Engaging Recruitment Agencies


Our company is keen to engage the services of a recruitment company for the first time, for a management role for our office. What should HR do?


Engaging a recruitment agency for the first time can seem daunting, but with structured steps, it can be a smooth process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Define Job Requirements: Clearly define the requirements of the management role, including qualifications, experience, skills, and other attributes you’re seeking in a candidate.

Research Recruitment Agencies: Identify potential recruitment agencies that specialise in your industry or the specific role you’re recruiting for.

Request Proposals: Request proposals from these recruitment agencies. Please include the job requirements and ask them to provide their terms of service, fee structure, replacement policy, and other relevant details.

Review Proposals: Evaluate the proposals based on the recruitment agency’s experience, expertise, fee structure, and proposed recruitment strategy.

Shortlist Agencies: Shortlist the best-suited recruitment agencies based on your evaluation and schedule meetings with them.

Conduct Meetings: Meet with the agencies to understand their process, get a feel for their approach, and clarify any questions you may have.

Check References: Ask for and check references from their previous clients to get a sense of their reliability and success rate.

Choose an Agency: Based on all the information gathered, make a decision and choose the recruitment agency you feel is the best fit.

Draft Contract: Once a decision has been made, draft a contract outlining all terms agreed upon. This includes fees, payment terms, confidentiality, replacement policy, etc.

Kick-off Meeting: Hold a kick-off meeting with the chosen agency to go through the job requirements in detail, discuss the recruitment strategy, and agree on communication and feedback mechanisms.

Remember, these general steps might need to be tailored based on your company’s specific needs and local laws.


What are the points to discuss during the first call with the agency?


During the first call with a potential recruitment agency, there are several key points you should discuss:

Introduction: Begin by introducing your company, what it does, and the type of work culture you have. Also, introduce the role you want to fill and its importance within your organisation.

Experience and Specialties: Ask the agency about their experience, particularly within your industry and the type of role you’re recruiting for. Finding out about their previous successes and their areas of speciality can help you ascertain if they’re the right fit for you.

Recruitment Process: Understanding the agency’s recruitment process is key. Ask how they source candidates, their selection methods, how they handle interviews, reference checks, etc.

Communication and Reporting: Discuss how often and in what manner you will be updated about the progress of the search.

Fees and Terms: Ensure that you understand the fee structure, payment terms, and any guarantees or rebates they offer if the hired candidate leaves within a certain period.

Candidate Replacement Policy: Confirm their policy should the hired candidate leave or be terminated within a specific period after joining.

References: Ask them to provide references from previous clients that you can reach out to.

Remember, it’s important to be clear about your expectations from the beginning to ensure that potential misunderstandings are avoided.


Which of the following steps do you follow to choose a recruitment agency?

Research Recruitment Agencies: 37.50%

Request Proposals: 25.00%

Shortlist Agencies: 12.50%

Conduct Meetings: 12.50%

Kick-off Meeting: 12.50%


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