Don’t use a recruitment agency. They probably don’t know what they are doing!

Wahey for the attention-drawing headline! – A recruiter saying don’t use recruitment agencies shocker!! – my blog-writing cheap tricks aptitude must be developing nicely!! 

Actually though, everything I say in that headline is absolutely meant from the heart, and is my advice in practical application. The message in precision is choose your recruiter carefully; because many recruitment agencies don’t know how to select & recruit people. Fact. 

The recruitment industry should, like the Marketing industry, the Accountancy industry, the PR industry, etc… be expert service providers. Although an unqualified industry, the professionals within it should be experts – being able to provide you with knowledge, market trends, honest advice, understanding of your business, understanding of your people preferences and culture – and from the bulk of this, have the aptitude to make discreet, accurately representative methods of attraction to ensure the pre-selection of suitable, relevant, prepared and justifiable candidates for your interview slots. In the process of this, they need to be honest, communicative, respectful and patient in your direction. They need to deliver results. 

Ok. that’s sounds fine. But who is going to do this for you? 

Consider the evidence of the recruitment services available: Is the recruitment consultant you deal with in your preferred agency the same recruiter that you dealt with 12 months ago? Even 6 months ago? Probably not. Why? Because the corporate recruitment industry has a retention rate of 30%. Yes. 30%. In fact I think it might be even lower – but I used to work for an agency that had one that was 30% and was targeting 50%. So, a corporate recruitment company was targeting to lose 50% of it’s staff in a calendar year. Not a call centre, or an industrial plant, or a packaging company work floor. A recruitment company. Professionals in the expert service of… recruitment. 

How can you use a recruitment company, to recruit YOUR staff – when they can’t even effectively select their own??! Would you use a Website Designer whose own website was outdated and un-functional? Why would you engage a recruitment company that can only strive for 50% success rate in it’s own hires?

Sometimes it’s easier to go for the `name`. The big recruitment brand. Years of experience doing recruitment, as a company – but with individuals lacking in experience in pretty much doing anything, let alone a professional business service. 

Think about how much the average fee you pay is? – good talent acquisition isn’t cheap, because it’s a professional service. Make sure you’re getting one, by selecting talent partners who are focussed on recruiting for staff for YOUR roles, not constantly trying to find their own. 

2 thoughts on “Don’t use a recruitment agency. They probably don’t know what they are doing!

  1. When I saw your headline I did think “whoa!”, but beyond the sensational headline you make some excellent points. That penultimate paragraph is a particular problem.

    Let’s keep in mind that there are lots of good agencies out there who (a) hire experienced, professional Consultants that are actually worthy of that title, and are (b) a pleasure to deal with from both the client and the candidate perspective.

    There just aren’t enough of them. And the recruitment industry suffers as a result.

  2. Thanks for the comments Kate – yes the headline is a little sensational – but hopefully consistent with the content!!

    I think you can see that my observation is targeted towards a certain quarter of the recruitment agency fraternity – but sadly it is the largest quarter, the most financially powerful and the most supported by the REC – the supposed standard-bearers of the industry.

    Aside of my day job, I run and facilitate a fledgling but growing network of small independent recruiters who the REC would refer to as `cowboys` – but actually represent the best of the commercially mature & aware recruiters on the market place. I am the biggest advocate of great recruitment, because it is after all where I make a living! – but I am saddened that the industry is aligned to bad call centres, bad estate agents and car-salesman.

    Probably because it recruits bad call centre staff, bad estate agents and car-salesmen!! 😉

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