Are recruitment agencies value for money for businesses, and for jobseekers?

We have often come across ‘Agency Y will only charge £500 to fill this role’ or ‘I can advertise in the local newspaper for £1,000′.   I have even heard of candidates being charged by agencies to find them work.  So how do you get value for money from your recruitment agency?  Here’s how.

Candidates looking for a job

If you are paying a recruitment agency to find you a job, STOP NOW!  You should not pay money to a recruitment agency to find you work.  It’s illegal. The exception for this is for businesses like modelling agencies where a fee will be taken from your pay for their services.

The very best agencies will proactively target employers with your CV, pre-screen your CV and offer tips and advice to improve it. We can coach you to get you ready for a job interview, and we’ll offer feedback and advice from interviews you have attended. We’ll put useful information for everyone on our blogs too. And since we deal with businesses in Stockport every day, you’ll probably find it much more useful that advice from the job centre or school careers advisors.  And it’s all free.

Clients looking for candidates

Here are some statistics from Mark Murphy, from Hiring for Attitude:

46% of new hires fail in the first 18 months

Only 19% will be highly successful

A good agency will target the very best candidates for your role, the 19% who will be highly successful, the passive candidates who are not actively looking for work.

We spend time building a pool of candidates for your role through headhunting, networking and social media.  We will come and visit your business to take the time to understand what you do, the niche skillsets and, most importantly, the attitude required to really excel with your company.  Along the way we will filter out unsuitable CVs and see candidates face to face – for popular roles like reception or administration work, we will be screening 100+ CVs to get just 3 most suitable candidates.  We work towards avoiding your new hire being one of the 46% to fail within 18 months.

If an agency offers to fill your role for £500, I would ask what they are doing to fill your role.   Are they targeting the best people, or are they merely trawling the available CVs on the job boards and sending them to you?  A kind of sorting office for CVs and jobs, or simply just a job advertising service.

‘But I can advertise in the local newspaper for £1,000’ is another objection we encounter.  Consider this:  you have paid out £1,000 before you have even seen a CV and even then; you don’t know what the quality of responses to your advert will be.  For skilled roles where applicants will be few and far between (think specialised legal work, accountancy or precision engineering roles), you can’t guarantee anyone suitable will even be browsing the local paper.

You only need to pay a recruitment agency when your new staff member starts work, and for that fee you’ll be saving time looking for candidates yourself. There’s also the return on investment of taking on a fantastic candidate that can promote your business or make sales, work through your admin backlog or cut your costs with clever accountancy.

By working with an agency that understands your needs and trusting them to do the job well, a recruitment agency can be phenomenal value for money.