selecting the right recruitment partner

It's a minefield!

Partnering the right agency is critical, it will ensure you access to the best talent, create excellent candidate experiences, reduce your time in selection and ensure your brand is re-enforced & remains intact! The right agency will also make your job more enjoyable!


Some key things to consider when selecting the right partner:


Initial Searching:

  • Firstly be clear on what you are looking for and select an agency who can deliver on your specific requirements (industry sector, temp / perm, level of role, skills shortages etc..)
  • Ask around your network & organisation for recommendations, (especially others with similar skills) it’s much more effective to learn from others experience!
  • Avoid ‘Jack of all or Master of None’ – Many agencies will claim to have recruited across all sectors, which may be suitable for some levels of role, but if you are looking for specific skills & experience it’s vital to find the ‘Master of One’
  • Although you may ask others to do the initial searching, it’s really important that the actual hiring manager or senior HR / Recruitment Manager makes the final selection



You have identified several good matches for your requirements, now who do you select?


  • Could they give you examples of where they have recruited similar roles successfully & for who?
    • This will help you gain trust that they have actually achieved success in the past


  • Ask what challenges they have faced recruiting similar roles in the past?
    • If they identify challenges then they are being open and honest with you, which again should give you comfort that they know what they are talking about!


  • Could they talk about the market with knowledge and Authority?
  • If they can then they can offer you good advice and counsel and will be a valuable partner


  • How many questions have they asked you?
    • The more (relevant!) questions they ask, the more they are finding out everything they need to know about the role, the business and the challenges you may have faced in the past, again this is a good indicator of someone who really knows what they are doing!


  • Did they provide you with new ideas or food for thought?
    • If they offered you something different or gave you some good ideas, then they are really are a ‘value add’ partner


  • Did they promise they could deliver the earth even though you suspect it could be a challenge?
    • Then avoid them at all costs they are just trying to get the business without really understanding the requirements



Often cost is a key driver, but with all things it’s important to identify the right partner before talking costs. Avoid using ‘head-hunters’ if you can, most positions can be sourced utilising contingency methods and ‘old school’ head-hunting is extremely expensive and time consuming


You will often find that the right partner will offer you competitive prices as they will know their market (ask honestly what they charge your competitors and see if you think they are being honest with you) and if you feel that they really can deliver on the brief then give them the opportunity to work on the role exclusively, the benefits far outweigh the risks:


  • Finally, if you have the time they ask for some references and follow them up
    • If the references truly fill you with confidence, then it’s the best endorsement you can have

constantly on the hunt for the best candidates