David Brooks on the recruitment agency relationship
2nd August 2011
1. ENSURE THE AGENCY IS ABLE TO MAKE A FAIR MARGIN
In a tough economic climate it is too easy to base your decision on which agency to use on price alone. When procuring any products or services the basic premise is that you get what you pay for. Why should this not be the case when selecting a recruitment agency to partner with?
If an agency is allowed to make a fair and reasonable margin – which in some cases might only make a difference between 50p – £1 to the charge rate – time and resources can be allocated for the required screening and vetting. The consultant is actually going to earn some commission from the assignment and it’s likely that more attention will be spent on ensuring the best possible candidate is assigned to your requirement.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Historically agency staff were used in construction to ‘plug gaps’, cover for sickness or holidays, supplement workforce during seasonally busy periods or staff a site or project that needs an extra push.
Due to cut backs and relative instability still within the construction sector, it is becoming more common for contractors to use temporary workers in a more strategic fashion.
Making an agency aware of your requirements several weeks in advance allows the agency to find, interview and screen local candidates well in advance of them being required and ensures that the best candidates are found for your position.
3. ENSURE TEMP STAFF ARE PROPERLY SUPERVISED
If you can allocate the resources to properly supervise and direct the agency workers then you will get significantly more productivity from them. Most agencies won’t charge you if you let them know within the first 24 hours that they have sent someone without the required skills so it’s in your best interest to properly assess the workers as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately it’s far too common for clients to complain about the standard of workmanship several weeks after the worker has finished. In this instance the worker has been fully paid and the agency is in receipt of signed timesheets and nothing much can be done about it.
4. WORK WITH FEWER AGENCIES AND REVIEW YOUR SUPPLIER LIST ANNUALLY
Recruitment is a competitive and difficult job; in most cases recruitment consultants earn a large proportion of their income from commission and in all cases they will work hardest on the jobs and for the clients that they are most likely to see some success from.
Work on selecting the best agencies out there to work on a preferred supplier agreement allows the few agencies you work with a larger proportion of your work and therefore they will be more likely to offer better terms, annual rebates and a far better service.
In order for your suppliers not to take your business for granted, review the agreement annually ensuring that standards are maintained and the best rates are negotiated.
5. TREAT YOUR RECRUITMENT PARTNERS WITH RESPECT
Recruiters are often described as ‘a necessary evil’ and are often not given the respect they deserve for doing a very difficult job.
Once you have selected recruitment partners you should invite them to look around your offices, meet your managers and help them understand your business and its requirements.
If you get closer to your recruiters and educate them about your business you will undoubtedly get a better service, enjoy better rates and be given first refusal on the best candidates out there.
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