6 Advantages of Hiring Through a Recruitment Agency

Recent research may have indicated that in-house recruiters are relying less on recruitment agencies to fill vacancies, but most staffing businesses are still posting strong results, whilst the RECs monthly Report on Jobs shows vacancy levels rising on a monthly basis.

Many industry commentators have long been forecasting the decline of agencies, in the face of growing competition from job boards, internal recruitment teams and social networking, but the industry continues to grow, and offer an important route for sourcing the best talent. Newer sourcing or attraction models may seem to preclude the third party recruiter, whilst client and candidate expectations change and evolve in line with technology, but there remains a core need for recruiting specialists to find talent for companies, and to help that talent become hireable.

When I first entered the industry I recruited qualified accountants. Most firms saw agencies as advisers, their eyes and ears in the market place, who focused efforts on attracting great candidates. As a recruitment consultant your value proposition was usually the candidates that you could find, or that you knew of, and your overall market intelligence regarding shifting trends and pay scales, and competitor activity.

So what are some of the main advantages of using an agency now?

Knowledge of the market

The best recruiters will have their finger on the pulse of their specialist markets, and can give the hiring team insight in to what is happening. They should know the available talent, where they are and how to reach out to them, salary rates, career expectations, available skill-sets and current hiring complexities. If other businesses are struggling to find the same people as you they should be able to advise on alternative solutions. The best will act as partners and collaborators, and should still be your eyes and ears in the market.

Extended reach

Some candidates are hard to find. They may be passive or they may be selective. If they aren’t responding to job advertisements, don’t see themselves as part of your ‘talent pool’ and are too busy to search full time then the chances are that they may have relationships with trusted specialist recruiters in your sector. Even if they aren’t currently active, there’s a strong chance that a good recruiter will know who they are and how to reach them. Agencies have many networks – each consultant, candidate, client or collaborator has the potential to leverage their networks to help connect you to people with a range of skills and experiences, many of who would be off the radar of an in-house team or hiring manager.

Candidates not applicants

A lot of talent attraction is aimed at attracting applicants, whether they are responding to an advert, applying on spec, or through your website. A lot of these people may not be good matches for the role hence a lot of time will be invested in filtering, assessing, matching and communicating with them. When we talk of a bad candidate experience it’s normally an applicant experience that we are referring to. Time and resource poor recruitment teams may not be able to run a thorough matching process. Using a recruitment agency should mean that you see only candidates – job seekers who have been pre-selected to match all the criteria that you are looking for and who are worthy of consideration and interview.

Help with employer brand

Large companies invest a lot of time and money in developing and marketing their employer brand, but many SME and smaller businesses don’t have the same resources. If you chose your agency wisely then they can give potential candidates a real insight in to your business – what it’s like to work there, benefits and career openings available, and a feel for the culture. If you partner closely with agencies, let them spend time getting to know you and some of your key managers, then they should be able to represent you as an employer of choice. If a candidate checks your business out on social media, either through a site like Glassdoor or by searching for people who used to work with you, then a fully briefed recruitment partner should be able to help clarify any points that may arise.

Access to key strategic skills

In the RECs most recent Jobs Outlook, the number one reason that companies gave for using a recruitment agency was to gain short term access to key strategic skills, a reason that been growing in importance over the last 3 years, now overtaking covering leave and peaks in demand. With talent shortages now potentially hindering growth it’s not surprising that this is the case. Whilst some of the reasons I’ve already given may refer more to permanent recruiters, many also offer the opportunity to bring in qualified, experienced help at short notice. These flexible solutions are particularly crucial for a long term project or initiative.


Whilst the FIRMs recent in-house recruiter survey did hint at a decrease in agency use, it also showed a tightening of budgets and resources. When I asked corporate recruiters on social media to give me reasons why they use agencies many answers were around budget and resource. There is a budget for agency fees, but not to gain extra resource. There are are time constraints to performing a thorough search, so it is often easier for managers to interview from an agency shortlist – in fact many hiring managers, themselves possibly placed by recruitment agencies in the past, often favour third party recruiters. There is little doubt that a hard pressed HR or in-house team can benefit from the reach and networks of a trusted agency partner.

Of course most business will have their own reasons for using recruitment agencies. For many it’s the temporary staffing service, or the more recent managed workforce facility that many larger companies are favoring as a way to monitor staffing costs. For some it may be a short term need and for others they may offer a major route to market to access the strong talent that they would otherwise miss out on.

By Mervyn Dinnen

Originally published on Broad Bean Technology

How to Make a Job Offer and Negotiate Salary For a New Hire

After a lengthy hiring process, you really, really, want the candidate to accept your job offer. And why wouldn’t you? The cruel irony of staffing is that the recruiting process only happens when you are already overworked and understaffed.

