11 reasons why you should use a recruitment agency

You have a job vacancy to fill – so what do you do?

Simple. You write a job advert and submit it to a job board, inform your LinkedIn network with a hiring post, and maybe do a bit of Twitter or Facebook. And you add the all-important warning: ‘No Agencies Please.’

Then you sit back and wait for those perfect candidates to form an orderly queue. After all, this is the opportunity they have desperately been waiting for, especially in these times of economic uncertainty.

If only it was so easy.

Recruitment is difficult!

As we are recruiters, you might be inclined to say: “Well you would say that!”

So don’t take our word for it.

Last year we published an extensive survey of 1798 Indirect Tax & Tax Technology professionals). We asked about their company’s experience when hiring – and two-thirds described the process as “difficult”.

Recruiting is expensive. HR Review reported that replacing members of staff incurs significant costs for employers – over £30,000 per employee (without recruitment agency fees). With such an outlay, it has to be right!

It is also time-consuming. When you take on the whole of the recruitment process, you will inevitably be drawn away from your other responsibilities.

The to-do list is exhausting:

1    Write and design a job advert. 

How will you make your advert stand out? Do you have an in-house designer? Who will check if all the required information is included?

2   Do some social. 

Posting the job on LinkedIn or other social media feeds is just the beginning. Billions of people use social media everyday, but will your target demographic see the advert?

Keeping a post visible on social is like paddling upstream towards Niagara Falls. Social posts disappear almost as soon as they are uploaded. Twitter alone is inundated with around 200 billion tweets per year. Will your job post stay visible for as long as you need it to?

To make your social activity effective, you will need to work hard – reposting, building networks and engaging with industry contacts. Posting an advert will not suffice.

3   Back it with some funds. 

But where to spend the advertising budget? There are so many choices. The Facebook and Google duopoly represent the world’s biggest digital advertising aggregators. Over recent years LinkedIn has evolved into more than just a professional networking platform, becoming a good source of potential suitors. Then there are the multiple job board options.

Spending money on job advertising can be a complex decision and there is no point splashing out money randomly and hoping for the best.

Experienced Paid Social Executives can demand lucrative salary packages for a very good reason – they have an expert niche skill set. Spending advert funds without thoroughly researching the market will not offer the best value for money.

4   Managing the inbox. 

Your job advertising will generate a big response. The bad news is that your email inbox will soon become overwhelmed with hopeful applicants, most of whom won’t be right for the job. Quite likely, hundreds of people will have taken the effort to submit a CV and pen a cover letter.

It isn’t a numbers game. Quality is more important than quantity.

A paper by the Harvard Business Review in 2019, entitled “Your Approach to Hiring Is All Wrong”, urges businesses to persuade fewer people to apply, arguing that: “It’s more important to scare away candidates who don’t fit than to jam more candidates into the recruiting funnel.”

Every application needs to be reviewed, which is a painstaking process. How do you decide which candidates should be selected to advance to the next stage? To an untrained eye, it is very difficult to decipher CVs.

5   Not every candidate open to a new role is applying for jobs.

The best applicant to your advert is not necessarily the right one for your role or business. There are some excellent candidates who apply through adverts but it is actually quite rare to get the right hire this way.

We recently wrote a blog on hidden vacancies, but the same applies to candidates. The best talent is often hidden from the job market – only a proactive headhunt approach and a ‘tap on their shoulder’ will alert their attention to a specific role.

6   Don’t be that company.

If someone has made the effort to apply for a job at your business, they deserve a reply. ‘Ghosting’ a candidate will reflect badly on you. Ignoring an applicant is not just bad manners, it can create negative PR. What’s to stop a spurned applicant from writing a stroppy review on Google, Glassdoor or TrustPilot.

Unbelievably, many businesses ghost candidates even after they have been for an interview. A recent survey found that 60% of job candidates said they’d never heard back from an employer after an interview.

Give a candidate a bad experience and you can be sure they won’t be an advocate of your business.

As Management Today recently advised: “The lesson for hiring managers: don’t underestimate the business impact of a little courtesy.”

7   Avoiding Time Wasters. 

Recruiters demand a solid buy in from candidates, liaising with them throughout the process. A common theme we regularly hear from direct recruiters is that candidates apply for jobs, but then don’t turn up for the interview. And when they do, their preparation and research is poor.

This rarely happens with applicants through agencies as they weed out those who aren’t fully committed and actively sell the business to the good ones. Recruiters have a good grasp of good quality candidates who are open to new opportunities but more importantly, they also know the ones that businesses may not want to hire!

8   Background checks.

And then there is the admin. Are they allowed to work in the UK? Can you verify their employment history? Can you trust the references?

Don’t you have something else you’d rather be doing?

9   Back to the drawing board.

What if the shortlisted candidates don’t cut the mustard. On paper they looked good, the telephone interviews went well, yet in the final interviews it just didn’t feel right. And there is nothing worse than a bad hire.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reported that more than a third of companies believed that hiring mistakes incurred little or no cost to the business. In fact, they calculated that a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs such as training and impacts on productivity.

But can you face going through the whole process all over again. Wouldn’t it be easier to throw the problem back to a recruiter?

10   Getting the deal done.

Once you have found the ideal candidate, what should you offer them? A recruiter can advise on the offer process making it more likely the chosen candidate will accept. Or if they want to negotiate, the recruiter will manage the counteroffer process until all parties are happy.

Call in the experts

The tasks and challenges listed above can be a bit off-putting, but high-achieving people are rarely afraid of a bit of hard work.

So onto reason number 11 – the one that really matters

11   Sourcing the right candidate.

Using the services of a recruitment agency will save time and reduce the hassle, but ultimately you want the agency to find the right candidate for the job – and that is exactly what a professional recruiter will do.

A recruiter will

  • Have specialist market knowledge.
  • Know which competitors are good to draw talent from and who to avoid.
  • Have a database and a network of passive candidates who wouldn’t reply to an ad but are likely to be better qualified for the job
  • Will recommend candidates who you might not consider on paper but would be a good fit
  • Will know exactly where to look for your ideal candidate

The reputation of an esteemed recruiting firm is established through its ability to find the right candidate for the available position.

If you really want to risk missing out on the ideal future employee, then all you have to do is to insist: ‘No agencies please!’

If you are looking to recruit in the accountancy, tax, treasury or legal sectors, Harvey John can help with your search. Experts in these specialist fields since 2004, Harvey John is well-qualified to take out the complexities, avoid the common pitfalls, and deliver the outcome you need.

Claire Jones is the Principal Resourcing Consultant in the Accountancy Division at Harvey John.

Search our latest accountancy jobs here.

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