Recruitment Agencies are either a hit or miss – you either love them or you hate them. Throughout the years, recruitment agencies have consistently shown growth in both the UK and USA employment markets – because they offer a service that typically can’t be achieved for less money, time and effort.
In short, recruitment agencies allow businesses to outsource their employment needs to a third-party. Typically, recruitment agencies take on the whole mix and offer everything – from posting vacancies online to interviewing potential candidates. Once candidates have been interviewed and approved, the agency then typically puts together a shortlist of candidates – which is forwarded to the employer for consideration. At this point, the client will typically conduct their own interviews and screening processes, and then make a decision whether they will choose to hire a candidate. If the client decides to hire a candidate, a fee is paid to the recruitment agency in exchange for the time and effort required to source and short list the applicants. For example, Oakland House Recruitment offer both fixed-fee and flexi-fee payment methods – based on the type of vacancy sourced for, and the annual salary of the vacancy.
With this process in mind, we can begin to understand why recruitment agencies play such an integral part in recruiting for businesses. Recruitment agencies often have access to a specific target audience of candidates – such as niche job boards, and their own in-house database systems. Chances are, a client would never get or know how to get access to such advertising platforms – and that means that talent is being missed.
For small to medium sized companies, recruitment agencies can actually prove to be cost-effective. This is because the smaller business typically won’t have their own human resources / recruitment team in-house. It is typically much more cost-effective to pay a typical placement fee than hire somebody conduct HR duties.
For larger sized companies, recruitment agencies are beneficial because they source talent that may otherwise be missed. Large companies are always interested in hiring the world’s best talent – and giving recruitment agencies the chance to source against an employment position may just yield exceptional results. For larger clients, budget is usually no issue – and they are willing to spend extra money to find candidates who they would not normally attract on their own.
With all of that said, it’s still important to keep in mind that recruitment agencies sometimes have a bad reputation because of the way they operate. The recruitment industry is very much based on commission – with commission being earned on each successful candidate placement. As such, the welfare of candidates is often overlooked as recruitment consultants look to earn their commission fees as quickly and as easily as possible. The best way to avoid this is to closely vet any potential recruitment agencies that you would consider using. Look at their recruitment methods, and look at reviews (if possible) from previous and current candidates. Since any potential recruitment agency would be representing your business, you need to ensure that they are acting with honesty and integrity.
Whichever way we look at the spectrum, recruitment agencies have a mixed reputation – but they are most definitely useful. Businesses would struggle to recruit exceptional employees without them, and recruitment for smaller companies would be horrendously expensive and time consuming without them. Not to mention, recruitment agencies are part of the local community – helping people to find employment that they love.
Author: Matthew Carey
Matthew Carey is a leading marketing consultant for recruitment agencies across the UK.