Recruitment review: what does a recruitment agency offer clients?

As part of its annual recruitment review, here The Drum is exploring the role of recruitment agencies. What do they offer clients?

Image: Matt Hands

The Drum caught up with a number of recruitment experts to discuss the role of the recruitment agency and what it offers clients.Gareth Wright, director, The Little Black Book AgencyRecruitment agencies provide a proactive resourcing solution for our clients. We keep close tabs on the industry’s ‘movers and shakers’ and are often the first port of call for a candidate who is looking to change roles. Not only do we have the details of candidates who are proactively looking to move, but we also know many who would consider a move for the right opportunity but who are not on the ‘open market’. Recruitment agencies are able to raise awareness of employers, which is highly valuable for many companies, especially those who are smaller and less well-known. Ann Downs, managing director, Green Shoots RecruitmentA professional, bespoke, targeted approach to their recruitment needs, providing quality candidates, that match their requirements, saving them time and money, by enabling them to appoint their ideally candidate, quickly and efficiently.Anna Smith, director, Beyond the BookA good recruitment agency needs to listen to a brief and deliver a selection of candidates that fit the brief and the client’s business. Simple as that! How we get there isn’t important to the client. In our opinion, in order to offer what a client wants, a recruitment agency should be very knowledgeable in their clients’ field and ideally have worked in it themselves; have a firm eye on cultural fit, as well as skills/experience, and use multiple channels and methods to attract the right candidates. The recruitment profession is changing and we need to change with it. Investing time and accepting lower margins is very much part of that!Simon Pettigrew, managing director, AF SelectionDeveloping a strong relationship with a specialist recruiter will give you access to a wider pool of credible and qualified candidates in the short and long term. The key is the relationship between the recruiter and the company. The more a recruitment agency is immersed in a clients’ recruitment policy and expectations, the more effectively it will work to find suitably qualified candidates. Our key priority is to provide candidates which will compliment their existing team and add value to their business. It can also advise on market conditions, candidate attraction and interview techniques and salary guide for a particular discipline. Let’s face it, hiring a new employee is a time consuming process and a seasoned recruitment agency is there to alleviate the pressure. Martin Anderson, managing director, Carrot RecruitmentA good recruiter should offer genuine added-value to their clients because they should be industry experts and should have the ability to find unique candidates within a pretty quick time frame, essentially saving the client a huge amount of time and effort and allowing them to get on with looking after their own clients. Good recruiters have invested significantly in developing their candidate network so there’s a lot of serious and time consuming groundwork that goes into finding highly relevant candidates. We tend to be viewed as business partners rather than suppliers to our clients because we have the industry knowledge and they trust us to fully appreciate what their needs are and to deliver against them time and again. These are the relationships that produce the best results rather than the clients who engage us as a last resort and fail to really engage with us properly. Of course there are various ways of working which can be tailored to suit the client and that particular vacancy and of course an important point is that risk is limited for clients because in many circumstances they pay nothing until the recruiter places a candidate into the role. Even then there are rebate periods which allow them to claw back some monies should the candidate not work out. So in many ways, working with a respected recruitment consultancy can have a very positive impact on growing businesses and is to be highly recommended!Steve Cooper, director, gr8 RecruitmentIt makes me feel old when I say things like 'back in the late 90s' but that's when I moved from being a designer to working in recruitment! There's no doubt that recruitment has changed considerably since then. The internet was still a bit of a mystery to most people and Facebook, Twitter, iPhones and iPads weren't even twinkles in their inventors' eyes, well, apart from Steve Jobs' maybe.Of course you can get an ad up on job sites quickly these days and you can talk to candidates through social media, but online ads stills cost money and there's the big factor of the time it takes to hunt people down and to review applications. I have a passion for the creative industry and have placed hundreds of people into jobs across all the varied disciplines within it, working with clients from major agencies to small studios. Even now with all this great new tech to access the internet I'm in demand as a recruiter who knows his industry sector well and supplies a good value service that clients can rely on.Farooq Mohammed, co-founder, Digital GurusMore then anything we offer a partnerships. Clients have a micro view on the market, they wont know whats going on from a Macro point of view, so things like going rates of salary, issues in the industry, shortages in skillsets etc. Having a strong partnership with a recruitment agency offers a client the flexibility to have a trusted partner that will represent their brand and core values to the best talent in the market place. This is more true now then ever, because in digital we still have a shortfall regarding the best talent. The best recruitment agencies will never offer just a ‘bums on seats service’ they will be far more strategic; how to attract and retain the best talent, sorting out graduate schemes, organising management seminars is all a key part of a recruitment agency brief.Jo Joseph, associate commercial director – creative, Major PlayersWe are a partner and consultant to our clients. We get to know their business and the individuals within it inside out, then finding them the perfect candidates to help their business grow. Our involvement is much greater than receiving a job brief, sharing candidates and placing a job. For many of our clients we work at a much deeper level. From an HR perspective, we advise on recruitment strategy, hiring practice and general regulations, ensuring that they’re abreast of all developments. At a wider level, we help clients define what they're after, looking at their own values and therefore what values we should be looking for together for the future members of their team. It’s all about collaboration. The more communication we have, the stronger the relationship is, and the better job we will do in servicing our clients with whatever they need. As a recruitment agency, we really care and this is what makes us stand out. We always take a long term view and aim to secure candidates that we truly believe will make a difference to our clients’ business. Major Players is unique as we cover every career in the creative and marketing mix – this enables us to take a holistic view and provide clients with candidates from areas of business they may not have considered, which will ultimately enhance their business for future growth.Mike Carter, managing director, OrchardI think it's fairly simple; we take some of the pain out of growth and change. Like many agency type companies our clients could recruit without us. They come to us because we offer them access to our full time 24/7 365 days a year hunt for the best talent in the sector. The talent comes for the same reason, our permanent hunt for the best opportunities that are coming up.Whilst simple in theory, the execution is a considerable number of man hours, hard graft and expert knowledge. This is why recruitment will always have a marketplace.Sponsored by:

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