How a “proper” recruitment agency works


A recruitment agency is an organization that is designed to help professionals find a new job, and for an employer to find someone with a specific set of competencies that would fit the required position in the best way. The recruitment agency undertakes commitment to an employer to search for specialists for a specific vacancy and receives payment only from the employer. There is no “free” recruitment and an endless string of candidates, there are strictly 5-10 people who best meet the stated requirements. Such agencies call themselves, as a rule, recruiting or employment agencies. In this review we do not consider agencies that live at the expense of job seekers and declare “free recruitment” for employers, as “free service” is impossible in business by definition.

An obligatory parameter of the work of a “proper” recruitment agency is strict observance of the deadlines for selecting candidates, formalizing a formal contract and searching the people necessary for an employer within two or  four weeks maximum from the moment of signing the contract. The guarantees are provided with legal certification and undertaking of both legal and financial obligations to the employer who seeks employees via a recruitment agency.

Agency specialists should be able to describe step-by-step the selection algorithm for applicants, indicate the criteria by which potential candidates for the required position are selected. Only in this way employer scan understand that they do not throw out their money for the services of the agency, but pay for specific professional work. The cost of services, by the way, should also be documented and regulated depending on the type and amount of work done as part of the selection of applicants. It is important for the recruitment agency to have professional certificates, participate in any regional, national or international certification programs, ratings and professional associations of recruiters.

The next item, which is also always of interest to employers, who collaborate with recruitment agencies, is the cost of services. It should provide for a specific tariff model, the possibility of a stage payment or a flexible payment system, depending on what specific requirements the customer makes for the selection of candidates, how “deep” it will require to “dig up” the market in search of a specialist with a set of specialized characteristics and personal qualities, etc. Those who value their time and money also pay attention to the agency’s portfolio, whether it has experience of participating in a similar job search, and whether it has successfully selected people for a similar position, how long the agency usually searches for the required staff.

Each self-respecting recruitment agency is also characterized by its presence in the print and electronic media, by using online communications to conduct business and promote its brand and its services. Take interest what latest advertising campaign for the agency took place and how long ago it was, and what its duration was. Also, do not be lazy to “ask Google” for the latest publications, reviews about the recruitment agency on the eve of your visit there, rate the reputation of the company that you are going to entrust the search for the key manager you are interested in. Information about conferences in which representatives and management of the agency participated, possible scandals or awards, companies that previously collaborated with your chosen agency — any kind of information can be useful in order to get a certain idea about business, commercial, and information reputation of the agency chosen by you for possible cooperation. By the way, the study of such information will be useful for top managers, as well as representatives of middle managers who are going to submit their resume to a recruitment agency.

There are also “non-information” factors that are no less informative for both the applicant and the employer, and they can only be seen during a direct visit to the office where the specific recruitment agency is located. The situation in the office, the workload of employees, the interior, the presence of separate meeting rooms and interview rooms, modern office equipment are all small but important details that will tell you about the real situation in the office much better than any presentations, awards or diplomas and swearing assurances of business success and consistently high performance.