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Words of Whizdom

Considerations for Employers Choosing A Recruitment Company

Posted on 21st February 2019 by John McCluskey

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The biggest and often most costly mistake a Company can make is assuming all Recruiters are the same.  Companies choosing a recruitment partner can put less effort into this selection process than their choice of coffee shop. Why is it important and how do Organisations ensure they are working with Recruiters that will add value to their hires and business.


A good Recruiter can add a vast amount of value to a company and should be considered a valuable partner that is an extension of their business. The more a Recruiter is inducted into a company, the better the calibre of people and talent that the Recruiter will be able to source and align to the critical cultural fit of an organisation.


When choosing a Recruiter, ensure they are focused on your business and not theirs. Check references and the likes and endorsements acquired by the recruiter; I also think it is in the Employers interest to have a few Recruiters and not the sole source. The number depends on the size of the business and the number of hires. Where the business is small maybe one recruiter attune to your business is fine, but it is always good to have some competition to test quality, price and service between suppliers and don’t be afraid to swap out a non-preforming Recruiter, it is your business.


The number of Recruiters that is ideal for an organisation will vary based on size, locations, and annual spend. It is important not to have too many recruiters servicing and competing for roles as quality can go the other way because there is too much competition and Recruiters may put more effort into other businesses where they have more chance of placing candidates and adding value. As an organisation, you also do not want to get 50 applications to sort through for an interview as this is very time consuming and less productive. As a rule of thumb restrict the responses to roughly double what you want to shortlist this will maintain quality being high.


As an example, if you had a new position you wanted to be filled and preferred to only interview 4 people, go to 4 recruiters and allow no more than two responses from each. This will provide no more than 8 candidates and the quality should be high as each recruiter will undertake due-diligence and shortlist their best 2 candidates, knowing they are a 25% of making a placement and their effort would be high. This also provides an easy metric for companies to see the quality and value of each supplier and identify any underperforming recruiters over a period of time (EG 12-24 months).


There are a number of other considerations I have listed below for organisations to use when valuing Recruiters to work with. There are many good Recruiters around but unfortunately, like all business, there may be a few bad eggs and bad practices to avoid so choosing wisely is very important. You don’t want your business brand tarnished by a recruitment company or supplier representing your business.


  1. Is the Recruiter a member of an Industry body attuned to your business (EG APSCo, RCSA etc.). This means they have signed up to a strong Code of Ethics and often had some external due-diligence done on them. Additionally, they will be required to operate at the standards defined by the Industry body.
  2. Does the Recruiter have a quality system and process to ensure your business maintains standards and quality?
  3. What sources do they use for a talent search, what is there capability nationally?
  4. How long have they been in business, experience and financial viability?
  5. Ensure the Recruiter has any licenses required to operate as an employment agent or Recruiter in each state required and they are registered for each state for Workers Comp and payroll tax. Ask for certificates.
  6. Is the Recruiter attune to your business and the types of skills you require. Think about using specialist Recruiters for different industries such as ICT, Financing Banking, exec search.
  7. Ensure you specify what your expectations are from the recruiter, Number of Reference Checks, Rights to Work, Insurances, Onboarding documentation, Time sheeting, Invoice cycles etc.
  8. Recruiters need to be flexible they are supporting you, and are an extension of your business.
  9. Seek references from other clients that use the Recruiter and ask if they would recommend them.
  10. It is also good to seek references from candidates that have worked through the recruiter and ask what their experience was. This is important because referrals are a good source of talent and if candidates don’t promote recruiters for the quality of their engagement, the talent could be low, and turnover of staff could be high.
  11. Recruiter internal staff turnover, this will give a good indication of company harmony and culture.
  12. Lastly, Google is your friend, do some due diligence on the Recruiter via search and their social pages.

Well, hopefully, this sheds some light on some considerations for choosing a good recruitment partner to support your business. I have tried to be independent and would welcome any opportunity to discuss further with organisations and clarify any statements, these are my views, and as always, I welcome any feedback for recommendations for future blogs.


Written By: John McCluskey – Whizdom Recruitment

John has over 20 years in Recruitment, Current APSCo Australia Board Member, Member of RCSA

References Used: None (life experiences)

APSCo Australia RCSA 

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