By Steve Saah, Executive Director of Finance and Accounting Permanent Placement, Robert Half
Despite the current economy, the job market is still going strong in 2023. Employers have many open roles for job seekers, and low unemployment among professionals is creating competition for skilled talent. Many in-demand professionals are not only receiving multiple offers but also counteroffers.
A professional recruiter’s insight and assistance can give companies and candidates an edge in today’s employment market. What’s more, building a solid relationship with a professional recruiter can help companies and candidates achieve success over the long term.
Read more about working with a staffing agency.
Recruiters provide more than their expertise in making matches or helping with the tasks of finding new team members or a new job. They are trusted advisers who look out for the short- and long-term interests of the job seekers and organizations they work with.
At Robert Half, our recruiters take time to understand your career or business and identify your specific needs before they launch a search. They evaluate candidates and companies to find the right match and act as a bridge between job seekers and employers to make sure everyone’s needs are met. And they are always thinking about new ways to help you build your career or business.
Job seekers have everything to gain from working with a recruiter since staffing firms don’t typically charge candidates a fee for their services. At no cost, candidates get the expertise to optimize their resume or coaching to help them ace an interview. A recruiter will also act as a sounding board to provide different career perspectives and an advocate who can help bring opportunities for future career growth.
Employers typically pay staffing agencies a fee for their services, but the added value they receive goes far beyond finding and hiring candidates. At Robert Half, our recruiters educate clients about market conditions and advise companies on the steps they should take to attract and retain high-quality candidates.
We also proactively represent companies’ available roles to potential candidates who are qualified and interested in the opportunity. This personal touch is invaluable in an environment where many companies are competing for the same limited pool of professional talent available for hire.
So, how do you choose the right staffing agency? Here are some things to look for to help you connect with a professional recruiter who has the right expertise, tools and resources for your needs.
Working with recruiters — tips for employers
A professional staffing firm can save you time and effort when speed-to-hire is critical and help you avoid costly hiring mistakes. Employers should make sure that staffing firms and their recruiters check these boxes:
- Specialized networks. The most successful recruiters have knowledge and experience in your industry, plus an understanding of your business and the nuances of the employment market. The recruiters at Robert Half have built long-standing relationships with industry professionals, including active job seekers and passive job seekers who might consider changing roles to work for you. That’s important because even in an uncertain economy, highly skilled candidates are always weighing their options.
- Client lists. The recruiting firm should have a successful track record of working with businesses like yours. Ask if the staffing agency has worked with clients of the same type, size and industry as your organization, and take time to read testimonials from companies and candidates.
- Scope. The best recruiters have developed a pipeline of potential candidates by networking and staying connected to people they’ve helped throughout their careers. At Robert Half, we maintain a deep and broad network of vetted professionals with in-demand skills and relevant experience, including millions of candidates who can work remotely, so we can quickly find one person or an entire team.
- Dedication to your unique staffing needs. Professional recruiters who get to know you and your organization’s specific needs upfront are better positioned to quickly pinpoint the right candidates to make the best use of your time when you need to interview and hire.
Working with recruiters — tips for job seekers
Professional staffing services can give you a head start on finding available jobs, connect you with valuable industry contacts, and alert you to promising on-site and remote work opportunities. Robert Half recruiters also use their relationships with client companies to find unadvertised career opportunities or proactively pitch a candidate to a company that could use someone with their industry-specific background, experience and skill sets.
Candidates should consider these factors when evaluating staffing agencies:
A professional staffing agency that has a solid reputation and is known for its accolades can open doors for that firm’s recruiters and the job seekers they represent.
Robert Half’s accolades include ranking first on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms and America’s Best Temporary Staffing Firms. Robert Half also took the top spot on the annual ranking of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms. Research the firm’s history, accolades and alliance partners to get an idea of its standing in the industry and remember to ask for references.
Browse the job listings on the recruiting firm’s website and look at the job titles and the number of available openings in your field. Also, if you want or need flexible work options, determine whether the firm places candidates in remote and hybrid roles.
Professionalism and resourcefulness
Take note of the firm’s overall level of professionalism when you interact with them. You should be confident that you’re working with an organized and committed staffing agency.
Also, assess how well the agency has set up its recruiters to interact with job candidates and employers remotely, as well as the recruiter’s work style.
Make sure you understand the ins and outs of working with a staffing agency recruiter. Will you be working with one person or a team? How often will you receive updates? How quickly are new positions typically found? Also, be wary of any staffing agency that charges job seekers for their services.
Finally, make a point to understand the level of involvement the recruiter expects from you. The best firms and their representatives will handle the heavy lifting for you and stay in touch to meet your unique needs.
Whether you’re exploring new options or looking to make an immediate career move, the professional recruiters at Robert Half can help. Get started now by exploring our open positions.
Steve Saah is an executive director with Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. Connect with him on LinkedIn.