How to Hire a Recruiter to Find the Best Talent or Best Job

By Robert Half August 16, 2018 at 11:45am

Staffing agencies are experts at making matches, whether you want to find a professional who will take your team to the next level, or you’re looking for a rewarding career opportunity for yourself. But how do you go about choosing the right service for you or your company? You need to know how to hire a recruiter.

An expert recruiter can help identify your needs, launch a search, evaluate candidates or employers, and reduce the time and stress associated with finding new staff or a new job.

Technically, when you’re seeking a job and working with a staffing agency, you won’t be hiring a recruiter. Firms typically charge a fee to employers to find them top candidates, but most don’t charge job seekers for their services.

Let’s start with employers who want to streamline the hiring process by engaging with a recruiting firm.

How to hire a recruiter — for employers

Consider the following factors when choosing a reputable staffing agency:

  • Specialization — Staffing agencies have access to a pool of candidates with in-demand skills and relevant experience. Some of them may even be passive job seekers who would consider changing roles to work for you. Look for recruiters at specialized agencies who can offer deep expertise in your industry and a unique perspective.
  • Client lists — Read customer testimonials and ask to see a list of companies the firm has worked with. The ideal recruitment service has experience working with your size and type of business.
  • Scope — How broad are the networks of the recruiting firm? Do the recruiters have access to candidates you don’t? Have professionals already been vetted? The best recruiters have cultivated a rich pipeline of job seekers through their networking efforts and by placing professionals in jobs and staying connected with them.
  • Hiring process — How long is the search expected to take? What evaluations will the recruiters perform before you meet a potential hire? How many individuals will you interview? The best recruitment agencies will save you save you the time of wading through a multitude of resumes from unqualified applicants.
  • Dedication — Is the recruiter committed to making an ideal match for you? The best ones will help you find someone who fits your corporate culture and is suited to your work environment. That will help eliminate staff turnover and the cost of a bad hire.

How to hire a recruiter — for job seekers

Staffing services can provide you a head start on finding available jobs, connect you with valuable industry contacts and alert you to promising opportunities as they become available. Establishing an ongoing relationship with a recruiter can also benefit your career in the long run, even if you aren't actively looking for a new job.

Consider the following factors when starting the recruitment process for your job search:

  • Reputation: Be sure to research the firm's history, accolades and alliance partners to get an idea of its standing in the industry. Ask for references.
  • Available jobs: Browse the job listings on the recruiting firm's website. Look at job titles, locations and the number of openings available in your field.
  • Staff interaction: Meet with the staffing agency, paying attention to the level of professionalism and customer service it offers. Take note of how well the firm’s representatives follow up with you after your visits. Remember, you're entrusting your professional future to this company, so you want to feel comfortable working with it.
  • Policies: Make sure you understand the ins and outs of working with a recruiter. Will you be working with one person or a team? How often will you receive updates? How quickly are new positions typically found? Be wary of any staffing agency that charges job seekers for their services.
  • Additional services: Some staffing agencies provide additional career resources, such as resume-writing help, recommendations about continuing education and interview coaching.

Make sure you understand how involved you are expected to be when working with a recruiter. The best firms will handle the heavy lifting for you and will remain in touch to meet your unique needs.

If you’re ready to approach a staffing agency, learn how Robert Half can help you find the right job.

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