Due to a warning light on my dashboard, I'm currently searching for a new engine for my car. Must have at least 20,000 miles experience and be comfortable working in a Ford Fiesta environment. 1.0 litre, Petrol, direct injection, 12 Valves, turbo + intercooler 125PS in good condition. If you are interested please send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org
NO MECHANICS PLEASE
You don't fix your car like this, so don't recruit like this!
This is such a common thing to see on job adverts now but I really don't understand the concept. In my experience very few if any companies have success hiring directly in the current market. It's a candidate-driven, talent poor environment out there and this strategy just isn't competitive enough. So why do companies do this?
Generally, there are 3 key reasons why a company has asked for agencies to not get in contact; Previous bad experiences, cost concerns or they don't fully understand what we do.
Previous bad experiences are understandable. We've all eaten at a restaurant and had a terrible meal. You can moan to the waiter, ask for money off the bill and likely you will never go back there again. This doesn't mean you never eat at a restaurant again though. Recruiters are similar, there are some terrible agencies out there but there are some that really want to take time to understand your business and needs. Don't let a bad experience taint your view of all agencies.
Cost concerns are an interesting one to tackle. It's expensive to recruit no doubt, but you often get what you pay for. An agency working at 8% or 10% is not going to be able to provide the same quality of service as a 20% exclusive recruitment partner. To turn a profit these agencies have to go all out on quantity often ignoring quality and opportunities to add value to the service. My counter would be "what is the cost of not using us?" If you try hiring directly and fail to fill a vacancy for 2, 4 or 6 months how does this affect your business? What if you hire the wrong person? Often companies fall behind on projects, lose clients or miss out on opportunities as they haven't got the right staff in place. Generally, they end up 3-6 months down the line somewhere paying an agency the same or more than they would have in the first place.
What do agencies do? I think this is the most commonly missed point. I've spoken to companies who think we just post their job ads and send them the response. It's so much more than that! We often already know the top candidates, we've spent years building a network and know who has that skill set or what other companies have similar staff. We can give guidance and advice on the market rates, salary ranges, what to expect in response and how to manage an interview process. We screen candidates against your needs saving you time trawling through bad applications and so so much more! This varies hugely depending on the agency but a good one adds a tonne of value to a hiring process.
The best part about it, It's risk-free. The large majority of recruitment in the UK is contingent, meaning you only pay when they've secured the person you want. Very few other industries put in so much work and effort to only potentially get paid.
Next time you are writing a job advert consider the cost of not finding the right person. How would this affect your business? Partnering with a good agency can often be "cheaper" in the long run than hiring direct. Your staff are the engine of your business, not something to save money on.