I wanted to write about this topic for some time, due to the fact that many companies and especially HR Managers insist on working together using terms which are “the same as with other recruiters”. Whilst this might seem to make financial sense at first glance, it often leaves companies working with third-party recruiters that operate on volume rather than quality (and charge a fee accordingly).
Contrary to popular belief, recruiters and headhunters need to work hard in order to bring the best candidates in front of their clients.
In most cases, HR and hiring managers believe that recruiters sit at their desk waiting for a job opening, only to reply with an email including well-matched and suitable profiles, which are, of course, pulled from a magic database.
What’s worse, many recruiters “pitch” this when they approach potential clients for collaboration!
Working with agency recruiters
The main point to keep in mind is that
companies should only pay recruiters for providing candidates that they cannot get themselves.
With social media becoming increasingly popular and more companies growing their internal recruitment capabilities, it is becoming less of a case for recruiters to have access to candidates that are impossible to find by the clients themselves.
For clarification, I am mostly referring to tech talent in this case (top-notch Ruby on Rails, PHP or Java EE programmers), for the simple reason that my experience is mostly within this field. However, I am pretty certain that this is the case for other sectors too.
Quality of services and level of fees
The best external recruiters often join networks of tech professionals and circles where they are well-known and credible. This enables them to constantly reach top talent and bring them to the negotiation table with a potential client.
Contrary to popular belief, this is a service that most third-party recruitment agencies often do not provide. Instead the focus is still on volume rather than quality, using a “numbers game” approach.
As an HR or hiring manager, try asking the next recruitment agency approaching you about the targets they have for their consultants. If they are expected to forward dozens of CV’s to each of their client monthly, how likely is it that all those profiles will be top-quality ones?
The quality of candidates should be the first thing that concerns every potential business working with external recruitment partners. Besides quality and well-matched profiles, the recruiters must provide additional value on the top of the usual forwarding of CV’s.
For example, here are some of the additional services that we provide at Caissa:
- confidential headhunting search and active recruitment for each job opening (according to technical and personal requirements of each client)
- market intelligence reports (with trends and changes in the technology or business scene for the local and international target markets)
- well-written synopsis for each candidate showcasing their most important experience (hiring managers do not always have the time to go through long CV’s)
- various communication channels, such as Skype, Google Hangouts and email (we understand it is not always possible to have a telephone conversation)
In conclusion, companies and HR Managers would benefit from rethinking the way they approach the subject of fees or terms and conditions when working with external partners. In very simple terms:
— firstly, you always get what you pay for and
— secondly, talented professionals are becoming easier to find, but harder to convince to sit down and discuss your opportunity.
Any recruiter can send you the CV of an average candidate, but very few can convince top-notch professionals to be interested in your project and interview with you.
As the CEO, HR or hiring manager, which type of candidates would you prefer to hire for your company?