How to Choose a Recruitment Agency: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

June 7, 2022
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The labor market is changing rapidly, and many companies are struggling to keep up with the demand for talent. Whether it’s due to the rise of remote work, the Great Resignation, or the skills gap, finding and hiring the right candidates can be a daunting task. That’s why many businesses turn to a recruitment agency to help them with their hiring needs.

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Recruitment agencies are organizations that specialize in finding, screening, and placing qualified candidates for various roles and industries. They can save you time, money, and hassle by taking care of the hiring process for you. However, not all recruitment agencies are created equal. Choosing the wrong one can lead to wasted resources, poor quality hires, and a damaged reputation.

So, how do you choose the right recruitment agency for your company? Here are five common mistakes to avoid and some tips on how to find the best partner for your hiring goals.

Common Misconceptions about Recruitment Agencies

Before you start looking for a recruitment agency, it’s important to clear some common misconceptions that may affect your decision. Here are some of them:

Recruitment agencies are only for temporary or low-level jobs

This is not true. Many recruitment agencies offer a range of services, from temporary to permanent placements, and from entry-level to executive positions. They can also cater to different industries and niches, such as IT, healthcare, engineering, marketing, etc.

Recruitment agencies charge exorbitant fees

This is also not true. The fees charged by recruitment agencies vary depending on the type of service, the level of difficulty, and the market conditions. However, they are usually reasonable and competitive, and often include benefits such as guarantee periods, replacement candidates, and payroll services. Plus, the fees are often offset by the savings you get from hiring faster, reducing turnover, and improving productivity.

Recruitment agencies don’t care about quality or fit

This is another myth. Recruitment agencies have a vested interest in providing quality candidates that match your requirements and culture. They use various tools and methods to assess candidates’ skills, personality, and potential. They also have access to a large pool of talent that may not be available through other channels. In addition to that, they value long-term relationships with their clients and candidates, so they strive to ensure satisfaction and retention.

Problems with Choosing the Wrong Recruitment Agency

Now that you know some of the benefits of working with a recruitment agency, you may be tempted to hire the first one that comes your way. However, it could turn out to be a costly mistake. Choosing the wrong recruitment agency can result in several problems, such as:

  • Poor communication: A good recruitment agency should communicate clearly and regularly with you throughout the hiring process. They should listen to your needs, provide feedback, update you on the progress, and address any issues or concerns. A bad recruitment agency may be unresponsive, vague, or misleading in their communication. They may also fail to follow up or keep their promises.
  • Lack of expertise: Your ideal recruitment agency should have expertise in your industry or niche. They should understand the market trends, the skills required, and the challenges involved in finding and hiring talent for your specific roles. On the other hand, a bad one may lack this knowledge and experience. They may send you irrelevant or unqualified candidates or miss out on opportunities to attract top talent.
  • Unethical practices: This is quite important, a good recruitment agency should adhere to high standards of professionalism and ethics. They should respect your confidentiality, protect your data, follow the laws and regulations, and treat your candidates fairly and respectfully. An undesired recruitment agency may engage in unethical practices such as poaching your employees or candidates, falsifying information or credentials, overcharging you or underpaying your workers, or violating your contract terms.

How Do You Choose the Right Recruitment Agency?

To avoid these problems and find the best recruitment agency for your company, here is a list of five mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Not defining your needs clearly

Before you contact any recruitment agency, you should have a clear idea of what you need from them. What type of service do you want? Temporary or permanent? Full-time or part-time? What kind of roles do you need to fill? What skills and qualifications do you require? What is your budget and timeline? Having these details ready will help you narrow down your options and communicate your expectations effectively.

Mistake #2: Not doing your research thoroughly

Once you have defined your needs, you should do some research on the potential recruitment agencies that can meet them. You can use online sources such as websites, reviews, testimonials, and social media to learn more about their reputation, services, specialties, fees, and success stories. You can also ask for referrals from your network or industry associations. Don’t just rely on their marketing materials or sales pitches; look for evidence of their performance and credibility.

Mistake #3: Not comparing multiple options carefully

After you have done your research, you should compare at least three to five recruitment agencies that fit your criteria. Don’t just go for the cheapest or the most popular one. Rather, look for the one that offers the best value and quality for your needs. Compare their pros and cons, their strengths and weaknesses, and their fit with your company culture and goals. You can also ask for references or samples of their previous work to verify their claims and results.

Mistake #4: Not asking the right questions confidently

When you have narrowed down your choices, you should contact the recruitment agencies and ask them some questions to evaluate them further. Don’t be afraid to ask tough or specific questions; this is your chance to test their knowledge, skills, and professionalism. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  • How do you source, screen, and select candidates for my roles?
  • How do you ensure the quality and fit of your candidates?
  • How do you handle feedback, complaints, or issues?
  • How do you measure and report your performance and results?
  • How do you charge for your services and what are the terms and conditions of your contract?

Mistake #5: Not trusting your instincts ultimately

After you have asked all the questions, you should have a clear picture of which recruitment agency is the best for you. However, don’t ignore your gut feeling; sometimes, it can be more accurate than any data or logic. Trust your instincts and choose the recruitment agency that you feel most comfortable and confident with. You should feel that they understand your needs, share your vision, and respect your values.

