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Selection of the recruitment agency (1/2)

Recruitment agencies in Ukraine: peculiarities ofthe nationalselection

How to select the recruitment agency

In this paper I summarize all the notes, quotations from different interviews and posts in blogs on an important subject: peculiarities of both recruitment agencies selection and work with them.

The paper’s brief summary: criteria of the market operator selection; myths and realias; what is a difference between our agencies and “western” ones; how to “use” an agency properly to the benefit of the business and some other nuances of how to “use” them.

So, what happened within the last months since the financial crisis in Ukraine?

The volume of recruitment agencies services in Ukraine has decreased by the middle of 2010 by 40-50% against September 2008. Tens agencies have crashed. At the same time the market of their clients has diminished. Because of HR-budgets shrinkage and job-hunters growth at the labor market many companies are closing majority of standard vacancies under their own power. Nevertheless, the rest of clients in amount of 50-60% is rather considerable volume of work.

Let’s start from an analysis – why even in such hard time and at excess of job-hunters the recruitment agencies keep their clientage? And why many companies continue sending appeals to the recruitment agencies?

Here are the basic reasons:

  1. Confidentiality at searching for some specialists against the competitorstoconceal their own vacancies in order to camouflage the problems in the company and – vice versa – development intentions; or against their own employees in order to prevent untimely panic at staff replacement; or against the job-hunters in order not to “stir up” the market. After all it is quite usual that the recruiters perform an initial selection without revealing the company-client…
  2. Intricate tasks or too many vacancies simultaneously, whenan internal recruiter lingers, cannot cope with the job, has insufficient experience… Very often the HR-managers are young girls of 22-27 years of age, so they simply lack business and life experience for selection of managers or some other specialists.
  3. The tasksrequiring attraction of additional resources and non-standard methods, apart of commonly accessible sources (mass media, Internet).. “Direct search”, Head-hunting, net of recommendations. Special testing, including trustworthiness verification…Enticement from competitors. Especially in the case of “passive” candidates (who don’t search actively for a job and don’t look through vacancies)…An also in the case of “exclusive” candidates (who have saved their job and don’t search for any new workplace)…
  4. Saving of employees’ time and company’s resources. The external recruiters may reduce their fees by 1.5-2 times (in average, up to 12-15% of the annual salary against 15-25% before the crisis) in fight for the candidate, they may act more quickly and, after all, they may be cheaper than the internal recruiters. Especially – at bulk and urgent selection or searching in regions. Some agencies have their representations in regional centers to save expenses of a client for searching in regions (low number of trips and phone calls, no necessity for advertisements in the local press etc.). At active expansion into regions the company should appeal to the so called net agencies having representations around the whole country. Assessment of the work with agencies have to include saving in transport expenses, leasing of premises for meetings with candidates, intercity and mobile communication, advertisements in the local press etc…The efficiency of investments into the service of recruitment agencies should be considered also in the long-term aspect taking into account the “service cost” within 1-2 years.
  5. Reduced risk of unclosed vacancies by any specified time. Or vice versa – increased probability to find the required specialist in due time. Parallel use of internal recruiter and 1-2-3 external agencies increases the company’s chances to close the vacancies in accordance with the schedule.
  6. Necessity to use some “secondary” services of recruitment agencies: review of salary levels in the branch or those of competitor’s employees; evaluation and testing of personnel, outplacement etc…

Thus, your company sees necessity of application to recruitment agency. Whichagencyshouldbeaccepted?  It is possible to use my review of agencies in the Ukrnet: обзоркаталоговкадровыхагентств(though the truth is that it needs to be updated).

But how to select the agency?

Below the selection criteria and later on their preference are presented.

–  scale of an agency – is it important?

– list of companies-clients – is it honest?

– record of service in the market – who will check?

– with or without prepayment?

– specialized or universal?

– western or domestic brand?

– database volume  – is it important?

– how they do it in the West?

– just the same – how to select an agency?

to be continued…