All too often, as a human resource or line manager, you may be desperate to fill that vacant position. Workloads are increasing, overtime is piling up, projects are falling behind and you clearly don’t have the time to search and screen for candidates.
Fortunately, recruitment consultants are trained to attract, screen and select qualified candidates for you. With their help, you are off to a good start and can interview a shortlist of suitable candidates within a matter of days.
But do these recruitment consultants really add value, or are they just another unnecessary consulting expense?
When I first entered the industry in the late 1990s, I recruited qualified temporary accountants. Our clients saw us as trusted advisers, with our ears to the ground. We focused our efforts on attracting great, skilled candidates for short-term or specific needs. As recruiters, our value proposition was usually candidates who we found at short notice, as well as our overall market intelligence regarding shifting trends, salary expectations and competitor activity. Not much has changed, even with the advent of online job boards and social media – recruitment consultants, and their industry expertise, are worth their weight in gold.
Over the years, I have established three main reasons why you should use a recruitment consultant.
Recruitment consultants have access to a wider candidate pool
The best recruiters have tapped into specialist markets, and can give the recruiting team insight into what is happening within specific industries. They know the available talent, where they can be found and how to reach out to them, as well as their salaries and career expectations, skill-sets and current hiring complexities. If your business competition is struggling to find the same people as you, the recruiter should be able to advise on alternative solutions. Some candidates are hard to find – they may be passive or they may be selective. If they don’t respond to job advertisements or see themselves as part of your ‘talent pool’ – and are too busy to search full time – then the chances are that they have relationships with trusted recruiters in your sector. Even if they aren’t currently active, there’s a strong possibility that a good recruiter will know who they are and how to reach them.
Recruitment consultants have many networks: each consultant, candidate, client or collaborator has the potential to leverage their networks to link you to candidates with a range of skills and experiences, many of whom would be below the radar of an in-house team or human resource manager.
Using the services of a recruitment consultant should mean that you only see likely candidates: job seekers who have been pre-selected to match the criteria that you have specified and who are worthy of consideration and interviews.
Recruitment consultants offer a quicker, more accurate screening process
In business, time is money and a recruiting agency is a time saver because it takes care of the initial steps of the hiring process. In today’s economy there are an increasing number of job seekers due to cutbacks at many companies as well as extremely high unemployment countrywide. In short, if you post a job opening on the traditional job boards, chances are you will receive hundreds of résumés and applications for a single position. Of those hundreds of applicants, a significant number will be unqualified or simply not right for the job. Finding the right applicants to interview takes a lot of groundwork.
Outsourcing this responsibility to a recruiting agency with a proven record of successful placements will save you time.
The screening process during hiring has several layers. Background checks on potential employees; follow up on references, and conducting preliminary interviews to ensure the candidate matches the promises made on a CV. Again, these are vital steps that waste time when you are conducting them on your own. A recruiting agency will ensure that these steps are taken care of before you meet anyone for your own interviews.
Once you have developed a relationship with a recruiting agency that you trust, your future hiring process will go even more smoothly. The agency will be aware of the qualities that suit your company and what you expect from them. The next time you have an available position, you can fill it quickly and satisfactorily.
Recruitment consultants manage the candidates
For me, the biggest advantage to using external recruiters is that they manage the candidate for you. As an HR professional, phoning a passive candidate often results in offhand behaviour, unreasonable demands and ‘no show’ for interviews. Candidates appear to have the upper hand.
However, using an external agency eliminates this completely. Recruiters are seen as professionals and find it far less complicated and much easier to manage candidates.
The main advantage of using a recruitment management service to help with staffing is that it will save time and alleviate pressure on you, the client, thus allowing you to concentrate on other critical operational tasks. The cost of using an agency, in many situations, would be equivalent to similar costs of advertising the position, but this would also carry more advantages such as savings in human resource time.
Recruitment consultants are able to tap into, and retain, a huge pool of candidates with a range of skills across various business sectors, meaning that companies choosing recruitment agencies to support their business are more likely to get the best person for the job.
The most important factor is to ensure your recruitment consultant or agency of choice is not only fully aware of all of the role requirements, but also familiar enough with your business’s culture, strategy and outlook to be able to promote your company.
If you’re a company looking for help with your recruitment – whether it’s the supply of temporary labour solutions, or the need for a back-office recruitment solution – we’ll be happy to offer some additional suggestions that will work for your unique circumstances. Contact us straight away on (011) 760 1021 or Rowene@abakhulu.co.za and take the first step towards actively retaining your talent.