Fast Track Recruitment

“Only work with the best recruiters” ...and other bullshit advice.

Posted by Mitch on 19th June 2015


Here’s an article that claims that the best recruiters save you money.

The advice is as facile as you’d expect from someone who has never recruited.

Not that in this age of democracy for content creation, a lack of knowledge or insight should preclude anyone from having an opinion – as long as they accept that people like me might have a different opinion.

Whilst the blog is mercifully short, I’ll save you the bother of reading it by giving you a condensed 2-point overview of why that particular recruitment blogger thinks the best recruiters might save you money;

1. They’ll fill the job quicker than if you did it yourself.

2. They “know who the best candidates are” for whatever discipline you’re recruiting for.

The second one is assuming you choose specialist agencies to give your jobs to. Obviously.

In the interests of balance, here are some reasons why working with “the best” recruiters might not save you money;

1. You don’t give them anything to sell because you think your company name and a job spec is more than enough.

2. You give them too little information to render them only capable of matching candidates on keywords.
3. You give them very little motivation to do any real work by allowing 3 or 4 other agencies to simultaneously work on the vacancy.
4. They sometimes lose good candidates because they (the candidates) are put-off by more than one agency pitching the same job to them, differently.
5. They encourage other companies to interview the candidates you’ve expressed an interest in. You didn’t know they did this, did you?
6. They don’t interview candidates against the specifics of your vacancy. You knew they don’t interview candidates, right?
7. They only fill between 15-25% of all the vacancies they’re ever given. On paper, that’s roughly a 1 in 5 shot. I don’t see a lot of time being saved there.

8. You have very little idea if they are, in reality, any good at their job because you don’t do any meaningful research or assessment of their ability. If you did, 23 year olds with an hour and half’s experience wouldn’t be in recruitment jobs.

That recruitment blogger: 2, This recruitment blogger: 8.

OK, I lied about the “in the interests of balance” bit.

There’s lots of advice out there that will implore you to only work with the best recruiters, most of it written by businesses that have something to gain by agencies generating more revenue.

But there’s precious little advice on exactly how to first identify, and then work with, these eponymous “best recruiters”.

A couple of years ago I developed a training workshop that taught Hiring Managers, Internal Recruiters and HR people how to do this.

I abandoned it because deep down I knew that Hiring Managers and HR people only ever want to hit the easy button when it comes to doing stuff they dislike.

And filling jobs is right up there on most of these people’s ‘doing stuff they dislike’ list. Dealing with recruitment agencies often figures on that list too.

So, if you’re a Hiring Manager or work in HR, go ahead and only work with agencies on your PSL or with those who won’t ask you any difficult questions about your vacancy. But please, do not kid yourself you’re working with “the best recruiters” simply because they specialise in your sector or claim that they “have the best candidates”.

A recruiter can only be the best recruiter if you give them the platform they need to be able to prove it. The time-wasters you can eliminate by doing some research.

If you’re in the 0.0005% of all Hiring Managers who a) have to work with agencies, b) want to be much better at it and c) regularly read my blog, feel free to get in touch.

It will only take half a day of your time for the training and about another 2 days of your time doing the research and assessment to uncover these “best recruiters”. Alternatively, I could do it for you (also known as ‘an easy button’) but that will cost you more.

Or you can just carry on playing the lottery.

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