If you’re a business leader, your people are your most important investment. Over the years, a good employee will return many times the value of their hiring and training. But recruitment is costly. It pays to get it right first time. Choosing a recruiter that favours partnerships over short-term transactions can have a significant impact on your bottom line. This post offers insight into the process of choosing a recruitment partner, and reveals how Compliance Professionals works with businesses to help them build winning teams.

Recruitment is competitive and many firms battle on price. The low fees offered by some consultancies seem attractive at first glance, but it’s worth digging deeper to find out what the offer actually entails. While databases are an important resource for recruitment firms, enabling relevant candidates to be pinpointed quickly and easily, to find the best candidates, you need a firm with a good network. A well-connected firm—whose consultants have personal relationships with the top professionals in your sector—is better positioned to find your future star employees.

The other important areas to consider when choosing a recruitment partner are specialism and experience. A consultancy that has specialist knowledge of your industry will have a greater understanding of your needs and be better connected to the kind of people you want to employ. A well-established firm that employs consultants with five or more years’ experience is likely to be good at what it does and interested in developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

At Saxton Leigh, our mission is to help companies grow, something we’ve been doing for the past 15 years. By focusing exclusively on risk recruitment we’ve become industry experts, well regarded in the sector. All our consultants have worked for us for an average of seven years. This means they know the market and, importantly, the best professionals in the field know them.

Evaluating the service of a recruitment partner

When the time comes to recruit, you don’t want to be wading through irrelevant CVs or running pointless interviews. You should choose a recruitment partner that eases your workload rather than adds to it. Before you begin working with a recruitment firm, evaluate them to find out what level of service you’ll be receiving. The two key aspects of a consultancy’s service are its approach to getting to know you and your business, and how it goes about finding talented professionals.

A good consultant is an ambassador for your brand. A bad one can put people off working for you. When beginning a partnership, it’s important to meet your consultant in person. With knowledge of your company and its values, the consultant can sell opportunities effectively and dispel any preconceptions candidates might have. When you consider that a good hire will be with your company for at least three years, it’s clear why it’s imperative to choose a recruiter that takes time to understand your company’s strategy.

Anyone can forward a CV. What distinguishes expert consultants from the rest is their ability to headhunt. By this we mean building relationships with professionals who might consider a new opportunity but aren’t actively looking. These people, usually in high demand, don’t apply for jobs or add their CVs to jobs boards. They’ll only speak to consultants who know their field and have a track record of success. A good consultant takes the time to build relationships with these professionals, always meeting them prior to interview to ensure a good match.

The recruitment industry is not renowned for its reputation. But there are companies that defy the stereotype and provide honest and friendly service. Listening is important, but so is challenging. An experienced consultant will use their market knowledge to point out unrealistic expectations. They’ll tell you if you’ve set a salary too high, or if a potential employee gives cause for concern. Explore the consultancy’s website: you should find testimonials that shed light on what the company does well. When you meet, ask the consultant to explain their most important client relationships.

Technology hasn’t changed the fundamentals of recruitment

Technology has transformed many aspects of recruitment. Most job searches are now done online, making it easier to find and apply for jobs. Platforms like LinkedIn are an effective way for recruiters and ambitious professionals to make contact. But the industry is still fundamentally about relationships and trust, which is why it’s worth investing in the services of a specialist firm whose consultants still understand the value of a handshake.

In the dog-eat-dog world of dated consultancies, high turnover and burnout is common among staff. Consultants in these environments do not have the time or the inclination to build proper relationships with employers or candidates. Conversely, at a consultancy with a healthy, collaborative culture, you’ll find consultants who are comfortable recruiting at the highest levels: experts who understand the technical requirements of roles, and can filter candidates based on ability and attitude rather than simply scanning CVs for buzzwords.

Good consultants continually nurture relationships with potential candidates. This means they have a pool of talent they can reach out to when you notify them of an opportunity. While some recruitment drives are time critical, others are less so. Regardless, it’s fair for you to expect prompt turnaround at all stages of the recruitment process, from shortlisting, to interviews and offers. After choosing a recruitment partner, at the briefing stage, agree a timetable by working back from the date you want your new employee to start.

Building a relationship with a specialised consultancy means your recruitment will become easier over time. Its the difference between a quick win and a long-term, fruitful partnership. As the relationship deepens and your consultant gets under the skin of your business, you’ll be able to spend less time briefing and more time doing whatever it is you do best. This kind of collaboration is invaluable for business success.

To conclude, if you’re choosing a recruitment partner, be sure to select a consultancy that has a robust network, has specialised knowledge of your sector, is known and respected in the industry, takes time to understand what you need, and has the experience to act in your best interests. People are your most important investment. Make sure you choose the right people to find them.

Get in touch today to find out how Saxton Leigh can help you build a winning team.

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