Hiring a recruiter

What to look for when hiring a recruiter?

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Hiring a recruiter can be a tricky business if you don’t know what you are supposed to be looking for. The industry is full of bad, average and excellent professionals, but not all of them might be able to help you. On this article we want to help you with the best tricks and things to keep in mind when hiring a recruiter to help your company.

How a recruiter can help your business?

The recruitment industry exists for a reason. They can help your company in many ways:

  1. It saves time in the sourcing part of your recruitment process when you are looking for a complicated, niche, or executive level role.

2. They have usually access to candidates who are actively looking for a similar role and could offer your role as a different option.

3. They usually bring candidates fast as they have already contact them or prescreened them.

4. They can do the search for you in a confidential way in case you are replacing someone and don’t want to advertise publicly.

How a recruiter can damage your business?

The recruiter industry has a bad reputation for a reason. Not every “recruiter” knows what its doing. Don’t get us wrong, there are some really good people, but remember that they usually earn money when you hire a candidate… so those without high standards will push to sell anything that is on their database or is willing to apply to your role.

However, apart from the fact that they can oversell candidates that is not exactly what you are looking for, a bad or a non professional recruiter can really damage your business. How?

1 Sending candidates that have something to hide or are not exactly what you are looking for

2 Contacting in excess your competitor’s employees. There is nothing wrong with contacting a couple of key people, but spamming everyone in your competitors team can start a war that might not be benefitial for you.

3 Destroying your employer branding or company image is really simple and could be done in weeks if you hire the wrong representative. A recruiter is the equivalent to your sales team. You need to hire someone who understands your business, is aligned with it and shares your vision of how you want to handle your recruitment process.

4 In the same way that they can oversell you some candidates, they can also oversell the role and the company to your candidates. How is this bad? We believe that a good onboarding and the base for a good employee realtion start with an honest recruitment process. Imagine that they promise to the candidate that the salary will be reviewed in 6 months and that you will be promoting them to manager in a year. What happens if this is not true? They will be upset and frustrated and it will be extremely difficult to go over that.

What do you need to consider when hiring a recruiter?

So, now we have analysed how they can damage you. Let’s see how you can avoid those problems when selecting the perfect recruiter or recruitment agency to collaborate with you.

We will speak about the budget and kind of contract below. However, it would be ideal for you to include the following steps when speaking to recruiters. Make sure you understand how the following points will work.

1 What will they be exactly in charge of? Some agencies just send you interested cvs but don’t do an interview. Some others do almost the whole recruitment process and send you a full report of only up to 5 candidates for you to interview.

2 Make sure that you stipulate what a good candidate will be for you. You might end up paying for candidates that are not what you need.

3 Understand what they will be saying to candidates about the company. Make sure they only know what you are willing to share to candidates, nothing else.

4 Who will be doing the calls or face to face interviews with candidates? How is their style? Is it aligned to what you want to show your candidates on the first conversation. Are they to harsh or friendly? How do they get information from candidates?

5 Do they really understand your industry or the role you are looking for? Some industries are tricky, so make sure they know what you are talking about.

6 What kind of sourcing will they be doing? Do they have a data base? Will they be head hunting? publishing adverts on their side?

7 Also, make sure you sign an agreement where they will not be contacting your employees in the future.

8 What happens if the candidate that they provide leaves within the first 3/6/12 months? will they be giving you candidates again? How many? Will they do a new search or send you candidates from the last process?

Kind of contracts that a recruiter or a recruiter agency can sell

The recruitment world works with different standards contracts. Find the most common below.

Percentage of salary: Depending on the country and industry it can vary, but it works mainly on success payment. You pay only when you hire one of their candidates. Percentages usually go from 12,5% on the very cheap side to 20 or 25% on the high end. The payment will be the agreed percentage of the gross annual salary. E,g. if you hire someone for a salary of 60K gross a year, and you agreed a 20% fee, you will be doing a one payment of 12K.

Fix payment: Some recruitment and agencies work around a fix fee. It is usually calculated based on the numbers above, but it avoids the salary rising during negotiations. Recruitment agencies or recruiters who fight for a percentage will try to promote over others those who have the higher salary, for obvious reasons. This fix payment makes this clear from the beginning so they will be not pushing for higher paid candidates.

Mixed fee: some of them might be asking for a fix sum at the beginning to start working with your project and then a success fee when you hire one of their candidates. This usually means they will be dedicating more active time looking for new people, rather than sending emails to their data base. This is not necessarily bad, but make sure is what you are looking for.

Per hour rate: Some freelance recruiters on freelancer platforms can charge you per hour based on the hours they spent. Calculate at least 100 hours to do a the search, interviews and reports. It could be much less, but have that in mind as an idea for your budget.

Make sure you you follow this steps after hiring a recruiter.

1 During the first days of the recruitment process, make sure they send you profiles of what they consider to be good so you can make sure they are looking for the right match. If not, give them complete feedback of the reasons why they are not a good profile for you.

2 When interviewing candidates, make sure that you review what they know about your company and the role and try to summarise it to make sure they see the real picture.

3 Make sure you cover some of the points covered on the recruiter report to make sure everything is real and has not been oversold.

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