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When should you be using a specialised recruitment agency?

When should you be using a specialised recruitment agency?

Partnering with a specialised recruitment agency can be highly beneficial - not only to your hiring managers, but to your whole company. As ‘workplace matchmakers’, recruitment agencies specialise in connecting organisations with talented professionals. Working closely with both sides and drawing on in-depth market knowledge, agencies can ensure all desires and that the right candidate is placed - fast.

But this expertise is sometimes overlooked, and not utilised to its full potential. Many businesses rely on internal HR teams to take on the role of recruitment 100% of the time, believing the internal function outweighs the need to partner with specialists.

Approaching recruitment in this way can leave you struggling to find good candidates and carry out an efficient recruitment process – more so now the market has changed so significantly post-COVID. Jobs are going unfilled and HR teams are struggling under the pressure.

The goal should be to get the best return for your efforts – after all, recruitment requires a significant time and cost investment. Knowing when to utilise a recruitment agency to get the best return and best candidates can not only save a lot of time and money but benefit the overall business in the long run.

There's no doubt - recruitment is getting harder

As we mentioned, many organisations traditionally assign recruitment of new staff to internal HR teams. It initially sounds like a great (and logical) idea. However, if HR teams already have a long list of tasks to complete and are just too busy, asking them to conduct ‘talent research’ could negatively impact on their other responsibilities.

As we start to think about the commitment it takes to carry out a complete and effective recruitment process, the difficulties facing businesses – and their HR teams – become clearer. The interruption of and impact on other key responsibilities is just one. Other common issues include:

Huge time commitment

Recruitment can be an incredibly time-consuming process, even at the best of times. And as a company grows and changes, in-house recruitment teams may be forced to conduct complex interviews for positions they are not necessarily familiar with, impacting outcomes and drawing out timelines even further.

Candidates fall through the gaps

Extensive experience shows us that a candidate may not always present themselves well on paper, but when called, it’s obvious that they are in fact a suitable option for interview. Many of these ‘diamonds in the rough’ can be found, just by giving someone the benefit of the doubt. However, many businesses (and some agencies) short on time will use AI technology to screen resumes. Too many good candidates can be missed this way – if a candidate’s resume doesn’t include certain keywords, the resume will not be shortlisted, and a good candidate will be overlooked.

A shrinking talent pool

More and more we are seeing businesses try to fill roles themselves, only to be unsuccessful. There seems to be a common misconception in the Australian job market at the moment – and that’s that there are so many candidates looking and applying for jobs right now, that roles should be easy to fill. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Australia is currently experiencing a shortage of suitably skilled candidates. With the international border being closed now for almost a year and a half, we no longer have the expanding talent pool employers are used to; and as a side effect of intermittent lockdowns, candidates are more hesitant to change jobs.

When is the right time to use a specialist recruitment agency?

While these factors can certainly make recruiting much harder for businesses, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s still possible to find great candidates and make good hires – within an acceptable timeframe.

More businesses are finding these hurdles too hard to overcome themselves and are reaching out to agencies to help them recruit, with great results. Even those with highly capable internal HR teams can benefit from agency help now and again. The trick is to know when you can manage it internally, and when you’re best placed to work with a recruitment specialist.

While recruitment specialists can help with any kind of hire, they can be most valuable when:

You’re not seeing results

If you’ve failed to fill a role or are having a hard time attracting candidates, it doesn’t mean they’re not out there! They are just a little harder to find – and usually aren’t on the market for very long.

Something for companies to keep in mind is not all the best candidates are actively looking for a new job. Not all companies have access to (or the budget to implement) the search capability tools that recruitment agencies use and therefore can easily miss out on the perfect candidate. If you are struggling to fill a role or find suitable candidates, it’s a good time to reach out to an agency – they have a whole range of connections and contacts that they can introduce you to.

You’re hiring for specialist roles/industries

Specialised recruitment agencies have staff that specialise in recruiting for specific sectors (e.g. executive recruitment, healthcare and community recruitment, property and construction recruitment, etc.). They will often have a better knowledge of technical roles and the skills needed for each sector or role and will also be able to identify transferrable skills that others may miss.

The market is hot

The skills of good candidates are in high demand. It is not uncommon for good candidates to have several job offers on the table at any one time, with ridiculously high counter offers coming in, as companies don’t want to lose people. Agencies can deliver a quick and effective screening process to find you the right candidate fast - ensuring you don’t miss out on top talent.

Benefits of specialist recruitment services extend past sourcing candidates

It’s safe to say the recruitment and employment market has changed considerably, and recruitment agencies will have a better handle on the current market and what is happening within it. More than sourcing and checking candidates, agencies can help businesses manage ever-changing expectations.

Recently, requests for salary benchmarking have increased, as roles become quite broad and complex – and businesses are unsure where to set salaries. After COVID, candidates have also re-assessed what is important to them in their job. It’s not just all about money with candidates – people are looking for that alignment with values and culture.

A specialist recruitment agency can help with all these little details as well. They can map the market out locally and approach competitor’s employees, which businesses are unable to do themselves ethically. (At BWS Recruitment, we have even advised clients around role title changes to ensure we attract talent with the right level of experience and range of skills.) Agencies can advocate on behalf of the client; selling their cultural and values alignment to the candidate.

Health, Aged Care, Community and Disability Services is a good example of this. Due to all the recent changes within the industry (with the introduction of the NDIS Check and updating policies and procedures to ensure COVID compliance), clients are finding they simply do not have the time to source and engage with candidates. This is where agencies can come in and provide advice to ensure that not only the candidate’s skill set matches the specific requirements of the role, but that their values align with the company and the person will be the right cultural fit.

As role demands and employee expectations both rise – and the talent pool shrinks – it’s never been a better time for organisations to test out the skills of a specialist recruitment agency. BWS Recruitment have been connecting companies and talent for over 20 years, and specialise in filling specialist and executive roles – fast.

If you have a job vacancy you need assistance filling, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 03 9535 9500 and we would be more than happy to find your next great hire.

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