Recruitment agencies come in all shapes and sizes. There are of course the giant international brands, high street agencies, sector specialists and boutique consultancies. I’m sure you can name a number of these and they all have their place in the industry. In addition, there are also many independent specialist recruiters out there and in the interest of full disclosure, I’m one of them. Here are five reasons why you may get better results by using an independent recruiter when hiring.
In general, independent recruiters have many years of experience in their trade and sector. They will have worked for one or some of the larger agencies but will have reached a point where the benefit of the relationship has swung very much in the employer’s favour. With a solid reputation, loyal clients and an in-depth knowledge of the industry, some ambitious consultants will decide to go it alone. If someone is prepared to take this plunge, you would expect they would have the confidence to make it work and that confidence is generally backed by experience.
Any self-respecting consultant should want to provide a high quality of service but when it’s your own business it feels that little bit more personal as everything you do reflects on you and you alone. There is no hiding. An independent recruiter is far more likely to go the extra mile to ensure both their clients and candidates are 100% happy. After all, with no basic salary, your business is their livelihood and they will want to ensure you come back time and time again.
When you first get into recruitment you soon discover it’s a very KPI (key performance indicator) driven industry. They provide structure to a consultants day and metrics for management to measure performance. These include number of phone calls made in a day, number of CVs submitted, number of mailshots etc. These are essential when you are learning the role but the by-product can lead to a poor experience for both clients and candidates in such ways as pointless “nuisance calls”, junk mails, pressure sales techniques etc. One reason experienced consultants setup independently is to escape the KPI’s they no longer need with a view to delivering a more personal and tailored service.
Recruitment agencies are very target driven and the primary target is revenue. This pushes consultants to the lower hanging fruit when it comes to the vacancies they work on. Hard to fill roles need time and focus. They require in-depth research and a solid network, identifying candidates likely to have the skillset and experience required. These people need approaching and then enticing, often done out of business hours when they are free to meet and speak. This is a time consuming process. A recruiter shows their true value when they deliver candidates for that role that’s either business critical or has gone unfilled for months. The KPI systems found in most agencies and the need to deliver multiple placements per consultant each month can lead to that hard to fill role being neglected. An independent recruiter is not bound by such pressures. With the desire to deliver the best possible service, they are more likely to do what it takes to fill your hard to fill role.
Larger agencies can be a lot less flexible, often resulting in a one size fits all experience. We all know life isn’t like that and each client will have unique and specific needs. Big recruitment firms will be restricted by policy and will force you to engage entirely on their terms with no flexibility to accommodate your specific circumstances. An independent recruiter is much better placed to offer bespoke solutions to client’s needs.
In the early 80’s there was a famous advert with the strap-line “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. This was a fantastic piece of marketing pushing customers to stick with the big corporate, the safe bet, but history proves they were nothing special, a steady Eddy. IBM became complacent allowing smaller, more innovative and agile competitors to take market share, providing a better product and service.
Next time you have a vacancy you need to engage with a recruiter for, I urge you to talk to an independent specialist recruiter rather than doing the same as you have always done. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.
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