When employers find themselves in need of new Marketers, they’ll often seek out the services of a specialist recruitment agency. But with thousands of recruitment agencies operating in the UK, how do you choose the very best one?
The right agency is decided by the candidate you’re looking for
To help when choosing a recruitment agency, let’s look at the vacancy you’re trying to fill. Is the new role:
- Temporary or permanent?
- Office-based or remote?
- Junior or executive?
- Niche or requiring a general skill set?
As you start to build a picture of the candidates you’d like to be interviewing, you can start looking at the types of recruitment agencies out there.
The High Street Recruitment Agency
With shopfronts in every city centre in the UK, high street recruitment agencies specialise in finding local candidates for nearby vacancies. They’re likely to have a lot of candidates on their books who are living close by and are able to start work soon. A high street recruitment agency tends to recruit for a wide range of industries and levels and is best suited when your priority is filling local roles, that may not be specialists, quickly.
The Industry Specialist Recruitment Agency
For more specialist roles including those within marketing, communications and digital, it can be worthwhile to seek out an agency with particular knowledge of your field. There are specialist recruitment agencies for almost every line of work, including teaching, medicine, law and media. These recruiters should be able to use industry knowledge and insight to source the best and most qualified candidates for you. These agencies may recruit nationwide and overseas,
The Temporary Employment Agency
If you’re looking to fill a short-term role quickly, an agency that focuses on the temporary sector will have access to candidates looking specifically for these roles. Not every recruit is looking for a job for life, so it’s helpful to be introduced to candidates in search of a short-term role that starts relatively soon. Many agencies cover temporary or freelance recruitment, as well as permanent and interim.
The Executive Recruitment Agency
Finding the ideal candidates for niche, senior roles can be a bit more difficult, and better suited to a specialist executive recruitment agency. They’ll take on the role of headhunting to attract candidates who will be the perfect match. Executive recruiters pride themselves on finding the best candidates, but the process can be considerably more lengthy and costly than other agencies.
Is your recruitment agency accredited?
Being a member of a major recruitment body isn’t a guarantee that you’ve found the perfect agency, but it does mean they are likely to follow industry guidelines and best practices. The two major recruitment bodies to be aware of are the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).
The REC currently has 3,500 member agencies and over 10,000 registered individual recruiters.
Look at who they have worked with
When choosing a recruitment agency, you can tell a lot about an agency by looking at who they have worked with previously. Even newer and smaller agencies should be able to provide testimonials from happy employers who’ve benefited from their services. Take a look at the agency’s website to see who they’ve worked with previously – you should expect to see some glowing reviews there too. A glimpse at their social media presence can offer an unfiltered view of their public persona, and sites like Glassdoor and Google Reviews will give you further insight.
Don’t be afraid to ask the company directly either!
The cost of using a recruitment agency
In the UK, it’s traditional for the employer to foot the bill for using the services of a recruitment agency. Fortunately, there isn’t a huge divide in the charges you’ll pay. The fees are usually based on a percentage of the candidate’s annual salary, usually 15-25%. Although the cost will play a factor in choosing the right agency, it is unlikely to be a deciding one and many companies appreciate that an agency will save them considerable time and resources.
What happens if we choose the wrong candidate?
Even the best recruitment agency can’t guarantee to find you the perfect candidate every time, although some do offer a contingency plan if things don’t work out. To give employers peace of mind, some agencies may offer a guarantee – either a rebate or a replacement candidate – but this only applies during a limited timeframe, usually up to 90 days.
Speak to our recruitment experts
Get in touch with our team who can help you with choosing the right recruitment agency for your business.