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Why Companies Use a Recruiter

There are many different reasons as to why companies use recruiting firms. Below are some of the reasons:

Selecting a Recruiter
Once a company has decided to use a recruiter, the next step is knowing which one to hire. The position they need to fill should coordinate with the type of firm they want. When a firm calls itself an 'agency', then that usually suggests they focus on middle management positions whereas if they refer themselves as an 'executive search firm' then they focus on upper-management.

In order to find the right recruiter to fit the company's needs, there is some information they should get before giving details of the search:

Credibility, trust and integrity are important in choosing the right recruiter. Clients should confirm who their primary contact will be as many recruiting firms send a marketing individual for the first meeting and they may not be the person doing the search. Things to look for in a recruiter are:

Overall, companies want to hire recruiters that give them confidence that they will find the right person for the job.

The Recruiting Process

Senior Positions
Retainer fee recruiters offer the most personalized service. They find out everything they need to know about the company and the position(s) being offered to candidates by helping to prepare the job description and understanding the corporate culture.

Other items to discuss are fees beyond the normal percentage so they know what to expect. This would include any additional fees for advertising, long distance, extending the search, etc. The timetable for the search is predetermined by the negotiations and there are three elements that go into these searches:

  1. The companies urgency
  2. Complex interviewing process
  3. Uniqueness of the candidate
Sometimes a candidate is lost to the length of time it takes to interview all of the candidates, but typically the duration is three to six months.

There are items that a company is guaranteed when they hire a recruiter. Recruiters can guarantee a candidate for 30 days up to one year. Should it not work out within the timeframe, the recruiter will find a replacement free if the person just picks up and leaves or they are proven to be wrongfully terminated.

Once everything is agreed upon, the recruiter goes to work gathering resumes. They use multiple venues for this, from their network to advertisements. They will conduct the first interviews to bring to the company where they will interview the candidates. The recruiter and company will determine the candidate to get the job. Once done, the recruiter will follow-up with the candidate and the company to ensure they are working well together.

The relationship with a retainer recruiter is an exclusive one, and companies will pay the fees whether they hire someone or not.

Middle Management Positions
Most recruiters for middle management work on a contingency fee and will get a percent of the first year's expected salary for full-time positions. This means most searches will not be exclusive, and sometimes several agencies will compete for one person.

The recruiter will call the company to ascertain the required skills for the position, requesting a written profile, and the company's culture. The fees to be paid to the recruiter are also negotiated at this time.

They will then work quickly and collect resumes by placing an ad or contacting candidates on file. Once they have a list, they'll interview the candidates. The interview process isn't as in depth as with executive retainer recruiters. They want to get several resumes to the company before a competing recruiter does and the job is filled. They will forward resumes, with the names and addresses blocked out, and the recruiter sets up meetings for the candidate and company to meet.

Once a company decides on a candidate, the recruiter handles the offer. Upon acceptance and they are hired, the fees are due to the recruiter.

The timetable for a middle-management search is much shorter than that of an executive search, and can be as short as six weeks. This can of course take longer depending on what's happening with the company internally as well as the candidate.