When your job offer is rejected, it’s frustrating. Some hiring managers feel personally rejected, while others feel embarassed to have “gone to bat” for a candidate, only to be rebuffed. It can feel humiliating to bet your internal political capital on someone who did not feel the same way about you. And even when you don’t take the rejection personally, it’s depressing and exhausting to even think about starting all over with the hiring process.

At the end of a search, after all the interviews are completed and once a finalist has been selected, most hiring managers are desperate to get back to their other work. And right then, in the very instant they turn their attention away from the hiring process, they unknowingly sabotage their  chances of having their job offer accepted, because the end of the search is just as important as every other step. The last thing anyone wants to do at job offer time is to sabotage their odds. But very few organizations manage the job offer process correctly.

What Executive Recruiters Know

You’re not the only employer in town. Any candidate strong enough to get one job offer can get two.

Each of the sixteen ways hiring managers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory fall into one of these four categories (with a corresponding blog post on how to handle it.)

Unnecessary Delays Making the Job Offer

1) Why the best candidates keep rejecting your job offers

A slow-moving hiring process is like falling out of a 60-story building. The first part actually goes surprisingly well…until you hit the ground. As the saying goes, “It ain’t the fall that kills you, it’s the landing.” In hiring, you think your process is fine…until it isn’t. Time wounds all deals. The longer you take to hire, the more candidates’ interest in your position falls. In many professional jobs, 10 percent to 15 percent of the best candidates drop out for every unnecessary week of delay. 

2) Taking too long to make the job offer

Time passes very quickly when you are in control and someone else is waiting for you. A week passes and it feels like a day. But when you are not in control, and you are waiting for someone else, every day feels like a week.

Not Managing Candidate Expectations During the Hiring Process

3) Why hiring drags on and on

Hiring is not like your other work. In your other projects, people notice every mistake and point it out. Every missed deadline gets the attention of upper management. Every failure has consequences. But hiring is like operating in a sensory deprivation tank. You get no feedback at all for long stretches of time. Until the very end, when things often go disastrously wrong.

4) What happens when candidates don’t know what’s happening?

The “normal” interview process almost always fails to meet candidate expectations. And neuroscience research shows that when our expectations are not met, “…our brain doesn’t just get slightly unhappy, it sends out a message of danger or threat.” My guess is that is probably not quite the candidate experience you were hoping to create. 

Bungling the Steps Before Making a Job Offer

5) Why employers need to stop asking for salary history

If you want to hire the best qualified people, you need to stop insisting on seeing someone’s salary history in your hiring process. Not in your ads, not on your applications, not in your interviews, and not when you make your job offer.

6) Don’t negotiate when you are desperate to make a hire

If you have not started your first round interviews with a field of at least six highly qualified candidates, you will probably find yourself coming down to the wire with only one viable candidate at offer time. That makes your hiring decision both simple and dangerously flawed.

7) Revisit your expectations before making a job offer

Before the courtship phase of your relationship turns into a marriage proposal….hit the pause button. Check in with your candidate. Have a conversation about your expectations, and theirs. 

8) The value of employment references

By and large, great people have great references. At the end of a good reference call, you should feel more energized and excited about hiring the candidate. If you don’t, it should be a red flag for you.

9) Beware of falling into your salary spreadsheet when calculating salary

Beware of the zombie-like trance, and appearance of rational thought that an excel salary spreadsheet offers. Look up from your screen at the real live thinking human being you want to hire, and be sure you understand their expectations. No candidate ever wants to hear about “room to grow” in their future salary when you just offered them a lower present salary than they anticipated.

10) How Long Should You Wait for a Response to Your Job Offer?

My father-in-law often said that, “Deals that don’t happen quickly, usually don’t happen.” The longer I work in the executive search business, the more I value that advice.

“To get what you want from the hiring process,
help the candidate get what they want.” (Click to Tweet)

Failing to Properly Set Salary for a New Hire

11) How compensation professionals think about setting salary

Many hiring managers struggle to find a framework to talk strategically about employee compensation. Fortunately, most  compensation experts agree on what factors you should consider when making a job offer.

12) Why lowball salary offers are a mistake

The smart assumption to make when interviewing candidates is that the best people will receive multiple job offers at the fair market rate for their skills. Your first salary offer sends a signal, don’t assume every candidate will want to negotiate with you. Put your best foot forward.   

