Do you need to use a recruitment agency to fill your vacancy?

After a difficult 18 months it is no surprise that many businesses (especially small businesses), are keeping an eye on potential savings.

Many companies are now looking to recruit, and competition for candidates is increasing in many sectors. Businesses need to decide if it is right for them to utilise a recruitment agency to fill a vacancy in the current market, or if they should bring recruitment in-house and work on it themselves.

Business owners and managers often wear a variety of different hats in their role, with involvement in Product Development, Sales, Marketing, Administration, Accounts, and Human Resources, and no-one knows their business better!.. so it might be right to manage the recruitment process directly and save some money on recruitment fees… but then again it might not!

Like any project, whether it be painting the ceiling, or recruiting a member of staff, it is important to understand what is involved, what resources are required, and how long it might take to complete in order make the decision on whether to ‘do it yourself’ or engage a professional.


What is involved in recruitment?

We are sometimes asked by potential clients who have not used recruitment agencies in the past (or used the wrong ones), why they should utilise a professional recruitment agency to help them fill their permanent vacancies when they can do it themselves. Some have the impression that recruiters just take money for passing a CV on to their clients and doing very little work.

With over 20 years in the recruitment industry I can tell you that this perception is usually inaccurate. It is the result of a misunderstanding of how professional recruiters work, and how they add value to businesses. It is very much a case of only seeing the very tip of the iceberg!

Really good recruiters may only provide a small number of candidates to clients, but this is not a sign of a lack of value for money. On the contrary it is the opposite, demonstrating that they have done the work and understand what the client is looking for.


What do recruiters actually do?

It’s what you don’t see that makes the difference!

You won’t for example see your recruiter write adverts designed to target and attract the right candidates, and pay for them to be placed on multiple platforms and job boards. You won’t see them search their databases of thousands of local candidates for the few that match your requirements. You won’t see them use expensive tools to identify and contact passive candidates who are not on the job boards but who might be the perfect match for your business. You won’t see them sift through applications, pre-screen candidates, or talk potential applicants through the role and your company to ensure there is a cultural match, making sure that each candidate that you receive is a fully qualified. All you will see is the CV of a candidate that you are interested in interviewing.

But that is not to say that you should always use a recruiter to fill your vacancy!


Things to consider when deciding which way to go:

  1. How difficult is the role to fill? How common are the skills you are looking for?
  2. Recruitment is an exhaustive process – Do you have time available to perform the tasks listed above?
  3. Do you have a budget for your own recruitment campaign?
  4. Do you have a network that could help you find the right candidate?
  5. Can you afford to get it wrong or have the vacancy open for a long time?


You don’t always have to use a professional…

If I have the capacity to take a couple of days off I could buy my own ladder, paint, brushes, and a roller, hire some scaffolding and paint my ceiling myself, but it might take me a little longer and the finish might not be quite as good as I was hoping.