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Why did that Recruitment Agency win the Placement?

Is there a best way to recruit? What makes some recruitment agencies more successful than others? With competition amongst candidates and agencies rapidly increasing, the solution is surely a holy grail for the recruitment consultant.

We think we have the answer – Recruitment is an artform not a science: and understanding that is what puts one agency above another.

Why do we think that? Well simply because the process of recruitment – call it the science of recruitment - varies little between each agency, whatever the size or sector.

As you know, critical to the success of any recruitment agency, are good relations with a variety of employers. The question of how best to establish and nurture those all important relationships comes down to personal technique, intuition and finesse. For some it is a weekly call to the HR contact, for others, a round of Friday afternoon drinks with clients or a more formal regular client briefing. Some agencies stumble at the hurdle though and get it wrong, leaving clients frustrated or alienated.

When the task of finding that job candidate is at hand, it’s now up to you to unearth the right person and secure them the job and yourself the commission. With many candidates on an agency database there are almost endless ways to search, sort, filter and match them. You or your agency will likely have a specific way to go about each search, but ask yourself a question: Does it always yield the best result?

The crucial task of introducing a prospective candidate to the employer arrives. It now goes without saying that basic details and CV will be exchanged although how much more information is the firm looking for beyond that? Employers look for high levels of compatibility. The A levels, degree and career experience may be a given amongst a variety of potential employees, but it will be the one who ‘fits’ best within the firm who will ultimately secure the position. Any consultant or agency prepared to go some way to discover such elements within a candidate and then present them to a firm will increase their chances considerably.

With each agency covering all these stages as well as the admin and follow up in between – does success rest on process, speed, efficiency? What is the magic ingredient? Is recruitment nothing short of an art form, with each success depending on the skill and agility of the consultant? That’s what it seems! (Or is it possible to build a recipe for success – a scientific approach to recruitment? Hmm....)

Views: 22

Comment by Amy on June 29, 2010 at 2:31pm
Funny, I just wrote a somewhat related post! I agree-- recruitment is an art form, and definitely not a science. It is all about understanding your client and focusing on how you can add value. So many firms just focus on how they can make a buck, and as a result often alientate their clients. I believe the focus should be on building a long-term PARTNERSHIP.
Comment by Anna Hodges on June 29, 2010 at 7:47pm
Doesn't this come back to the old "chicken or the egg" or "nature versus nurture" debates? :) I honestly think it is a mixture of both and it is a very difficult balance to manage. Each person recruits in their own way and hastheir own unique "flair". I think that is what differentiates recruiters in the market. Another point to add is the comparison with an "agency" and a "consultancy".... interesting to ponder
Comment by Thyaga on June 30, 2010 at 11:57am
The reason for our success in finding top talent is the result of a different point-of-view while we execute on the client engagement. We (our senior team) are outsiders to recruiter/agency world and insiders to hiring teams and career oriented professionals. Hence our approach to talent search is based on matching view-points of a hiring manager and a qualified & motivated candidate.
Comment by Olivier Coustaing on June 30, 2010 at 6:04pm
Excellent thought. To recruit the right person in the right place at the right time is not a matter of chance. Creating the chemistry between a professional and a company is a true art. The "magic ingredient" is a combination of multiple skills and true values !
Comment by Adam Lewis on July 1, 2010 at 2:18am
Amy - I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. Which blog were you referring to?

Anna Hodges - Thanks for the comment coming all the way from Australia! I think any 'scientific' approach can only be utilized to benefit the relationship, which sounds like an artistic use of science :P Can you expand your thought regarding 'agency' and 'consultancy'?

Thyaga - I hope you and your team go from success to success! Thanks for your comment.

Olivier - Thanks. I think your use of the word 'chemistry' hits the nail on the head. Let's not take the human element out of the recruiting process.
Comment by Anna Hodges on July 1, 2010 at 2:29am
Ha - love the comments. Although Thyaga, I have looked at a couple of your comments and sometimes you come across a little jaded! Have you been in the industry too long or are you just a bit skeptical?

Re the Agency VS Consultancy situation - not sure what it is like o/s but here that can be quite different. I consider myself a Consultant and therefore consultant and provide support, advice, direction (etc) to my clients in terms of their expectations. I think an Agent just takes orders and sends CV's.

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