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Things to Look for When Choosing a Recruitment Agency

Finding and hiring the candidate for the right position within a limited span of time is really challenging. With a record number of people looking for jobs following the churn instigated by the pandemic, many recruiters and companies are overwhelmed by the volume of applications for each vacancy they offer – with some even reporting they are receiving applications in their thousands. But how can an already overwhelmed HR team deal with this rapid increase in applications? Many companies choose to partner with online recruitment companies, which can take a lot of the time and effort out of the search for employees. A study conducted by Murrey Resources suggests that there are over 20,000 staffing and recruiting companies in the USA, which makes it hard for an employer to choose a recruitment agency from the many options. Using a staffing agency is a good choice for many businesses, so if you are considering working with one to ease your recruitment process, here is what you need to know go about doing so.

What is A Recruitment Agency?

So, what is a recruiting firm? A recruitment agency is an outside company that matches employers to employees. It acts as an intermediary between a company looking to hire someone and a job seeker looking for a job. Recruitment agencies usually handle the tasks of identifying qualified people, vetting candidates, presenting the top candidates to employers, and providing support to the employer during the selection of the new hire. Essentially, they streamline the whole hiring process. Staffing agencies typically charge 25% to 100% of the hired employee’s wages. However, some recruitment agencies like Employa offer lower commission rates. Therefore, to avoid costly mis-hires, it is important to carefully research the available options before making the final decision about which agency to work with.

Intent to Choose a Recruitment Agency

The simple answer as to why employers use a recruitment agency is – hiring through a recruitment agency can reduce a good portion t of the time and cost a company spends on hiring, and it usually produces highly effective results. However, there are also some challenges associated with using a recruitment agency, thus it is important to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages when accessing recruitment needs.

Pros and Cons of Working With a Recruitment Agency

Pro – Recruitment agencies reduce time-to-hire

A good recruitment agency saves the time and cost associated with finding a top talent while reducing the time-to-fill cycle. Recruitment agencies’ professional staffing services include screen candidates, complete background checks, manages communication between an employer and candidates.

Pro – Recruitment agencies have deep talent pools

The best recruitment agencies have spent many years building a database of top candidates, and as a result, they have access to a wide range of talented job seekers. According to Bankrate’s August job seeker survey, 55% of employees say they were likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. A recruitment agency can efficiently spot a candidate that best aligns with a client’s values, resulting in a successful long-term hire.

Pro – Recruitment agencies have years of industry expertise

Good recruitment agencies usually offer specialist recruiters for specific industries. Recruiters who work for recruitment agencies have access to niche candidates so they can provide an employer with CVs of skilled candidates in as little as 72 hours. Even if a candidate is employed, the agency will still be able to reach out to him/her and make an offer.

Con – Some control over the process is lost

The best recruiting agencies do their utmost to source qualified candidates to do the job and fit their client’s company’s culture. However, there is a risk of recruiting agencies missing the mark when they try to understand the company’s mission and values. Online recruitment agencies don’t know the company’s culture, so it’s more likely  for them to recommend a candidate who will not fit the company’s culture than if the company ran the whole process in-house.

Con – Lack of employer branding

If a company hires a recruitment agency to find a candidate, it misses an opportunity to build its own employer branding strategy. Every step of the recruiting process is an opportunity to tell potential employees about the brand, to present and promote the reputation as an employer of choice. However, when a company decides to work with a recruitment agency, the first story the candidate hears is the recruiter's, even if they tell the candidate yours as well.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Recruitment Agency


Top organizations usually work with recruitment agencies that specialize in their industry. There are some agencies that work exclusively for tech companies, the healthcare industry or for companies in other fields. Therefore, before choosing an agency to work with, ask yourself a question - does the agency have experience in the area you recruit in? Recruitment agencies that work within your field of specialization may know the benefits and downfalls of working with companies in your industry and can help you to make the right decision.

Quality over quantity

Good recruitment agencies provide their clients with highly suitable candidates. Rather than recommending every single candidate, they will carefully work through applications and choose only specialists that best meet the job requirements. High-quality agencies are extremely proactive in their goal to find you the best candidate. They promote your company and job position, and can find hidden talent that your competition won’t hear about.


How will the agency handle the recruiting process? How is it planning to present and sell the position and the company? Where do you rank on their priority list? These are some questions to ask recruitment agencies before choosing the one to work with. Before hiring the agency, learn about its process of finding the candidates, as it can be difficult to understand what the agency is doing behind the scenes once it takes the requirements from you. A good agency provides regular reports and updates to discuss feedback from both parties. They allow you to discuss progress and make informed decisions much quicker.

Long term relationship

What impacts have they had on their clients? Were they able to build long-lasting relationships with their clients? It is critical to developing a trusting relationship with the online recruiting agency you decide to work with. Therefore, you may find it helpful to look at the reviews or reach out to the agency’s past clients on LinkedIn and ask about their experience. These checks are necessary as they may give you a deeper impression of the recruitment agency and if there are some things that cause concerns.

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