In this article, I'm going to address one of the main questions I get asked from clients as a recruiter.
But we can advertise the role ourselves online for free, what are we ACTUALLY paying you for?
It seems every recruiter will be familiar with the above question and reaction, but what is important to remember, oftentimes clients can struggle to see the real value that a recruitment agency can bring to their business until you talk them through it. This could be for a number of reasons. Some of the most common would be due to a bad experience using an agency in the past (low-quality candidates, disrespected timelines, low engagement, and poor communication) or that the hiring manager has little experience in candidate recruitment and might lack the knowledge about what is actually involved in recruiting a new hire.
The next time you have an open position in your company, it is certainly worth taking a step back and asking yourself a few Qs before diving straight into advertising the role yourself. Such as:
- Will the added task of recruiting this new person allow me to continue on my work as normal and to what extent will my work/business be affected by the time lost to the recruitment of the new hire?
- Have we got a designated in-house recruiter who will dedicate time to this?
- How urgently do I need this role filled?
These are all very realistic Qs that any business owner/manager should be evaluating before taking on the task of recruitment. The reality is that it could have been a long time since you last hired and have forgotten how much work can sometimes go into it. For some, when you look at these questions your initial presumption would be "yes, we do have an in-house recruiter so we will not consider using an agency"- Fair enough. For smaller to medium-sized companies, it is more than likely that your HR Specialist would automatically fall into this role. Oftentimes, HR Specialists within a company can be considered to cover all bases when it comes to Human Resources, but the reality of the situation is that they just might not have the time to take on the task of recruitment on top of weekly/monthly payroll, appraisals, organizing staff training, policy development, etc. If you take a step back, you might realise that the company is going through a really busy period and your HR Specialist just might not have the capacity to take on extra work - Especially in recent times.
So, to answer your question - what DO you actually get?
Take Control of your Time
In my opinion, the greatest benefit that comes with using an agency to deal with your recruitment needs is the time and stress it saves. By using an agency, you are enabling yourself to go about your day as normal with no interruptions or changes to your normal routine. Coming from a heavily commission-based career, I can't express to you enough how time literally IS money, and you don't want to sacrifice any of your precious time when you can delegate the task of recruitment to someone experienced to do the job for you *cough cough recruiters cough cough*.
On average, of every 10 applications that come through a job posting, around 1 candidate will be somewhat relevant to the job. This means screening and rejecting 9 out of 10 CVs which could take up to 8 minutes per candidate. In other words, you're almost an hour and a half into screening your applications before you even find one who might be worth calling, just for you to find out they are asking €20K more than the salary you were expecting to payout. This process can be frustrating and extremely time-consuming for companies, especially when they have not recruited for a particular role in a long time. There is a reason why recruitment can be an entire career and not just an element as part of a job specification. Recruitment is all-consuming, challenging, and most of all, full of unexpected surprises. At the end of the day, any candidate can turn around and say "No" at the end of a process, no matter how badly you want them - some might compare it to the sting of unrequited love...
No Placement, No Fee
Another great thing with recruitment agencies, the benefit is that the majority of the time there is no fee due unless you actually decide to hire one of the candidates presented to you. No placement, no fee - simple as. Most agencies will quote you a fee based on a percentage of the annual salary or remuneration package of the given role. There are no hidden costs involved and generally, you can get a quote very quickly if you call up the agency and provide some very simple details about the role. You can also tailor the service as you like. You might just want to see CVs and conduct the full interview process alone, you might want a 360 package which includes support from advertising all the way to contract generation. All of these are priced differently as your level of service required can vary massively between two hires. You might also profit from discounted rates if you partner with the same agency frequently.
Subject Matter Experts
In terms of urgency, there is a strong possibility that if you need a role filled immediately, an agency will have a list of relevant candidates ready to present to you once you provide them with a job specification. This is because a lot of agencies operate on an SME (Subject Matter Expert) structure. This means that within the agency, there are dedicated recruiters who recruit for the same types of profiles all the time (Engineering, Technical, IT, Business/Admin, etc.). This allows recruiters to build up a very specialised network of candidates who are operating within the market. These recruiters often have excellent knowledge of market trends, salary guides, and challenges within a specific market. They have also often built up a strong rapport with their candidates as they have already spoken with them on multiple occasions, possibly about similar roles, and met them in person often more than once. These types of relationships are very delicate and take time to build. This is the kind of knowledge that your HR Specialist might be lacking due to being consumed with many other tasks and not recruiting for similar style roles when they do.
Another place where a company might fall down is in interviewing. If not done correctly, an interviewer can often feel like the interviewee in certain situations. The reason for this is that there is not enough preparation done in time for the interview and the interviewer does not understand the technical side of the job if they are not trained in it or at least done some research beforehand. Unfortunately, this comes across very clearly in an interview and can be off-putting for a potential candidate if they feel their interview hasn’t been taken seriously enough or sufficient prep is done to truly understand their career path and where their skills lie. When you partner with an agency, the SME will know these roles inside out and know exactly the questions to ask to get as much relevant information from the candidate as possible.
We're not just recruiters, we are consultants. We're here to offer support and guidance through any element of the recruitment process that you may need. Next time you're hiring, consider using an agency to benefit from what is mentioned above and more. ICE Group offers competitive rates and are available to contact on 071 91 69097 or you can reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries or for a confidential chat.