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Three things you MUST ask your future recruitment partner

Posted on 24/09/2020
by Nick Boulton

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Picking the right recruitment partner is vital to your business’ success, especially in these uncertain times. Most companies think agreeing the lowest fees means you have done a great job, saved costs, and are on the road to success. You couldn’t be further from the truth! 

Essentially, you pay for what you get. If you strolled into an Aston Martin dealership expecting rock bottom prices, you’d get laughed at. The number of discussions and meetings I’m involved in where all the client wants to talk about is fees and getting the lowest price is staggering. It’s a strange mentality that needs a tweak.

Recruitment’s model is quite simple. The client doesn’t fork out a penny until they get who they want. The onus is on the recruiter to earn the fee through sourcing, qualifying, interviewing, and managing the candidate. 

To be blunt, if you don’t like or think you are not getting value for money from your agency, DON’T hire through them and then you pay nothing. I repeat: YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET!

I could finish the article here, but there are some really important things businesses should be asking during an initial discussion with a recruiter beyond fees. You want to ensure you will get value for money, whatever the fee will be.

Here are three “musts” clients should be looking for when talking terms with an agency:  

They MUST know their market. 

If you are intrusting the hiring and future talent sourcing of your company, you should expect an agency to know what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong –  I don’t think the best tech recruitment consultants could bust out a paired programming exercise with you, but I do expect them to have relevant, up to date market knowledge and a technical understanding.

The technology market is huge, intricate, and full of super-smart people. If your recruitment consultant is credible, you must expect them to be able to hold a conversation about the tech they recruit for. Being able to spin a yarn isn’t enough – you should expect them to demonstrate a strong overview of the tech landscape and the recruitment market. 

If they say they are a Java expert, ask them what the latest version is – If they can’t answer that, then walk them out the door. 

Their database (candidate CRM) MUST be top-notch 

Too many recruitment agencies don’t invest in their infrastructure. They rely purely on advertising and LinkedIn. Both of these sources are very important, BUT…

If you are claiming to be one of the best technology recruitment consultancies out there and want to charge people for your services, you should have a top-notch database of candidates that’s up to date – as a minimum. 

Having a secure, well-coded, and accessible CRM with relevant candidates who have already been spoken to and grouped by skill, level, salary and location is a MUST! 
Don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner to see their CRM in action. At Client Server, we offer live searching for our clients to showcase how our system works. We’re that confident in the quality and efficiency of our database, and we want you to have that confidence too. 

You MUST have a rapport with them

I know this sounds obvious, but they will be representing your company!

If the recruitment company does their job properly, they are essentially the face of your business, offering a snapshot of what it’s like to work for you. If you don’t feel a connection with your chosen recruitment partner, I would suggest your relationship is doomed from the start. 

They should seem genuinely interested in learning about you as a person, as well as your career, goals, your business plans, and ambitions. 

Successful recruitment agencies will integrate themselves into your business and seamlessly feel like they are an extension of your existing plans.

For me, having success when hiring technologists rests heavily on partnering with the right recruitment consultancy. It is well worth investing a time to find the right one, meet them, question them, and don’t leave any stone unturned. 

The return on investment will pay you back ten-fold.


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