The agency recruiter. The mere thought to most people induces shudders and visions of a smiling, LinkedIn loving individual. And it’s true. Most traditional agency recruiters are sales driven people who value their hiring fee and commission more than someone’s career trajectory.
In the traditional recruiting model used by most recruitment agencies, maximising revenue is a primary objective around which all other considerations must orbit. However, using a recruitment agency for your open roles can lead to a fast and efficient hiring process, saving you time and providing highly skilled candidates.
In order to make a sensible decision, you should carefully consider all aspects of using a recruitment agency, from how it works, to how they are useful and how to decide whether you need one.
What are recruiting agencies?
Recruitment agencies exist for a particular reason: to cover the gaps that an in-house recruiter could not fill. Therefore, they work directly with clients on job vacancies, becoming the middleman between candidates and employers.
How do recruiting agencies work?
Usually, a company gets in touch with a recruitment agency and hands over their open roles. Based on the job description, the recruitment agency will post the vacancy on job boards, source suitable candidates and conduct phone screening, to provide the client with a shortlist of high-quality candidates. After the shortlist of candidates is approved by the client, recruitment agencies can arrange interviews between the candidates and the client.
When searching for the right candidates, recruitment agencies already have a talent pool with prospective candidates that they can easily access.
Advantages of working with a recruiting agency
1. Faster & Efficient hiring
Recruiting agencies can save you plenty of time by sourcing and shortlisting candidates for open jobs. They can cover, more efficiently, early stages of the recruiting pipeline due to economies of scale, workflow and network.
2. Quality candidates
As recruiting agencies already have access to a vetted talent pool of candidates, they can effectively select the right candidate for the company. Moreover, with their vast experience and industry knowledge, they can evaluate the candidates’ skills and competencies more efficiently.
3. Complete support in the early phases of the recruitment process
Once the open roles are handed over, many agents will handle the tricky early phases of a recruiting process. From job vacancy posting, CV & phone screening and communicating with candidates, recruitment agencies offer complete support, the client involvement in the early stages of the process being minimal.
3 Reasons why recruiting agencies are useful
To summarise, a few of the key areas in which an agency would be particularly useful:
1. They have the expertise to search for specialised & executive roles
An internal recruiter has vision over the company’s talent needs, but may not necessarily have the specialised knowledge for certain roles. This necessary learning process could cost the company more in terms of time and money than simply hiring a recruiting agency. The agency guarantees knowledge of specific skills across the board, specialist sourcing methodologies and niche job boards
2. They can fulfil short term needs
Sometimes the talent need is so urgent that a recruiting agency becomes the most time & cost viable solution. Recruiting agencies have a built-in network of talent and can fill vacancies fast, should this be required.
3. They can fill a pipeline
An internal hiring manager may have their finger on the pulse of a company’s hiring needs, but they still rely on a full pipeline of talent to make their decisions. A recruiting agency can be a great partner to help in this process, assisting internal recruiters to make more informed decisions.
Recruiting agencies are partners, not foes
And here comes the important part: addressing your talent needs isn’t a case of in-house versus agency. In many cases, both an agency and an internal recruiter can provide complementary skillsets.
It is important to recognise which parts of your talent needs are best satisfied by each party, in terms of time and cost. It is important to map out your future hiring needs and figure out what works best. And remember, many recruiting agencies understand startup culture as well as in-house!
How to choose between a recruiting agency and an in-house recruiter?
Just to recap, here are a few things to consider when choosing a recruitment agency or in-house recruiters for a particular need:
1. Network: Who can provide easy access to the network needed for a role? Is this network general or specific?
2. Expertise: What specific knowledge is required? Is prior experience in a sector beneficial to hiring?
3. Culture: Is this a short term hire or a longer-term prospect? Is knowledge of the team culture important?
4. Money: Does the hiring need to justify a long term sunk cost? Or is a short term one-off fee more appropriate?
5. Goals: Is the company’s plan to set up future hiring processes? Does internal HR make sense? What is the growth plan for the team?
Find a balance based on data
All things considered, analytics are key. It is important to measure your ‘good’ hires and work out why those were successful. From that data, you can find a balance between filling your talent needs with agency recruiters and in-house recruiters.
Finding the optimal hiring partner for your company may take time, but it’s worth investing the time in order to build a team for growth.
How do we do recruitment at LevelUp?
We feel differently about the type of recruitment we’re doing at LevelUp Ventures. A lot of the value we add to startups crosses the line between in-house and agency recruiters. That’s why we don’t consider ourselves to be agency recruiters, at least not in the traditional sense. Think of us more like recruitment process outsourcing or even as recruitment consultants.
Certainly, aspects of what we do fit into the need for agency recruiters outlined in this article. But it’s the ethics, process and approach that we adopt, that differentiates us. We are a startup recruitment company focused, disruptive and turning startups into hiring machines one step at a time.
Our mission is to address these talent needs with startup-friendly, innovative and creative solutions. We believe startups are the best places to work, and we’re driven by the prospect of making our clients happy. No cold emails, no sales commission and certainly no suits here!
Do you want to expand your team but you are undecided on what course to take? You can book a consultation call with us.