How to choose a recruiting agency and what are the common mistakes to avoid


“Game Changer”, “Out of the box thinkers”, “Specialized in niche skill recruiting”, “An established staffing company” these are the buzzwords we often hear from staffing companies in their elevator pitches. But, the billion dollar question is “Do they make any sense to business? “ Most of the hiring managers would say NO. If you have answered YES, we have something for you.

Hiring managers can easily measure the quality of staffing agency within a day or two. Let’s say, if the resumes submitted by an agency is not up to the mark, then they can quickly take off the agency from the process without wasting any other time. Like these, staffing agencies have a large number of advantages over other recruitment methods. But still, managers are a little skeptic about involving staffing agencies in the hiring process.

To make things clear we have listed down some of the ground rules which can be used when you are looking for a staffing agency for your company.


  • Don’t fall for the branding

Yes, branding speaks for itself. But do they really matter to you? More than branding, the key thing to notice while selecting an agency is – are they capable overcoming failures?

It’s good to submit a superstar candidate in the first place, but what if the candidate doesn’t fit in your organization’s culture. After one or two failed interviews, will they be able to bring in another qualified candidate onto the pipeline? Response rate and quality matter more than a branding for a staff augmentation, especially when you’re filling a niche skill set.


  • Cost

It’s okay to spend overhead cost for niche skill sets and hard to fill roles, but how a staffing agency handles an ongoing retainer engagement is what makes the difference. Most of the companies are TRANSPARENT on the candidate’s salary/or hourly rates. If they’re not transparent with the candidate, it will bring a bad reputation for your brand. Unwanted markup can be cut down this way.


  • Response rate / Quality

Highly qualified agencies respond to your requests on time and know how to vet the candidates for interview/or a new job. Skilled candidates need to be taken extra care to make sure they’re available throughout the interview process. If finding a candidate is one part then bringing them onboard is another challenge. How the candidates respond to calls/interviews and how good they’re for a long run matters a lot even if you are looking to hire someone on a short-term contract. A good recruiting agency should retain their employees/contractors until the contract goes and should have at least 70-80% retention rate.


  • Location and Specialization

Location doesn’t matter for a recruitment agency. It’s just about the size of the company and the database they’re maintaining for the past decade will bring in more applicants to you. Companies based out of California should be able to handle roles in the east coast and are traveling on and off to meet the ongoing contractors. Another thing to look out for is the specialization. If you’re looking for a BA, QA or Java candidates you can find a more generalized staffing company to work with or if the role you’re looking to fill is a niche skill set then find the best staffing agency that is specialized in the specific technology/or domain which would further ease your time.

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