Finding Top Employees Using Employment Agencies
By Russ Holdstein
While it is obviously easy to find people using the Internet, and we highly support that, there is also satisfaction in working with good recruiters.
Employment agencies make hiring easy and often can recruit the best candidates. An agency will find applicants, screen them and present you with the their top choices. This reduces your role to a conducting a few interviews and (hopefully) selecting the person you like the best.
Agencies offer two other important benefits over other recruiting methods. Often the best person for your position is not looking for a job. They are already employed and aren’t reading the classifieds or surfing the job sites. Recruiting firms have a network of contacts that helps them connect with this key pool of potential job candidates and sell your job to them
Additionally, recruiters can keep a job search confidential. You may not want competitors or customers to know you are trying to fill a key position. Or you may be planning to fire someone and need to line up an immediate replacement before you let them go. Either way, the agency will keep your company name confidential until you are ready to interview candidates.
There are three classifications of recruiters. You hire a contingency firm as an all around recruiter to fill positions throughout your company. Contingency firms only get paid when you hire someone they refer to you. This allows you to engage several different firms and pick from the best candidates they each send to you. The downside is they will send these candidates to their other clients as well and you may wind up competing to hire the candidate you want. Expect to pay a contingency firm a fee that ranges from about 20% to 33% of the prospective employee’s first year salary.
Retained firms fill the most senior positions in a company (carrying a minimum $100,000 annual salary). Retained firms spend more time getting to know your company and its needs in depth and they spend more time searching out candidates for your position. However retained firms get paid whether or not you fill your position. Better quality searches, longer timeframe, higher risk and higher cost. Expect to pay on the high end of the 20% to 33% range for a good retained search firm.
Contract recruiters are your best bet if you need to hire a large number of employees over a short period of time. A contract recruiter acts – and charges – more like a consultant to your company than traditional search firm.
To find a good search firm, get referrals from friends, colleagues and employees. Interview several firms and check references. Determine if the firm has experience and connections in your industry and in the type of position you are trying to fill. Be certain you understand the fee structure and any guarantees they provide.