PrincePerelson & Associates

8 Things to Look for When Choosing a Recruiting Firm

The staffing process is never easy, especially when the pressure is on you to build a rockstar team for your business. Luckily, recruiting firms are there to make things easier for you. These firms specialize in connecting companies with the best candidates. They guide you through the process, give you exposure to a large talent pool, and give you insight into the labor market in your industry and region.

But with so many recruitment firms in the market, how do you find the right fit for you? For one, avoid agencies with slow response times, lots of bad reviews, and inconsistent replies. Then, connect with a few that look promising and have some experience under their belt.

You can narrow down your options further by looking for the following characteristics, which indicate that the firm you’re speaking with knows its stuff and is a true recruiting partner.

1) They specialize in the position

This is crucial if you’re looking to fill a specific role (such as an executive position). The agency should have placed candidates in similar roles various times. You don’t want to be their first executive search client – experience matters.

2) They listen to you

Good recruitment agencies know that a great fit is much more important than inflating their placement numbers. For that reason, you want to make sure that you link up with a company that really listens to your needs for a particular position. Otherwise, you could end up wasting time screening candidates that are not a good match for you. A good recruitment agency will ask a lot of questions and take the time to get to know your company culture and the specifics of job openings beyond just the basic job description.

3) They think ahead

Good recruiting firms don’t just wait for a job vacancy announcement to begin searching for candidates. They’ve already built pipelines, and they remain in contact with former candidates. They also know where to discover new talent, and they aren’t afraid to explore community-based recruiting (like combing Slack channels to find suitable candidates). If they see a department expanding, they get in touch with managers to forecast their hiring needs. You’ll also find their personnel attending HR events to stay abreast of the latest recruitment trends. Human resource is all about development, which is something good recruiting firms keep in mind.

4) They create excellent reports

As a business owner, you may not have time to read more than a headline, but you still need to understand an applicant’s story. In other words, you need to be able to analyze candidate information and understand why candidate A differs from candidate B. Good recruitment firms boast solid writers who ensure that the reports are never an email version of a candidate’s resume. They conduct thorough assessments and share concise overviews that help their clients feel like they’ve already met a suitable candidate.

5) They are persistent

You may only have time to look around for candidates when you have a job opening, but a good talent agency should be continuously pounding the pavement for a pool of highly qualified applicants—including networks of people who may not be actively looking for a job but willing to consider the right offer. This takes time and determination, so look for an agency that demonstrates a persistent effort to find the best and brightest candidates.

6) They’re transparent in their communications

Transparency is one of the top signs of a good recruitment firm. You want to work with a firm that answers questions honestly, thoroughly and quickly. Nothing is more frustrating than an agency giving you the run around while they buy time to fulfill requests that they didn’t complete on time.

7) They offer constructive criticism

A good recruiting firm will advise you, share intelligence with you, and offer concise feedback along the journey. They will let you know why a top candidate declined to work at your company and what steps you can take to change that in the future. They will also advise you how to retain new talent with potential for growth. In a nutshell, a good recruitment firm will do everything to make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks.

8) They understand the local market

Recruitment firms that are based out of state may struggle to connect you with suitable candidates. That’s because they’re unlikely to have complete knowledge of the business needs and unique culture of your area. A good recruitment firm will be based in your region and will be completely aware of the local factors that may impact your company’s staffing. They will also have deep networks with the local talent.

At PrincePerelson, we act as your strategic partner, providing industry insight and constant communication to help you succeed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help fulfill your staffing needs.