13) How to hire within your salary budget

Before you overpay for your next hire, or underpay and waste salary dollars on someone unqualified, you need to first understand whether you have a recruiting problem (you have not yet seen the right candidates) or a salary budget problem (you have seen plenty of candidates, but simply cannot afford to hire the right ones). How do you know whether your salary budget is unrealistic or whether you just have a recruiting problem?

14) Hiring to fit the budget vs hiring to fit the performance expectations

When it’s time to hire someone new, you are often unfamiliar with what to pay, or what the “going rate” is for those skills.  And there is nothing wrong with not knowing.  Not knowing is actually a good thing – you can be more open minded. But if you did estimate a low salary budget, be sure to interview people who can actually do the work, not just the people who fit the budget.  

15) Be ready to explain your compensation strategy 

As a hiring manager, you now need to be ready to negotiate with equally well-informed job seekers. And while that may be unfamiliar territory, it’s actually good news. Credible, shared salary information helps to move the salary negotiation process out of the realm of hard-ball negotiating tactics and trust-damaging gamesmanship.

16) Should you consider internal equity or fair market rate?

In hiring, market rate is the only true benchmark. The minute you forget that, you start overpaying your less valuable people, and your more valuable people start quitting to go where their skills are properly valued. 

To get what you want from the hiring process, be attentive to helping the candidate get what they want from the hiring process. Remember that you are not the only game in town, and any candidate strong enough to get one job offer can usually get two job offers. To be sure your job offers are  accepted, keep your focus on the hiring process long after you have selected your ideal candidate.

Hopefully this perspective was helpful to you. You might also be interested in our advice for:

And now that we’ve shared our best insights (gleaned from over 600 completed executive searches) into how to make a predictably successful hiring process, maybe you would like to take a self-assessment to see how your own hiring process stacks up? In 2 minutes you can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your own hiring process, right in the privacy of your own office.

By Bob Corlett

Originally published on Staffing Advisors 

Four Simple Steps To Refresh Your Job Search For Spring

Spring has finally arrived — but has your next job offer?

If you’ve been slinging resumes for the past few months with no success, take these simple steps now to bring some of that spring cleaning spirit to refresh your job search. If you plant the seeds of growth now and tend to your job search diligently, the right offers will bloom for you soon.

1. Clean up your calendar

Before we look outwards, start by cleaning house. Begin with your calendar: how are you spending your time today, this week, this month? Does your calendar reflect your most current and important goals? Aare you setting aside time to focus on the work that’s most critical to your long-term growth (like developing the skillset that will round out your resume) even if it doesn’t come with a deadline or someone else holding you accountable? If not, where can you make adjustments to set the healthy boundaries you need to preserve your most precious resource?

In addition to considering how your calendar reflects your goals, pay close attention to how it reflects your target audience. Are you looking to get a job in the government sector after years working for nonprofits? When and where are you building relationships with people in your target industry?

Go through your calendar week-by-week to add networking events, conferences, and even casual meet-ups to your agenda. Traveling to make those a priority might even be well worth the expense since job search-focused travel expenses are tax deductible.

2. Reconnect with VIPs

Relationship-building is probably the best investment you can make in your job search. Back in 2013, TheNew York Times covered a trend in hiring that’s only increased since then: employers are increasingly relying on internal referrals for hiring. That means that building relationships with staff members who currently work at the companies you’d love to work for can be total game-changers for your job search. Make identifying and reaching out to these VIPs a top priority.

Keep in mind — cultivating real relationships means being reciprocal. Don’t only reach out when you’re asking for help. Instead, consider sending along a timely article related to your contact’s work or tip them off to events you think they might want to head to as well. Be a useful source of information to them and it’ll feel a lot easier asking your VIPs to do the same for you.

3. Refresh your online presence

That old adage of the tree falling in the forest applies to your job search, too. If you’re doing great things with your career but no one knows about them — do they count?

Make sure your online presence makes clear what your value proposition is to your dream employer. Go ahead and Google yourself! Think about what your search results would look like to an HR manager at one of your target companies. How would you help their team? How would your skills and experiences add value?

If your skills, experiences, and achievements aren’t clearly communicated online, you must learn to boast like a boss. Bragging online has never been easier, but make sure you proceed with tact. Use LinkedIn, Google+ (which disproportionately impacts your Google search results), and other social networks that make the most sense for your field to document your achievements over time. Intersperse your self-promotional updates with resources and information you’re sharing for the benefit of others, and be sure to share news directly related to your field to show that you’re staying current.

4. Make coffee meetings count

So you’ve been searching for months and diligently growing your network along the way. But are you putting that network to work for your job search? It’s time to make those coffee meetings count by making a clear ask for the support of your colleagues and friends.

