Selecting an Independent Recruiter – 5 Tips for Employers

by Terri Piersma

Employers have many choices in selecting an outside recruiter to assist them in finding qualified candidates for open positions.  A recruiter may work for one of a variety of entities including an independently-owned firm or a publicly-owned firm.  Today, my post focuses on selecting an independent recruiter from an employer’s viewpoint.

If you, as an employer, decide to hire an independent recruiting firm, consider the following 5 points before you invest time in the relationship (assume you are looking for a recruiter focusing on contingency recruitment):

1.    Recruiting Experience
For how long has the person been working as a recruiter?  Is the person committed to the area of recruiting?  Is the individual interested in professional development?  Does the recruiter have any professional credentials from the recruiting industry association in the recruiter’s country of operation?

2.    Knowledge and Capabilities
Does the recruiter’s knowledge and capabilities match those of your company?  Is the recruiter familiar with your industry?  Is the recruiter able to assist you in finding all the candidates you need or only those in certain niches?  Does the recruiter work for a recruiting firm that offers additional services  your firm could use including contract  and temporary services, background checking, employee leasing, psychometric testing, and HR consulting?

3.    Geographical Reach
Does the recruiter have the ability to meet your geographical needs?  For example, if you have locations around the world, does the recruiter have an informal or formal network of recruiters that can assist the recruiter in international searches?  Remember, a well-connected small firm is just as capable as a franchise with locations around the world.

4.    Integrity
Before you actually work with a recruiter, you will need to follow your instincts regarding integrity.  One idea is to find out if the recruiting firm or recruiter is a member of an association or network that has a selective membership process.

5.    Commitment
As always, this goes both ways. Are the recruiter and you in agreement as to your levels of involvement in finding a candidate for an open position?  Are you each interested in a long-term relationship or a short-term relationship?  Will the recruiter continue as your account manager after the position is filled or will a different account manager be assigned who you will need to re-educate on your firm and industry?  Is the recruiter committed to spending time on finding you qualified candidates for your open positions?  Are you willing to connect the recruiter with the hiring manager to increase the likelihood of a successful hire?  Are you both willing to communicate regularly to keep each other informed about the status of the search?    It is essential that you and the recruiter each have a clear understanding of what is expected from each other.

Next time you need to hire an independent recruiter to assist you in finding a candidate for an open position, consider these five points.  Are there any other considerations you have found to be important when hiring an independent recruiter?


Selecting an Independent Recruiting Agency: 5 Tips for Candidates

by Terri Piersma

If you are unemployed and looking for a new job or currently employed and desiring to move to another company, many ways exist for you to find that new job.  For example, networking with your family and friends as well as friends of friends is ideal and may result in you finding that new job.  However, if this preferred way of finding a job does not produce results, you may want to consider another option.  The option I am referring to is working with a third-party, independent recruiter.

Companies will hire an independent recruiting agency for a variety of reasons. It may be growing quickly and not have the time or ability to hire the desired employees.  It may have tried to find employees for specific jobs but has been unable to find employees who meet their requirements. Or, it may be searching for employees outside of its reach located in a different location than the company headquarters; for example, in another state/province or another country.

If you decide to look for an independent recruiter to help you find a job, consider the following before you invest time in the relationship:

1.    Recruiting Experience
For how long has the recruiter been working as a recruiter in your industry and/or other industries?

2.    Knowledge and Capabilities
Does the recruiter understand your industry and the area in which you specialize?  Or, do they have access to other independent recruiters either through an informal network or formal network who do understand the specifics of your situation.

3.    Geographical Reach
If you are searching for a job in another state or province, does the recruiter belong to an informal or formal network of recruiters which would increase the likelihood that the recruiter would know about non-local jobs?  If you are searching for a job in another country, does the recruiter have global recruiting capabilities?

4.    Integrity
After speaking with the recruiter, do you feel the recruiter operates with integrity?  You may want to ask the recruiter for a couple of references; individuals with whom the recruiter has worked and placed in new jobs.

5.    Commitment
For your relationship with the recruiter to be fruitful, commitment is important.  However, commitment goes both ways.  I recommend you remove your resume from job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder and tell the recruiter you have done so.  Why should you do this?  Employers will not pay recruiters for finding candidates if they (the company) find them on job boards.  Therefore, many recruiters choose to not work with candidates who have posted their resumes on job boards.

If you have worked with a third-party, independent recruiter in the past, do you have any other suggestions for someone investigating this option?