Whether you’re looking for a job or advertising a role, there are certain things you should expect from any recruitment agency. We detail the top five here.
As explained in previous articles, there are many different types of recruitment agencies available, offering everything from specific services to a wide range of employment and recruitment benefits.
But whichever type you choose to work with – either as an employer looking to recruit staff or as a job candidate looking to secure a position – there are certain things you should expect from any agency.
As experts in matching the right talent with the right companies, we outline the top five things you should expect whether you’re a company or a job seeker, based on our 25 years+ experience in the industry.
What employers should expect
- Knowledgeable about your sector and location
Perhaps the most important thing you should expect from any recruitment agency you choose to work with is that they are knowledgeable about your industry sector and the location you’re based in.
The agencies that have this insight will know the challenges you face, will understand the type of people you want to recruit, and will have experience of finding the right staff for your type of business in your area.
Each industry sector and location is different, so unless an agency has this knowledge, you’ll likely to be presented with candidates who may initially look good on paper but lack the expertise you need and don’t understand local factors that may be important to you (or they don’t live in the local area).
- Accredited with a good reputation
With so many recruitment agencies around, it pays to look around for those that are industry accredited and have a good reputation. You should expect to work with an agency that abides by professional standards and Codes of Conduct and is recognised as an ethical and trustworthy business.
To check whether the agency you’re considering meets this criteria, you can see if they are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and/or members of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP).
As well as being a member of the REC, Anne Corder Recruitment is a member and advocate of the IRP and has been rated by them as an ‘employer of choice’. We were also one of the first agencies in the UK to be awarded ISO accreditation and have successfully held it for more than 20 years (the company is fully ISO 9001 certified).
- Proven success rate
Awards and recognition are one thing, but ultimately you’ll want to work with an agency that delivers results. That means they have a proven track record of finding top calibre candidates for businesses just like yours.
Expect to work with an agency that can prove this and are happy to put you in touch with other businesses in your sector or area that you can speak to. And see if they have testimonials or case studies that you can also refer to when deciding which agency will be the best for you.
- High quality professional service
It may seem obvious, but you should expect to work with an agency that offers a high quality professional service. But instead of relying on an agency telling you that they provide this (after all, which agency is going to say they don’t?), do some research to find out for yourself.
This could include asking fellow employers in your sector or area, reading reviews online (including independent Google reviews), speaking to those who are – or have been – clients of the agency (some agencies will include the names of clients on their website), or referring to professional bodies and organisations.
- More services important to you
Whilst many recruitment agencies just provide specific services – such as advertising your job vacancies or sending you candidate CVs – expect to work with an agency that can provide much more than the basic service you think you need.
As explained in the article ‘Why do companies use recruitment agencies?’, finding and hiring staff for a business can involve numerous steps and many time-consuming processes which many businesses fail to consider when they think about recruiting staff.
And often, unless they have used an agency that has solid experience managing all of these for their clients, they soon find that these steps and processes become overwhelming and financially burdensome to their business.
So even though you may think you can manage aspects of your recruitment campaign yourself, it’s always worth looking at a full service agency who can manage the whole process for you.
The best agencies will also provide added value services such as taking part in candidate interviews with you, providing management resourcing reports, and even helping with ‘outplacement’ services when you need to make staff redundant.
What candidates should expect
- A focus on candidates not just employers
Despite being paid by employers for finding them the perfect staff, ethical high quality agencies will be just as focused on candidates as they are their clients. This means they show and demonstrate the same level of respect and support to job seekers as they do businesses, and understand the factors that are important to them.
As a candidate you should never feel like just another name on a list, but instead feel valued by any agency you deal with.
- Professionals who want to get to know you
The most ethical agencies aren’t driven by numbers (quantity) but rather by the quality of the relationships they build with clients and candidates. Agencies that operate this way will want to really get to know you beyond what’s written on your CV.
They will want to meet you (either online or in-person) and understand exactly what you’re looking for, what’s important to you, the type of working environment and culture you prefer, and your long term vision and goals.
The best recruiters will know that by doing this, they are far more likely to match exactly the right candidate with exactly the right business.
- Honesty and integrity
When liaising with a recruitment agency, a candidate should expect honesty and integrity at every step.
Unfortunately, many job seekers report having had bad experiences with some agencies, with calls and emails rarely responded to, no feedback on the status of their job application, and no sense of concern for the candidate’s anxious wait for news.
Agencies that place candidates on the same level as clients will never treat you this way, and instead will be responsive, honest, and act with integrity.
- Support throughout your career
Although you may be applying for a specific job currently, as a candidate you may receive support throughout your career from recruiters and agencies who you have developed a good relationship with.
These agencies know that people progress during their careers, often moving to many different companies along the way. They will want to be your partner through your career journey and help you whenever you’re ready to make your next move.
- Great connections with companies in your area or sector
When considering which agencies to build a relationship with, it’s always worth assessing their connections with companies in your area or sector.
You should expect the right agency to be well connected and have strong experience matching candidates to companies, ensuring it’s a great fit every time. If an agency can’t provide this assurance, it may be worth looking for one that does.
Although hiring staff may feel simply like a numbers game with the choice of which recruitment agency to use being unimportant, this is far from the truth. The best agencies will not only provide the services you require but will also become a trusted partner for all your resourcing needs now and in the future.
The same goes for you if you’re a job candidate. Build relationships with agencies that treat you as more than just a name on a list and have a reputation for honesty and integrity.
Whether you’re an employer or a job seeker, you should expect more from the recruitment agency you use.