  • Ask for an email introduction to their hiring manager.
  • Ask for them to drop your resume off on their boss’s desk for you.
  • Ask them to let you know of the next industry event or conference they’re heading to.
  • Ask for them to make a phone call to the hiring manager vouching for you if you’ve already applied.

Do not hesitate to follow up. Make it easy for people to help you by writing the email introducing you for them. Keep your closest colleagues up-to-date on your job search progress on the regular and of course, thank them for continuing to keep their ears to the ground for you.

By Emilie Aries

Emilie Aries is the Founder & CEO of Bossed Up and the co-host of Stuff Mom Never Told You, the fiercely feminist podcast by HowStuffWorks.
This column originally appeared on BossedUp.org.

Shared from The Ladders

Why Engineers Need to Embrace Personal Branding Now More Than Ever

Whether you’re a fresh graduate with a sparkly new B.S. in engineering or a seasoned pro with 15+ years of experience, you’re headed toward more competition when it comes to your next career opportunity. Enrollment in engineering programs and the number of engineering degrees awarded at all levels have been steadily increasing for years.

The good news is that while there are more engineers on the job market, there’s still a healthy demand for them—especially when it comes to specific niches. But in the more common fields, like UX or front-end development, you’ll want to make sure you stand out from the pack.

So how, exactly, do you do that?

Turns out, it’s not just about the skills and experience you have (although that’s obviously important)—it’s also about how you showcase them to employers. Or, in other words, how you embrace your personal brand.

In my last role, I worked in the marketing department of a global staffing firm with brands focused exclusively on engineering and IT. Why does that matter to you? I spent a lot of time researching and writing about how candidates can land their next gig, often through personal branding efforts. And now, grasshoppers, I shall bestow that knowledge upon you.

Steps to a Stellar Personal Brand

In decades past, brands were just for insurance, beer, and technology companies, but guess what? You get to be a brand now. And that comes with benefits. Not only will you have a better understanding of who you are and how you shine as a professional, but you may just have companies knocking down your door—er, bombarding your LinkedIn InMail—with new opportunities.

1. Start With Personal Reflection

Consider your strengths. What are you known for around your office? Are you a great collaborator? An innovator? Every project’s master planner? Do you have any distinct specialties? Ask your peers what comes to mind when they think of you.

Discover and distill what makes you unique from other engineers, and write it down. This, in short, is your brand identity. Ideally, it should not only be true, but also relevant to the current needs of the companies you’d like to work for. Oh, and it must be demonstrable, which leads us to…

2. Identify Avenues to Present Your Brand

It’s not enough just to have a brand identity on paper. You must show employers that you have a special ability or distinctive outlook.

Take LinkedIn as an example. Simply including your job title on your profile doesn’t show you’re a genius when it comes to product development and understanding customers’ needs. Instead, you’ll want to incorporate that strength into your summary or experience section—think, writing about a successful project and the role you played in it. Bonus points if a colleague writes a recommendation you on your profile that corroborates your brand.

Beyond LinkedIn, here are a few other strong ways to promote your brand:

  • Speak: Seek out opportunities to speak at industry events or educational forums that relate to your expertise and align with your brand.
  • Write: If you like to write, consider starting your own blog to share your thoughts on your field. Not up for the commitment of a blog? Reach out to sites that already have a following and pitch them a few ideas for a guest post.
  • Network: Of course, if you’re doing all the above, this will come naturally, but you can also attend industry conferences, trainings, and meet-ups to connect with others in your world. In addition, you can build relationships online, on Twitter, Quora, and focused LinkedIn groups.

3. Ensure Your Brand is Clear, Consistent, and Clean

No matter what you’re doing, you want to make sure that your brand comes through loud and clear on all channels—so whether someone sees you sharing a tweet or speaking in person, they connect you with your desired message.

How? Across your professional social media channels, write similar bios that highlight your main brand attributes, and use the same profile picture so people can connect that they’re all yours.

Then, bring everything together by building a personal website. Obviously, this is a great way to show off your technical skills, but it also lets you own your brand messaging through your layout and features, your bio, and a portfolio of your work and results. Don’t forget to link to all your social profiles from your website and vice versa.

Finally, if you haven’t already, Google yourself and make sure all the results are ones that help your message, not hurt it. A national study The Muse conducted found that 85 percent of hiring managers solidify their decision to hire someone based on positive Google results and 70 percent solidify their decision not to hire based on negative ones.

While it may seem like a lot, you’ll not only gain a “brand,” but a refreshed confidence, too. And this will make you more noticeable and attractive to the many employers looking for someone like you. With a clear personal brand, you’re more likely to land a role; and not just any role, but one that truly matches your strengths and outlook.

By Anne Shaw

Originally published on The Muse