6 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Recruiting Firm

The recent COVID-19 pandemic irreversibly affected the hiring landscape in many sectors of the economy. Many individuals who were laid off or quit are back in the market for a job, but their criteria have changed. A study performed in 2021 by background check provider GoodHire found that 68% of those interviewed would choose a position that allowed them to work remotely rather than in person. Furthermore, 61% said they would accept a lower salary to work from home.

These changes in employee preferences make hiring more challenging for employers nationwide, who may struggle to provide competitive compensation and flexible working conditions to entice individuals to return to the workplace. Adequately staffing your company with skilled employees may be one of the most critical decisions you make this year, which is why partnering with a top Utah recruiting firm is an excellent strategy.

How can you determine which firm has the skills and expertise to find outstanding new employees? Asking the right questions will reveal pertinent information to make the best decision. When in doubt, learn more about who they are and how they do business by asking these insightful questions.

1. What qualifications does my recruiter have?

Top recruitment firms have well-established reputations for successfully matching qualified individuals with a wide range of positions. However, the success of your search will depend significantly on the qualifications of the individual or team of recruiters leading your recruiting efforts.

Do they have experience hiring in your industry for similar positions? Recruiters who routinely hire in the same industry build an extensive network of contacts. You benefit from their knowledge of the industry and the skills necessary for employees to succeed in that space. Likewise, the market may vary from one geographic region to another. Find a recruiter familiar with your particular area who can apply their specific knowledge to fill your hiring needs.

You can learn more about them by examining their track record. Ask to see case studies or testimonials from clients they have worked with recently to learn what they can do for you.

2. What is the average time to placement?

Are you on the cusp of a volume hiring event as you prepare to open a new location? Do you need to fill key management positions recently vacated? While the time required to recruit for these positions will vary with the level of skill and experience required, expert recruiters should be able to accomplish the task within a reasonable time frame. An extended timeline can indicate that the firm is not working efficiently to fill positions. Well-qualified candidates may shy away from firms that appear disorganized or recruitment processes that require too much of their time.

If you know your grand opening is just around the corner, you need to know when you can expect to have a full complement of employees in place to make your opening successful. Be sure you and your recruiter agree on the realistic expected timeline. If their average time to placement is 30 days, but they promise placement in 14 days, you have good reason to be skeptical of their ability to meet that deadline.

3. What is your process for vetting candidates?

There are many reasons to hire an employment agency, including leveraging their expertise, connections, and experience. Hiring someone to help with this challenging task should reduce your workload. Before you hire a recruiter, be sure to understand how they propose to conduct their search. How will they attract top talent, and what tools will they employ to narrow the field down to the leading candidates for you. Are they using the proper criteria to vet resumés?

Understanding their process can reveal gaps in their search criteria that are pivotal for filling your particular position. It is helpful to all involved to understand the vital skills and qualifications you need candidates to possess. Defining the process before the search begins will save you time and effort weeding through candidates that do not meet your expectations.

4. How will you keep us informed during the process?

Hiring a recruitment firm allows you to remove yourself from the responsibility of being involved in every detail of the recruiting process. However, top recruiters should keep you informed along the way. While they should communicate many essential points, assuming they will provide you with precisely what you expect is a recipe for disappointment. Ensure you understand what you will receive and when you should expect to hear from them. If you want more or less frequent check-ins, this is a great time to communicate your preferences.

5. What do past clients report about their recruitment experience?

A firm’s placement statistics may not tell the whole story. You can learn a lot about a company by talking to others who have worked with them. Find out how past clients feel about the service they received. Were interactions with recruiters and candidates positive? Was the candidate a good match that remained with the company? Recruiting employees can require a significant investment. You can protect yours by hiring the best recruiters to help with yours.

6. How will you address our goals to achieve cultural fit and workplace diversity?

Companies vary significantly from one to the next, and the candidate that fits best in one organization may be a mistake for the next. When determining who should be on your shortlist of candidates, recruiters should consider your company culture. Will they fit in your culture, and will they support the culture that makes your company all that it is?

If increasing diversity is on your list of priorities, does your executive recruiter have the tools to assess a diverse pool of candidates and provide you with the best options that will bring a host of new ideas and experiences to enrich your company? Ask what practices they use to ensure a diverse list of possible candidates reaches your desk.

Identifying great employees to propel your company through the next several years can be a daunting process. However, hiring a professional job recruiter can ease many of your concerns. Before hiring anyone, be sure to ask all the right questions so that you can trust they have the knowledge and abilities to accomplish this critical task.