Using online job boards or a general recruitment agency might not be the best source for getting help finding the most talented candidates to join your team and organisation. More and more savvy companies are turning to specialist recruitment agencies to hire top talent because they have specialist recruiters who keep their finger on the pulse of their industry.
If you're looking to fill a really specialist role within your company, a sector specialist will be your best ally, as they dedicate themselves to finding you the type of candidates you are seeking and in many cases they will already have a relationship with the top talent in your sector making it easier for you to reach them.
Tim Morris, director with Applause IT Recruitment offers the following top tips for selecting the best specialist recruitment agency, particularly when recruiting professionals in the UK.
They take time to get to know you and your company
A good recruiter will know your sector inside out; they'll know how and where your company sits in the marketplace, the size of your organisation and its culture in order to attract the right candidates for you.
They will ask you questions about your company and culture in order to understand more.
They'll understand the needs of your business
Hiring people is more than a tick box exercise, an experienced sector specialist will learn from you your broader business strategy and where your new employees will fit in to your growth plans. They'll be ready to put forward candidates that are right for the job but also have the skills and personal attributes to grown in line with your corporate goals.
They actually listen
It sounds obvious but many recruiters are solely focused on the sale, they forget to actually listen to you and the immediate and future recruitment needs you may have. They don't take time to listen and understand your broader business plans.
On the other hand, a good recruiter will always listen to you, your plans and any feedback you have on candidates that have been put forward, they will adapt their searching strategy moving forward to ensure they find a candidate to fit your needs, even if those needs change through the recruitment process.
They are experts
You need an expert, not a generalist recruiter. You need someone who can read a CV and talk to a candidate understanding their technical knowledge and the experience they have, not someone who looks for the specific keywords within a CV. They'll need to know their PHP from their HGV in order to put forward positive candidates.
The have a proven process
From the outset you need to know what their recruitment process is. Do they just forward CVs they've downloaded from job boards or do they take the time to call and meet potential candidates to make sure not only that they have the right skills but they are a good cultural fit for your organisation.
Further to this, do they seek out references; do they look for recommendations on LinkedIn to get a feel for the candidate before passing their CV to you as recommendation for a role?
The candidates they supply should have the exact skills to match the job specification. When candidates arrive for interview they should be well informed on both the role and your company so they have a real feel for what is expected of them and they are keen to get the job.
Overall, candidates put forward should exceed your expectations; you want quality, not quantity.
If you commit yourself to researching a specialist recruitment agency, you should easily find a specialist recruiter that knows how to add value to your business through a targetted recruitment strategy.