With so many recruitment agencies in operation these days covering every conceivable industry sector, you might be tempted to outsource the employment search and screening process. It’s a decision that could pay dividends, saving you both time and money and providing you with a level of service that you would struggle to better yourself if you retained the function in-house.
Nevertheless, choosing the right recruitment agency to work with is hugely important and for that reason it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Just as a good recruitment agency will add real value to your recruitment process by putting forward strong and credible candidates for your vacancies, a bad recruiter can do untold and long-term damage to your business.
No industry is this more applicable to than construction. In a sector where reputation and health and safety mean everything, the implications of using an agency without the necessary construction credentials could be unthinkable.
So how should you go about picking a recruitment agency? Here are some tips to help you choose wisely.
Look for industry specialists
As alluded to, it’s absolutely critical that any recruiter you work with understands the construction industry. If you can use technical terms freely in conversation without taking time out to explain them, this is usually a good indicator of their competence.
An agency proclaiming to be a construction specialist will also know the kind of candidate you’re looking for and specifically the industry qualifications and experience they need to have. It’s always worth asking prospective agencies how well they understand what you do, even those that don’t advertise themselves as a specialist.
Do a price comparison
It’s common for a recruitment agency to charge a set fee, or a percentage of the salary of the role that they’re filling. Be sure to ask around and see if you can find an agency with the requisite industry understanding that charges a lower fee.
At the same time be mindful that the cheapest agencies don’t always provide the best value. You need to find a balance between cost effectiveness and quality of service.
Ask about guarantees
Some recruitment agencies offer a guarantee to make you feel confident about using them. They might offer a reduced fee, or waive their fee completely, if they can’t find a suitable candidate or if the working relationship becomes untenable after just a short period of time.
Check that a guarantee is on offer before agreeing to work with a recruiter as it will afford you some protection in the event of things not working out.
Check for professional body memberships
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) are the two major professional bodies that represent staffing and recruitment agencies. You should routinely check that any agency you’re considering is a member of one of these. If they’re not then you should look elsewhere.
Ask about reference checks
It should not be assumed that all recruitment agencies make reference checks to confirm a candidate’s identity and whether they’re being honest about their employment history, as not all of them do. If this is a task you want covered in any agreement, then you need to ask whether it is a service that’s provided.
Ask to see evidence of previous successes
An experienced recruitment agency specialising in the construction industry will have a good track record of successful placements and should have some client testimonials for you to look through. Be wary if they don’t or appear evasive when you ask them about how they’ve helped other construction companies.
Trust your instinct
As with any business relationship, your gut instinct is a powerful tool when assessing how easy a recruitment agency will be to work with.
If you encounter resistance or find they are difficult to communicate with, these are usually good indicators that they’re not going to represent you very well.
Bling Work is a specialist in construction recruitment solutions. Run by industry professionals, we are proficient at supplying high calibre tradesmen for your organisation and equally competent at finding work for those with the requisite skills and qualifications. To find out more give us a call on 0800 046 0605