When it comes to dealing with agencies, I am sure that everyone reading this has at one point had a bad experience: Whether it is being personally driven to insanity by cold calls or having hiring managers inundated with unsolicited CV’s.
Now having personally survived a three year baptism of fire in the recruitment agency workplace, I’m pretty sure I can offer you some vital tips to help you best work with recruiters.
Recruiters will always test their luck
As a recruiter not only do you have the tenacity to make hundreds of cold calls a day but you also have a Sales Manager on your back with KPI’s to meet. The ruthless nature in the agency world means recruiters must be seen on a daily basis to be pushing boundaries and doing whatever it takes to make deals happen. From the start of a recruitment consultants first phone call you are trained to ignore the words “don’t speak to hiring managers” and “we have a PSL” . From recruiters point of view if you don’t try to sell CV’s directly to hiring managers then another recruiter will. If you expect the rules will be broken from the start then they will. Let them know how you want to operate and warn them of the consequences.
No manager contact = no manager contact.
· Recruiters are trained to push boundaries so set the ground rules early.
Recruiters are salesman not techies
Now upon deciding your chosen recruiters remember that they are predominantly hardworking salesmen not technical geniuses. On a daily basis they will be required to not only sell their services to employers but also to sell the role to prospective employers. Be as honest and open as possible about the role in question. The more informed the agencies are, the better CV’s you will receive. When you release a new role to your PSL ensure that you promote communication with your agencies. Talk with your agencies and let them know what you will personally be looking for. Include relevant companies to target, relevant industries and specific skillsets which will get the candidates an interview.
· Make sure they understand the role and not just the “buzz words”.
Simply relying on a job specification is not enough
Too many times clients send out an out of date or generic job spec without the exact specifications on the role. Agencies will then rush out with a general idea of the role and attempt to submit every candidate who could potentially be a good fit until the late hours of the evening. This can lead to a huge waste of time for the agencies, the employee and yourself looking at CV’s that aren’t quite the right fit or just miss the spot.
· Be tough with hiring managers and make sure they understand the value in spending the required time informing you of the requirements of the role.
Recruitment is a two way process
Remember it is the recruiters who will do all of the legwork, compiling through CV’s, Screening and interviewing candidates, coordinating interviews and dealing with all the bad candidates. The best agencies tend to be very experienced in their chosen industry. Albeit they may all promise to experts in the field nonetheless many agencies will have suggestions in relation to your situation that could save you a lot of time and make your position simpler. After dealing with hundreds of placements over the years great recruiters have a sixth sense for the right candidate. Sometimes when the hiring manager doesn’t quite know what they are looking for: an agency will.
· Listen to your Agencies
Agencies can be worth the cost
In the past every agencies unique selling point was the depth and strength of their candidate database. Obviously this has taken a huge hit with the uprising of social media, job boards and LinkedIn but the agency still has the best chances of reaching top candidates over direct sourcing. Most agencies market to candidates 24/7 through mailing lists, constant referrals, direct advertising and a general KPI of agents to update the database resulting in an incredible pool of applicants. If you want the best candidates and the competitive edge in the market then using agencies is easily justifiable.
In almost every instance, using an agency can save you a lot of time, hassle , allow you to reach the top candidates and even save money…but only if you use them right!