How do recruitment agencies work?
Employers hire recruitment agencies to find job candidates. Agency recruiters do this by researching the open roles, identifying qualified people, screening the candidates, and providing support to the employer during selection of the new hire.
Recruitment agencies are commonly confused with employment agencies. However, they are not the same thing; recruitment agencies serve employers, and employment agencies serve job seekers.
Recruitment agencies structure their services and fees in several ways, including:
- Contingency recruitment, with a salary-based fee paid only if a hire is made
- Retained or executive search, with an up-front fee paid for assistance filling a role
- On-demand recruitment, with an adjustable level of support at an hourly rate
- Recruitment process outsourcing, which completely replaces the employer’s internal recruiting function
Why work with an agency?
Different companies work with recruitment agencies to fill different needs. Typical reasons include:
- Providing support to hiring managers if there is no internal recruiting or human resources team
- Identifying hard to find or highly-specialized talent
- Finding job candidates from outside the company’s own networks of people
- Assisting in-house recruiter during a hiring spree or growth spurt
- Maintaining confidentiality during a sensitive search
- Replacing altogether the need for an in-house recruiting function
Many agency recruiters are able to identify resumes that match the skills, abilities and experience required by a role. However, employers now emphasize the need to hire employees who fit their corporate values, vision and culture.
How can an agency, as an outside firm, do that?
“Your recruitment agency should be an extension of your internal HR or recruiting team. They should make the effort to learn about your team, your culture, and what traits help someone excel at your company. Finding qualified resumes is easy – but you don’t hire resumes. You hire people.”