How do I choose one recruitment agency over another?

If you’re an employer, you may have wondered how you choose one recruitment agency over another. We detail below the top five factors to think about. 

As an employer, you’ll know that when it comes to hiring staff, there are a wide range of recruitment agencies you could use to find the talent you need.

But with so much choice available, how do you select the one that is right for you?

Below are the top five factors to think about to help you make the right decision.

  1. Do they understand your sector or industry?

When it comes to recruiting staff, it’s important that the recruitment agency you use understands your sector or industry.

Many agencies specialise in specific sectors or industries, and this focus means they have a level of expertise that more generalist agencies often don’t.

They are also likely to have good connections to professionals already working in those fields, meaning they can source the most knowledgeable and highly experienced candidates.

So look for evidence that the agencies you’re considering have worked for businesses in your sector or industry before and don’t be afraid to ask them about their clients who do a similar thing to you.

  1. Do they have a good reputation?

When selecting an agency, it’s important to consider their reputation within the recruitment industry and understand whether they are accredited by a professional body such as the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) or the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP).

If they are, it means they regularly pass quality and compliance tests and also abide by a strict Code of Conduct or Practice that ensures they work professionally and to a high standard.

Some agencies such as Anne Corder Recruitment go even further and achieve globally recognised ISO accreditation (which it has held for more than 20 years), providing further evidence of their professionalism and quality.

But it is also always worth seeking the opinions of other businesses in your area or sector to get their views on agencies you are considering.

  1. Do they provide the services you need?

Most recruitment agencies will advertise vacancies for clients, however, not all will provide the services you may need.

A full service agency will not only source high quality applicants for your jobs but will also provide services such as screening and vetting the best candidates, arranging interviews, and even joining selection panels if requested.

They may also offer personality and psychometric testing for shortlisted applicants, as well as create resource management reports for senior staff.

A small number may also provide other value added services including developing resourcing strategies and assisting if staff have to be made redundant (‘outplacement’ services).

  1. Do they have a track record of success?

Ultimately you want to select a recruitment agency that has proven to be effective at finding the right staff for companies just like yours.

So ask them about their success rate, talk to other businesses you know that have used them, and read their independent reviews online.

If an agency provides client case studies and reviews on their website, read these too to better understand how effective they are at finding the staff you need.

But remember to focus on the quality of the candidates successfully placed by an agency, not just the quantity of roles filled. Any agency can find candidates for jobs, however, the best ones will be more focused on matching exactly the right candidates with exactly the right companies, rather than quickly filling roles with unsuitable people.

  1. Are they a good fit?

Perhaps the most important factor when choosing a recruitment agency is ensuring they are a good fit for your business.

This not only means you feel comfortable working with them, but also that they work in a way that matches your approach and style, whatever this may be.

You may prefer an agency that is fast paced, driven by numbers, and judges success by the number of vacancies they fill each quarter. Or an agency that takes a more strategic approach and focuses more on developing long term relationships with clients and candidates may be better for you.

For more than 25 years, the approach taken by Anne Corder Recruitment has been to become a trusted partner to clients, taking the time to fully understand their philosophies and culture before matching them with the perfect candidates.

This has led to long term relationships and a reputation as a leading ethical recruiter that is trusted by companies including Hotel Chocolat, Whirlpool, the University of Cambridge, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.


Although there are numerous recruitment agencies you could use to hire the staff you need, it is important to take the time to find exactly the right one for your business.

Factors such as how much they charge and their location are also important to consider, however, remember that the agency you choose is representing you so should align with your ethos and values.

Read the article ‘What should employers look for in a recruitment agency’ to find out more.


Alex Smith

Recruitment Specialist

I’ve worked in recruitment for the same agency for over 12 years, covering finance, office support, construction, and engineering. Temp and perm. Previously, my line of work was within banking and estate agency.
Favourite food: “Curry (Hot)”
Favourite film: “Heat”

Outside of work

“Gym 5 days a week. Home life consists mostly of entertaining a 3 year old! (for clarification – my son)”

Alex on ACR

“Very refreshing to work for a recruitment agency that genuinely care for their candidates and clients”

T: 01733 235298

Sarah-Jane Bond

Recruitment Specialist

I have spent the majority of my career working in Operational and Project Management roles. I first worked with ACR about 25 years ago as a candidate. ACR secured me a role at RNIB, where I stayed for 15 years, finishing as Head of Operations. Recruitment has always been a big part of the roles I have undertaken and is something that I really enjoy. When you match a fantastic candidate with the right client there is no better feeling!
Favourite food: “Has to be any dish from the Mediterranean”
Favourite film: “There are many, love a chick flick, especially ‘The Holiday at Christmas”

Outside of work

“I love socialising with friends, can always squeeze a bit of retail therapy in around volunteering at Deeping Rangers FC, running their hospitality on match days.”

Sarah-Jane on ACR

“I couldn’t have been more delighted when Nel asked me to join the company and have felt at home since day one. They really do care about providing the best service for their clients and candidates, building genuine relationships with both. The team culture is second to none, everyone supporting and looking out for each other. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

T: 01733 235298

Emily Hill

Recruitment Specialist

Emily was a Primary School Teacher for 10 years, before moving into the EdTech space, as a Relationship Specialist for MATs. She joined ACR in July 2023 and particularly thrives when recruiting for Account Management, Customer Service and Sales roles.
Favourite food:
“Spag bol or pizza”
Favourite film:
“The Notebook – or any romantic chick flick really!”

Outside of work

“I have a 1-year-old, so love fun family weekends with my husband and son more than anything. Time socialising with friends and family is where I’m happiest.”

Emily on ACR
“The unique culture, values, and style at ACR is polar opposite to other recruitment agencies and what I believed recruitment was. Having previously been a Relationship Specialist, I feel I’m doing the same thing! No hard sell, we truly care about our candidates and clients, and the team culture is 2nd to none!”
T: 01733 235298

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