04 Jun An employer’s guide to finding the right recruitment agency
Let’s be honest, we all know that recruitment agencies in the UK don’t have the best of reputations… false promises, lack of transparency & undelivered results. They’re all the same as each other, and in it for one thing (£££) right? Well actually, no. Here at Linq Healthcare we’re passionate about changing the perception of recruiters, particularly in an industry as important and vital as Healthcare.
However, we aren’t oblivious to the common mistakes that many recruitment agencies make and the consequences this can lead to for their clients, including tarnishing reputations, prolonging the recruitment process and ultimately losing the client money. The REC state that a poor hire at middle-management level salary of £42,000 could end up costing a business £132,015 in total to resolve (REC).
This is why it’s imperative that an employer chooses the right agency to work on their behalf, and here is Linq’s guide to finding the right agency
The UK has one of the most saturated recruitment markets in the world, which means a simple google search will bring up 100s of agencies who can potentially help you find the perfect candidate for your organisation. This also means that 100s of agencies have probably contacted your pool of potential candidates so choosing an agency with a fantastic reputation is paramount in ensuring your brand is represented in the best possible light. Always ask an agency for testimonials and case studies prior to engaging them to carry out a search for you. Any reputable agency will be able to provide a portfolio of recommendations and case studies and it’ll give you a good understanding of the types of searches they’ve carried out previously. A quick Linked In search on a Recruitment Consultant you’re dealing with will also bring up ‘recommendations’ which will give you a great indication of the type of service the individual offers to both potential candidates and hiring managers, as well as the type of roles they’ve filled previously. Finally, ask the recruitment agency for a clear outline of their candidate attraction strategy and how they’ll position your organisation as an employer of choice, how will they ensure candidates have a great experience throughout the process and what they do differently to stand out from the crowd – remember they’re an extension of your business!
Leading on from reputation is ‘Candidate Attraction’ and how the agency is going to identify, attract, engage and retain the best candidates in the market. Contrary to popular belief, recruitment agencies should not just be sifting through CVs on job boards and firing them your way, and instead should have a clear well thought out candidate attraction plan covering a variety of methods. Here at Linq Healthcare, we start by actively mapping out the candidate market for our clients ensuring that we’re contacting the best candidates IN the market, not ON the market. 95 % of the candidates we place are ‘passive’ before we contact them and aren’t initially considering opportunities until we approach them. The method of approach is vital, and should be both professional and engaging whilst unique enough to grab the candidate’s attention. We use a variety of methods to attract candidates including personalised videos, targeted email campaigns, referral schemes, headhunting as well traditional database searches, job board searches & adverts. Whilst Linked In is still a great source of potential candidates, the best agencies will be savvy with other Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram where some of our top candidates have been sourced from. Finally, make sure that the Consultant who you’re working with has an approachable, warm and conscientious personality, representing your organisation and brand in the best possible way.
With over 40,000 recruitment agencies in the UK, you’re not going to be short on choice when it comes to selecting an agency to partner with. That’s why it’s imperative that you choose an agency with a particular focus on the sector that you work in, who have experience of recruiting for similar level roles & understand the opportunities and challenges that your industry faces. Not only will this mean that the search will be more thorough, it should also lead to a much quicker search as the agency should already have a great network of candidates in the market and understand the best ways of engaging with them. In an industry such as Healthcare, it’s also vital that the agency understand the compliance requirements and legal responsibilities of placing a candidate into a safeguarded role. This may include professional body validations, DBS checks, training and qualification verifications as well as mandatory eligibility to work checks. On top of this, any reputable agency should carry out reference checks to ensure potential applicants are suited to the organisation and role they’re pursuing. Always ask an agency for their compliance and safeguarding process prior to engaging them on a search, and ask for them to keep you updated during each stage of the recruitment process as to where they are with their checks.
Do they challenge you?
This is probably the most controversial of our 4 points, but here at Linq Healthcare we think it’s vital to constructively challenge the clients we work with if it means that it will improve the recruitment process and candidate and client experience. When paying for a recruitment service, you should expect a reputable agency to guide, question and challenge you throughout the process to ensure they’re carrying out the most effective search. An agency should understand the pitfalls & expectations of the candidate market you’re recruiting in, and advise on what you can change or do differently to attract the best candidates for your organisation. They should also be able to advise on the best timescales, methods of interviewing & potential objections that could arise during the interview process to minimise candidate drop outs and ultimately not waste your time. They will also be able to conduct salary surveys, benefit questionnaires & undertake an in-depth analysis of your competitors to ensure that any potential offers are likely to be accepted by the candidate and no issues will come to light at the end of the process or even more frustratingly when the candidate hands their notice in! If an agency is simply saying yes to every single request and not providing constructive criticism or guidance, expect a lower quality search and a lost opportunity on finding that A-star candidate you’ve been looking for!