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Why engage an agency?

  • Published in Recruitment

If you’ve got a professional HR team in-house, why would you even think about working with an agency? After all you have highly qualified professionals on tap. They know how to create job ads, they understand how to use job boards, they know where to look for likely candidates.

If you’re thinking of the average high street agency that operates as a people-processing system, then you’re probably right. You will be getting the same applicants as your in-house team already have access to. However, a full service agency offers more than your in-house team could do.

An agency that deals in a niche area – as we do with IT staff – knows the market in detail. They know where to find people who would be a perfect fit – even if they’re not currently looking for a new role. These are known as ‘passive candidates’.

If you’re recruiting for a high-flying position you may engage a head-hunter, but it can be an expensive exercise for lower-level positions, even if they’re critical roles. A full-service agency usually keeps a database of potential candidates for a range of positions and knows where to find the right people at the right time.

On the other side of the coin they’ll also know who is worth interviewing and who just applies for every position even vaguely in the same ball-park as their skills and is on the books of literally hundreds of agencies.

This kind of knowledge isn’t usually easy for even the most seasoned HR professional to keep track of. They have other responsibilities and it is pretty much a full time job. That’s why a good agency is worth investing in – they have highly specialised knowledge of how to find the perfect matches for your roles.

It’s the difference between a GP and a heart surgeon – which one would you rather have on your case if you had to have a heart bypass operation?

Having a professional, highly-focused, specialist agency on your recruitment team is just good sense – and often a much more cost effective way to find first class employees.