Questions to Ask Reps from the Agency

Once you have chosen a recruitment agency, you should maintain a good relationship with them throughout the hiring process. You should also keep in touch with their representatives regularly and ask them some questions to monitor their progress and performance. Some of the questions you can ask are:

  • How many candidates have you sourced, screened, and submitted for my roles?
  • How do you rate the quality and fit of these candidates?
  • How many candidates have been interviewed, hired, or rejected by me or my hiring managers?
  • How do you collect and share feedback from me or my candidates?
  • How do you handle any changes, delays, or problems that may arise?
  • How do you track and report your activities, outcomes, and costs?

How to Measure a Recruitment Agency’s Performance

Besides asking questions, you should also measure a recruitment agency’s performance using some key metrics and indicators. These metrics can help you evaluate how well they are meeting your expectations and delivering value for your company. Some of the metrics you can use are:

  • Customer satisfaction: This metric measures how happy you are with the recruitment agency’s service and results. You can use surveys, ratings, or testimonials to collect feedback from yourself or your hiring managers. You can also look at indicators such as retention rate, referrals, or repeat business to gauge your loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Fill rate: This metric measures how many of your job openings are filled by the recruitment agency’s candidates. It is calculated by dividing the number of placements by the number of job orders. A high fill rate indicates that the recruitment agency is efficient and effective in finding and hiring talent for your roles.
  • Time to fill: This metric measures how long it takes for the recruitment agency to fill your job openings. It is calculated by subtracting the date of the job order from the date of placement. A low time to fill indicates that the recruitment agency is fast and responsive in meeting your hiring needs.
  • Quality of hire: This metric measures how well the recruitment agency’s candidates perform on the job. You can use indicators such as productivity, performance, engagement, or turnover to assess their quality. A high quality of hire tells you that the recruitment agency is providing candidates that match your requirements and culture.

If you want to measure these metrics easily and accurately, you need a tool that can help you collect, analyze, and visualize data from various sources. That’s where Manatal comes in. It is a cloud-based Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that helps its users source and hire candidates faster while spending less.

Manatal is tailored for HR teams, recruitment agencies, and headhunters. It offers various features that can help you measure your recruitment agency’s performance, such as:

  • Reports & Analytics: This feature allows you to create customized reports and dashboards that show key metrics and insights on your hiring process. You can track metrics such as fill rate, time to fill, and quality of hire for each recruitment agency you work with. You can also compare different agencies based on their performance and results.
  • AI Recommendations: Manatal’s AI engine provides recommendations on candidates based on their skills, personality, and potential. It also helps you find the best talent in your database using search tools, filters, and candidate scoring. You can use this feature to evaluate the quality and fit of the candidates provided by your recruitment agency.
  • Collaboration & Activities: You’ll be able to manage user roles and invite your team members, clients, or candidates to collaborate and communicate with them. You can also log and track your activities, such as calls, emails, interviews, or feedback, as well as monitor the communication and interaction between you and your recruitment agency.

Conclusion

Choosing a recruitment agency is a crucial decision that can affect your company’s success and growth. It’s a good idea to avoid common mistakes and follow some tips to find the best partner for your hiring needs. You also need to measure their performance using key metrics and indicators. And you need a tool to help you do that.

Choosing a recruitment agency is not an easy task, but it can be a rewarding one if you do it right. You can find the best partner for your hiring needs and achieve your hiring goals faster and better.

Start a 14-day free trial with Manatal today to discover how it can help you measure your recruitment agency’s performance with ease and accuracy.

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Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
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Director - MRI Network, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. Whenever I ask something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful recruitment. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
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Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.
Bill Twinning
Talent Resources & Development Director - Charoen Pokphand Group
Manatal is the best ATS we worked with. Simplicity, efficency and the latest technologies combined make it an indispensable tool for any large-scale HR team. Since its adoption, we've seen a huge increase across all our key recruitment metrics. To summarize. it is a must-have.
Ahmed Firdaus
Director - MRINetwork, Executive Search Firm
I've been using Manatal for the past couple of months and the platform is excellent, user-friendly and it has helped me a lot in my recruitment process, operation and database management. I'm very happy with their great support. whenever I asked something they come back to me within minutes.
Dina Demajo
Senior Talent Acquisition - Manpower Group
Manpower has been using Manatal and we couldn't be happier as a team with the services this platform has provided. The application is extremely user-friendly and very well equipped with all the useful functions one would required for successful requirement. The support team is also excellent with very fast response time.
Kevin Martin
Human Resources Manager - Oakwood
Manatal is a sophisticated, easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, and cloud-based applicant tracking system that helps companies achieve digitalization and seamless integration to Linkedin and other job boards. The team at Manatal is very supportive, helpful, prompt in their replies and we were pleased to see that the support they offer exceeded our expectations.
Maxime Ferreira
International Director - JB Hired
Manatal has been at the core of our agency's expansion. Using it has greatly improved and simplified our recruitment processes. Incredibly easy and intuitive to use, customizable to a tee, and offers top-tier live support. Our recruiters love it. A must-have for all recruitment agencies. Definitely recommend!
Ngoc-Thinh Tran
HR Manager, Talent Sourcing & Acquisition - Suntory PepsiCo Beverage
I am using Manatal for talent sourcing and it is the best platform ever. I am so impressed, the Manatal team did an excellent work. This is so much awesome, I am recommending the solution to all recruiters I know.

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