• Why would you want to use recruitment agencies?
  • Are there more cost effective ways of recruiting? 
  • Do recruitment agencies still have a valuable role in today’s well-connected social media world?
  • Surely we can access candidates just as easily without using a recruitment agency?

These are all really relevant considerations and the answers will vary depending on considerations such as:

Your industry

  • Location, salary/benefits
  • Level of attractiveness of the opportunity overall: company culture, technology, training and career opportunities
  • Seniority of position
  • Combination of specific skill sets and experiences
  • Time frames for hire
  • Resource available to manage the recruitment and candidate search/attraction

Key points that may drive the decision to utilise the services of a specialist recruitment agency:

  • Demanding time frames and/or volumes
  • Candidate-driven markets with skills shortages
  • Limited resources to roll out the recruitment strategy internally
  • Requiring support of a recruitment partner who can add value and work consultatively
  • Payroll facility for contractor/temporary staff

Key points to consider for a successful agency partnership:

  • Verify the recruitment consultant and understand the market you are looking to recruit from
  • What evidence do they have of being successful with similar roles?
  • Work in close partnership with a select number of agencies, who can prove they are able to deliver, work ethically and adopt a partnership approach

Invest the time to brief your account manager comprehensively

A recruitment consultant who understands your requirements and knows your situation is more likely to priorities your job, as it increases their ability to introduce the successful candidate. The more your recruitment consultant understands your company, the department and the role, the more effective they will be in to short listing quality candidates.

At the same time, it’s important for you to understand what the agency will actually be doing in order to identify quality candidates for the role.

Ideally, the hiring manager should be actively involved with the briefing

The job description and company website will be a great start, but remember, the agency will have to:
a) Attract candidates
b) Sell your company and the opportunity to get candidate buy-in
c) Be the initial representative of your organisation, providing positive PR with candidates

Hence, cover as many aspects as possible including:

  • Why the position has arisen
  • The context and history of the role – be as honest and realistic as possible
  • Are there existing employees in a similar role – could their profile be used as a strong sample of who might be successful in the role you are recruiting for?
  • Companies potential candidates may be working with and in what positions
  • Structure of the department, dynamics
  • Potential positives and negatives of the role
  • Realistic prospects
  • The responsibilities on the job description and likely percentages of time they will spend on each
  • The real deal breakers in terms of skills and experience?
  • What pre-selection the agency provides – will they meet all candidates?
  • Whether they could incorporate job specific questions or tests in their pre-selection
  • Information the agency shares with the candidate, such as whether the candidate will know the name of their client and is able to gain sight of the job description?
  • What the agency is doing to do to find the best candidates
  • Whether they have any concerns or market feedback they can share with you

The Process

Key questions to ask include:

  • What is the recruitment process?
  • Who will review CVs?
  • Are there any specific tests?
  • Who will carry out telephone and face-to-face interviews?
  • Where? Time frames?
  • Ideal time lines/start date?


  • Agree time frames and regularity of communication/updates
  • State whether you require any specific information as part of the candidate profile
  • Ask whether your recruitment consultant will be doing the resourcing for this role or whether they work with a support team?


Feedback on CVs and interviews is crucial – the more your recruitment consultant understands, such what elements are good or aren’t and what stands out or may concern you with a CV, will help them to shortlist appropriately for you

Terms of Business

Sole agency

  • Can you consider a ‘sole agency’ agreement for a period of time? You can agree any time frame, but typically 1-2 weeks
  • You can achieve a more favorable introduction fee if there is only one agency, as this increases their chance to fill the position

Key points to review and negotiate in terms of business:

  • Percentage of introduction fee 
  • The guarantee period/rebate period
  • Payment terms



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