Why “Don’t Use Recruitment Agencies” Is Bad Advice

Jun 14, 2013

Job candidates in line - freedigitalEditor’s note: How many times have you heard someone say, “You don’t need to pay an agency to find great people?” That’s such a common refrain that Google has millions of references expressing that sentiment. Even in the United Kingdom, where employer direct is still a relatively new development, business owners are being told they can do their own hiring and save the fees. The advice here,  first published on the website of an agency in Scotland, is relevant everywhere.

We recently attended a seminar where one of the speakers informed a group of small business owners “don’t use recruitment agencies.” This generic sweeping statement appeared to resonate with a few in the room, who nodded slowly in agreement. However why do some people have such a negative view of recruitment?

For startups and small- to mid-size business in particular, head count growth can seem a very daunting challenge. Not only are you bringing new blood into your business, but you’re also going to have to pay them, motivate them and retain them.

So what are the top three objections small businesses owners will invariably ponder when deciding whether to outsource recruitment to a specialist?

 1. The Cost: It’s Too Expensive

It’s no surprise that the main concern for many of Scotland’s businesses is the cost associated with outsourcing recruitment. They perceive the cost as being significantly higher than the benefits; therefore business owners will invest their own time into finding a suitable candidate. However, it’s important to consider how much it’s costing your business whilst you’re not at the helm, or indeed the opportunity cost of having that vacancy lying unfilled.

We know cash is critical to smaller organizations, but did you know, many recruitment businesses work on a contingency basis where payment is only received after the candidate has accepted and starts the role?

Eden Scott is committed to assisting innovative Scottish businesses, which is why we agree competitive and fair rates to help SMEs to get off the ground. Recruitment doesn’t need to be expensive, but it does need to be done right.

2. The Process: It’s Easy. Anyone Can Advertise a Job

A common misconception about recruitment is that many think that it’s just a case of putting an advert on a job board and waiting for the subsequent wave of candidates to apply.

In some cases the advert may well yield that “star” candidate, but should sourcing not always be about finding the best person for the job, and not best person who happens to apply? The best candidates are usually in other roles and not looking to move. Recruiters use their extensive experience and skills to help a candidate move from their current position into a new role which will help them get ahead in their career.

At Eden Scott, we tailor our recruitment solutions to meet each client’s specific needs and employ a multi-channel approach. This typically consists of a mixture of utilizing our extensive networks, job boards, social media and offline adverts.

3. Recruiters Don’t Care About My Business and Are Simply After My Money

Some small business owners refuse to use recruitment agencies due to poor experiences either as an employer, or as a candidate. This is completely understandable, how many times have you heard the stories of recruiters simply disappearing when the role gets hard to fill?

The key here is to be selective with the recruiter you choose to work with. Partner well, and select a business that fits well with your brand. The recruiter should become a trusted business partner and should operate as an extension of your brand. They must be an integral part of your processes and work with you to develop long term solutions that assist with retention and improving employee productivity.

After all, you are entrusting an external recruiter with; your brand, your reputation and your talent acquisition plans. If you don’t do your due diligence on any supplier, recruitment or otherwise, how can you be confident that they are representing you in the best possible way.

Our own experience tells us that by establishing partner relationships, built on trust, early in the client’s “Business Life Cycle”, we not only help reduce costs, but it also enables us to fully support the business to grow.

Everyone has a horror story about a bad recruiter. The important thing is not to tar them all with the same brush. Choose one that is ready to partner with you and go above and beyond simple resourcing. Good recruiters fully understand and care about your business, its objectives and company culture in order to provide a personal service.

Don’t blame the industry; there are many good guys out there.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs /
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