Blog Post

Pros and Cons of using a Recruitment Agency

Finding Candidates

Set the scenario… you have a vacancy and you need to fill it, but you need to make sure you get the right person to fit in with your already thriving team.  Easy right?

Maybe not so….

Some businesses hate the idea of using a recruitment agency.  After all, why would you pay an agency when you can do it yourself?  I can just pop on LinkedIn or Facebook and advertise for free and there will be hundreds of candidates wanting to work for us.

Unfortunately in today’s market, it doesn’t work like that (shhh but we really wish it did).  Usually, it’s a hiring manager’s lack of understanding of all that recruitment agencies do that ends up in a “cons” list and it really is advisable to research the world of recruitment before you make this decision.

So, what is involved with the recruitment process?

What do I need to look for in an agency?

The first thing you need to do is find an agency you like, it’s so important to be on the same wavelength as your consultant.  If you don’t like them you are never going to respect them enough to trust them.  If you’ve spoken to a recruitment agency you like the sound of and agree on terms to work with them.  From here onwards, the hiring manager can feel comfortable that the recruiter is going to take away all of the stress and they can just get on with their day-to-day job.

Recruiters are trained in recruitment, so they know the market, they know all the tricks, they can read candidates.  Believe it or not, candidates, well let’s just say, spread the truth a little bit.

What if I decide to do it myself?

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Put an advert out and recruit someone, what’s so hard?

Well, this is the part where a lot of hiring managers think the process is simple enough and that working with recruitment agencies is a waste of budget.

Here’s why you may be wrong!

What does the sourcing stage look like?

  • First, you advertise your vacancy, but what can you say or not say? Do you know that things like age cannot be included in your advert? There are many things you “shouldn’t” put in an ad, and many things you “should”.  Does your advert sound attractive? Would you apply for your job?
  • Now believe it or not, adverts don’t bring in 100’s of candidates, they just don’t.  So searching for your ideal candidate is paramount.  Agencies spend time searching through the company database, LinkedIn, and job boards as a starter.  Then mailers are sent out, endless texts. It’s a minefield.
  • You have your shortlist, the candidates look perfect and you want to conduct your first interview.  However, you then need to get in touch with the candidates.  You ring them, you text them, you email them, and then nothing! Often phone calls need to be before or after work as the candidates cannot speak so recruiters are working outside of their normal hours.  But do these candidates actually exist? Why do they not answer their phone? Your shortlist gets shorter and you have discussed your role over and over again, trying your hardest to make it sound like the best job in the world.
  • You finally manage to speak to what’s left on your shortlist and you realise the experience they have on their CV isn’t necessarily what they actually were doing.  Surely they wouldn’t lie about this? Hmmm alarms bell ring, is this candidate right for the business? Maybe not, pull them out, go through the process and then how many candidates do you actually have now?
  • Now you want to arrange a time with the candidate for face to face interview.  You’ve discussed the role, they are keen, they have the experience, so all you want to do is arrange to meet with them.  More ghosting! What is wrong with these candidates you ask yourself! Shortlist gets shorter.
  • FINALLY, you have 3 interviews booked in.  You started off with a whole list of candidates and you whittled them down to 3.

These stages can be repeated time and time again, even when you get your interviews booked, candidates drop out.  You might book them in a week later thinking that fits in with your diary etc, in the meantime these candidates have 3 other interviews (which incidentally you didn’t ask so wasn’t aware of) and they are offered another role. They do not want to wait around, they accept the job and they don’t even let you know.  How rude! How many are on your shortlist now?

Hours and hours are put in to this stage alone and the agency wouldn’t of even charged you any money yet!

The interview stage

So you have finally got candidates booked in for interview, this part has to be easier surely?

The candidate comes to your business and they are so different to how they sound on the phone, they certainly wouldn’t get on with Tracey in Accounts, and maybe they wouldn’t quite be right for customer facing roles etc. These candidates won’t have been prepped, they likely won’t have been told that Tracey in Accounts doesn’t like being told that in 5 years time the candidate wants to be in their role.  They won’t have been told to ensure they are suited and booted for this interview.  Agencies fully prep candidates and take them through a practice interview to ensure they are ready.  If there is any inkling that the candidate isn’t right for your business they would be pulled out of the process.

If you are lucky and any of these first interviews are suitable, you then need to arrange a second interview, but then how many other interviews has this candidate got planned in the meantime? Are they actually as interested as you think? They simply won’t tell you this, they won’t open up to the person who is actually recruiting them.

You could easily get to this stage and be left with no candidates and have to start all over again.

The offer stage

Fabulous, you have finally found a candidate who is perfect for the role.  Tracey in Accounts loves them, they would be perfect for customer-facing, they have the experience, you like them and more importantly, they appeared really really keen in both their interviews.  Let’s offer them the job on the spot, you want the candidate so why wait?!

The candidate is on the spot, doesn’t know what to do, accepts the role.  Everyone is happy right?

You call the candidate to arrange a start date, to arrange paperwork.  No answer! Email them, no answer! Where have they gone? You then, after numerous attempts at contacting them, get an email apologising but realising the role isn’t for them.

At this stage, recruiters are trained to read candidates, to sound them out.  Get their feedback first, ensure the interest they show is real.  We never offer a job immediately, we want to make sure that the interest the candidate shows is genuine. It’s a longer process than you think to offer a role!

When you find a candidate who actually accepts and is serious, you then have all of the paperwork to sort out.  Also, you need to reject other candidates and provide feedback, this is not an easy task.  Candidates are often disappointed and it is important the feedback given to them is truthful and constructive.  You then need to remove adverts etc and get back to any other candidates who are still dripping through from the advert.

Pros and cons

So I guess the question is, why should you use an agency to recruit?

All of the above is our day to day life, we are trained to deal with candidates, we can read them, we know when they are stretching the truth, we know when they are having us on, we know when they are just dipping their toe in the water and not really serious about getting a new job.  We know people.

Yes you have to pay for our service, but how much time of your own will you save.  While you are going through all of the stages above, who is doing your job? Are you working after hours to make up your time? Also, the stress of it.  We are paid to deal with the stress (and trust me it is stressful) but we are used to it, it’s our life!

The most important part of the entire process is to find a solid partner with who you trust and will enjoy working with. If you find someone who you trust, who you can rely on, and who is an expert in their field, you have found a good starting point.  Don’t be afraid to research your agency, speak to the consultant you will be working with, ask questions. You will know when you find the right agency and you will make a relationship which will make your working life a whole lot easier!

Call us now!

Here at Arden Personnel, we are just “us”.  We have no heirs and graces, we just want to do our job.  We want to work with you to find you the best employees possible.  We want to make your business thrive by having the right staff.  We are an independent agency so we aren’t here to hit KPI’s, we are here to ensure the right person is put into the right company.  Our job is hard, it is stressful, we work long hours, but for some strange reason we love it and we are passionate about it.  What more can you ask?

If you would like to discuss further how we can help you please call us on 01789 532220 or email