Recruitment agencies - what to expect and what to look for?
Deciding when to look for help outside your company is often a headache, especially when mixed in with not being aware of who to ask. Let's uncover the mystery!
So you are struggling to close one or maybe several positions and are starting to think that maybe it is time to seek a recruitment agency to speed up the process.
Here is a list of thing that you need to ask yourself beforehand that will also help in the communication with recruiters:
  • What is the main reason you cannot close the position? (Tight budget, lack of time, cannot find the right person etc.)
  • Are you looking for a one time collaboration or a longterm partner?
  • How flexible can you be on certain aspects of requirements? (Candidate location, seniority, language etc.)
  • If the right candidate arrives at your doorstep, how soon would you be able to take the executive decision to hire them?
  • Is there any monetary flexibility on your part?
These are all the questions a good recruiter will usually ask you anyways, so it is good to think about them. Maybe they will even help you with your own search!

Once you have answered these questions and are confident to look for a agency to work with, you need to start thinking about who to partner with. It is often tempting just to reach out the biggest agencies as they most likely is the best there is anyway but that can be a very misleading judgement. As they say - don't judge a man by his hat! Of course there are great recruiters in a larger firm just as there are anywhere else, usually the large recruitment agencies are what they call a "meat grinder" - taking in juniors and assigning them for clients, some do great and bring in good business but some most probably won't work in the industry for long. Because of this, there isn't that much of a guarantee when choosing one of the "big fish" in the recruitment industry.

That's where boutique consultancies come in, usually smaller in size but what you will find that in boutiques the consultants are all very experienced and try to upkeep their reputation. This is why many companies choose to work exclusively with boutique recruitment agencies as they can reliably expect the same result and the relationship management is miles away from others.

Also, boutiques tend to have more flexibility, of course it's a running business that has it's own costs but they value long term partnerships and if you are looking for a long term partner, then you can get a better deal on the terms with them.

Recruitment is a two way street
Of course you cannot fully rely on a recruitment agency to give you an excellent service experience if you aren't providing excellent information. Recruitment is a two way street and you need to be as transparent as possible when working with an external recruiter. Always try to give your honest opinion and don't hide anything that might come as a surprise later. Some information may not be as pleasant but a good recruiter will have more respect towards you at the end of the day and will be more happy to work with you.

Once you have chosen a company which seems like it could be a reliable partner and are ready to start the conversation, always discuss how the workflow will go. Here is what to keep in mind:
  • How will you receive CV's?
  • Who is expected to manage the communication?
  • Do you want the recruiter to be present during the interview?
  • How is feedback organised?

Once you have all this prepared, the partnership should be smooth sailing. As most of the time in life - communication is key, as it is with your friends and family, same in business - talk to each other.

As a final note to mention - Behman & Bergman would be glad to have a call with you. Our experienced consultants try their hardest to deliver the best service possible and leave no stone unturned when filling a role.

To get in touch with us, feel free to give us an email:

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