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Recruitment Agencies – Preferred Supplier’s List


Does anybody have any experience or advice to share on how to create a UK wide recruitment agencies Preferred Supplier's List? We are inundated with approaches from agencies who all say they are different and provide a better service than their competitors.

We are in the IT industry but would need agencies for all specialisms - finance, sales, IT, marketing, admin and consultancy. I need to select several for each specialism - what criteria would you/did you use?
Jayne Burke

2 Responses

  1. Try Being a Candidate
    One way to grade recruitment agencies is to try to use them as a candidate would. In particular, try using their web sites, as an increasing number of job-seekers are doing. You’ll find that they range from the excellent to the frankly awful. Then ask yourself which sites are likely to attract the best quality people. If you would like a list of the main web site addresses, please email me.

  2. Consider each area separately
    Recruiting based on a formula hardly ever works – at the end of the day “quality” is one thing but getting the people is another. Your ideal candidate could walk into your “worst nightmare” agency and whilst there is much to be said from taking the stress out of recruitment- at the end of the day it is the candidate that you need ! Thinking about where they might look for a job is the first stage, location of agency may be important. Then it depends on levels of skills required – you are buying really only one thing – the value of the agency identifying the candidate and saving you time. You are not paying them for attracting the right candidate because with time and a good strategy you could find them yourselves . Deciding which agencies will work for your particular needs could mean checking out what they do with a candidate after contact – do they interview them ? How do they interview and what do they ask them ? what information do they give you ? You need to be able to trust the agencies and to be able to rely on their experience of the market. You need a realistic appraisal not an agency sales pitch on each candidate.

    Frankly I would look at each job type separately. As a sales team consultancy we often stand between agencies and the recruiting company to manage the hassle and with our experience interviewing salespeople we refine the process to short list – if you are looking at a campaign it might be worth considering.

    Otherwise its about building trust on both sides and both sides knowing what to expect from each other. Size of database won’t help if they cant indentify the candidate and can only send you them all to look at !

    If you get frustrated and need another view mail me – [email protected]


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