Why do recruitment agencies still exist?
It’s hard to believe that such an outdated business model as that used by recruitment agencies continues to work. Advertising for candidates is now low cost, it’s easy to manage candidate communications using online tools, and it’s very debatable whether agencies provide better quality results.
How do you recruit people?
Do you contact your local recruitment agency, tell them about the job, then sit back and wait for a handful of candidates to turn up? Quick interview, decision made, and onto the next business task?
Wake up and smell the coffee
Let’s have a reality check. As the boss of your business or a senior manager in someone else’s, there’s nothing more important than the quality of people you attract to join you. Everything that happens in your business is a function of the quality of your people, their motivation and their focus and direction. If you start with poor ingredients, no matter how good a cook you are, the meal you serve won’t be great.
It’s a difficult job, so give it to someone else
The trouble is that most senior managers don’t enjoy recruiting. Why? – because it’s time-consuming, they don’t feel they’re good at it, and it can go wrong. Worst case, you end up appointing someone who isn’t as good as you thought they were and, as a consequence, create all sorts of grief and challenges to deal with.
So better give it to someone else who specialises in it. After all, if it then goes wrong, you’ve got someone else to blame…
Do recruitment agencies really care?
Some do (you can probably count them on the fingers of one hand). But most don’t. Why? – because they don’t share your goals. They’re interested in the fee they get when you appoint their candidate. So they’re sales people whose goal is to convince you that their candidate is perfect for you.
But surely recruitment agencies have the best candidates?
Do they? Why’s that? All they do is advertise where you can to. If you were applying for a job, would you prefer to contact your future potential employer directly, or go via an agency? Would you prefer to be interviewed by a recruitment agency exec or by the person who may be your new boss? Q.E.D.
Invest in your own recruitment skills
The solution lies in recognising how critically important it is to your business that you and your senior managers are highly competent in recruitment. Whether or not you continue to use recruitment agencies (and you may well do for certain roles), learn how to recruit well yourself, and don’t fall for the sales pitch.