Choosing the right recruiter

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With the battle for talent raging more than ever, it is important to make sure you choose a recruiter who not only finds you the best people, but actually cares that they are they best people for you.  Why is that, I hear you ask?

We have all heard the stories of recruiters using some pretty underhanded techniques to make a quick buck; I recently heard of an agency posting duplicates of job ads to field applications to then sell back to the company, and another bad-mouthing other agencies and consultants to all that would listen. Now we all know that New Zealand is far too small for that kind of behaviour, but how do you make sure the recruiter you choose will uphold your reputation, and ensure the perfect fit for your team?

Asking your network is a great start. What companies do you know who have recently hired an awesome new *insert job title here*? Do you know any companies who have an amazing team culture that you’d love to replicate? Ask which recruiter/company they used, and absolutely ask how they went about the process of filling the roles.

While it may take a bit of time, I would really recommend meeting a few recruiters and choosing one who you feel you can trust. Finding the right recruiter is a very personal thing and it’s important that you know the person filling your role isn’t just doing it to make a few dollars, but is actually passionate about understanding how your business works and what is going to work for you. You don’t want to end up with someone either damaging your reputation, or trying to sell you candidates who aren’t right. The reason I suggest using just one recruiter is that when multiple consultants are looking to fill the same role, it becomes a race to get CVs to you the fastest, rather than getting you the perfect person in good time. When you have a recruiter who you know and trust, they become a valuable extension of your business and a fountain of knowledge on what’s going on in the market.

Finally, we come to the cost – a tough subject for a lot of companies! As with most things, in recruitment you get what you pay for (as a rule), and cheaper doesn’t tend to be best. A large portion of recruitment companies will charge a “contingency” fee, whereby you only pay if they are successful in filling the role. While this may look attractive at first glance, I would tend to steer more towards companies who charge a “retained” fee, with a portion being paid on engagement.  This upfront cost ensures that the company is fully committed to working until that perfect person is found.

Despite what you may have heard, recruiters aren’t all bad (we promise), and finding the right consultant will ultimately be a huge benefit to you and your team.

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Beth Haigh

Recruitment Advisor, Everest – All about people