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Hiring best practice: The benefits of working with a recruiter

Working with a recruiter can lead to a highly successful and mutually beneficial relationship. The key is finding the right one

Mutual symbiosis is a long term relationship between two seemingly different bodies where both individuals benefit. For example, insects and birds use plants for feeding, breeding and shelter, but they also help plants to propagate through pollination. Good results all around! Another such relationship is that between recruitment consultants and employers, when the two work in harmony, the results garnered can be so much greater than the sum of their parts…

They’ll be your greatest advocates

When recruiting without the support of a recruitment consultancy, a candidate will have to base their decision on what you, as a business, say about yourselves or what the media says about you. Of course, that’s not the whole story. Allow a recruitment consultant into your business – really into it – and they’ll be equipped to act as your greatest advocates via one of the most trusted methods in marketing: word of mouth. They’ll be able to tell candidates about the benefits, the culture, the people in your business, and why they’re going to love working for you. Their job is to find talent, your job as an employer is to attract the talent.

They see things you don’t

When working within a business, it can be difficult to view it objectively. This can lead to many foibles which can prove problematic when recruiting. For example, hiring managers often recruit in their own image, whether in terms of worldview, workstyle or demographics. Recruiters can help prevent this from happening. They also have excellent knowledge of what candidates’ expectations are in your field. That means that they can advise on benefits, salaries, working conditions and job descriptions. This will help you become more competitive in the talent war.

They can uncover hidden talent

Many employers take the number of speculative applications they get, or direct responses to a job advert, as evidence that they don’t need to work with a recruiter. Why pay for someone to do the job for you, when the job is pretty much doing itself? So far, so understandable. But amidst all these applications, there are many passive candidates who aren’t applying for your jobs. That great senior-level marketer who could drive your business forward, but is happy in their job and isn’t actively looking for anything else. Or that millennial developer who hasn’t applied because what he read on the website wrongly suggested that your business wouldn’t be able to offer him the work life balance he required. A good consultant will have the network and search capacity to unearth these gems. They will know how to reach them, and their relationship-building skills mean they know how to get them in front of you too.

Time is money

Budget is always a consideration, which is why paying recruiter fees can be a sticking point, especially for small businesses. Yet, as is so often the case with economy drives, it’s a false economy. Filtering job applications, shortlisting candidates, carrying out long-list interviews and providing feedback all takes time and money – whether it’s done internally or externally. However if you’re working with a consultant, that spend is offset against the expertise they can offer. It is far more expensive to make a mistake and hire the wrong talent.

You get out what you put in

As with any relationship, when working with a recruitment consultant, you tend to get out what you put in. If not properly briefed, the consultant may not be able to do the best job. It’s a little like commissioning a piece of jewellery. If you give the jeweller vague instructions, for instance, you’d like something ‘platinum, with diamonds, it’s likely that you’ll get something that meets those requirements. But it’s unlikely to be the outcome that you had in mind. Give more detailed instructions, about cut, setting and style, and it’s more likely you will get what you want. Recruiters get a bad rap because of the bad apples out there. But if you find a great consultant and give them a good brief, then your investment will pay dividends through the talent that they find for you.

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If you're looking for a new recruitment partner, or deciding whether or not working with a recruiter is right for you, then do get in touch. I'm always happy to have a confidential discussion about your needs and what we can offer to help you build your business or team.

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Author: Felice Hurst

With nearly twenty years of experience in search and recruitment and a decade of experience working in MENA, Felice set up the Hanson Search Middle East office to develop our offering in the region. Working across the spectrum of high-level vacancies, Felice has had considerable success across in-house and consultancy roles.

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