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Management Training: Tips for Getting Better Results From a Recruitment Agency

12 September 2013

It was interesting to read in the news this week that unemployment figures continue to reduce, albeit the number of part time workers has surged to a record high. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people out of work reduced by 24,000 in the past month and the national unemployment rate is down to 7.7%.

Whilst we are not out of the woods just yet, the signs of growth are encouraging and recruitment is clearly well and truly back on the agenda in many sectors.  More and more of our clients have begun asking me to deliver recruitment management training workshops on best practice for how to recruit and interestingly, how to get the best out of their recruitment agencies.

When asked for the information that agencies typically ask for when taking a booking, typical responses included the following:

  • Job description and person spec
  • Salary
  • Working hours and location
  • Benefits of working for the company

This in itself is fine and of course necessary information, but first and foremost, have you done your own homework before approaching the agency? The following questions are by no means exhaustive, but you may wish to consider some of these before signing off authority to recruit:

  1. Why is the vacancy open and indeed do I really need to fill this post?
  2. What is the history of the post, detailing the past three post holders if applicable?
  3. What are the key objectives that will be required of the successful applicant?
  4. How will these objectives be measured? Typically most new recruits don’t know the answer to this until their first day at work at the earliest.
  5. What in particular has worked well in the past with previous post holders?
  6. What in particular has frustrated you in the past?
  7. What do you perceive to be the key challenges with this role?
  8. What provisions are in place for on boarding and coaching?
  9. What dates have you set aside for interview and assessment?
  10. When does the position need to be filled?
  11. How long would you expect the successful applicant to be in this role?
  12. What is the realistic budget for remuneration?

The more information you can share with your recruitment consultant, the better opportunity they will have of making the right match.  By rights, the better consultants will be asking you these questions as a matter of course anyway!

A key tip for ensuring that the agency has understood your requirements is for you to ask them to write a job description and person spec based on their understanding rather than you simply producing one for them.

Furthermore, to avoid endless time sifting through a raft of CV’s, ask them to pick their top 5 matched candidates with justification for their choice. The better quality agencies will have no problem with this and will relish the opportunity to show off their skills.

For more tips on recruitment, or to learn more about our recruitment management training, please call us on 01295 675506 for a free consultation.

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