You may want to hire a temp or a permanent employee. If you are interested in hiring someone on a temp-to-perm basis and make a full-time hire based on the quality of their work, then make sure that the agency you choose offers such options.

4. Candidate pool - quality over quantity

Large recruitment agencies have access to a vast amount of pre-screened candidates readily available to choose from. It allows them to find suitable candidates quickly. The main focus should be on providing high-quality candidates in a shorter time-frame than an in-house HR department.

5. In-depth screening process

Diligent recruitment firms evaluate candidates using pre-screening tests and candidate verification tools like background and reference checks. A well-defined hiring process ensures that you only get introduced to the best-suited applicants.

Finding the right recruitment company can be the difference between finding a successful candidate and strengthening your business, or, losing money due to poor hiring decisions. Use these five factors to find the recruitment agency to fit your needs.

Cpl is a global provider of talent solutions to all types of companies, from start-ups to multinationals in every sector. If you'd like to discuss how we can help your business get in touch to book a free consultation.

This article was first written in 2017 and has since been updated.