Six Ways to Get More From Your Recruiting Agency

Six Ways to Get More From Your Recruiting Agency

Six Ways to Get More From Your Recruiting Agency

If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely you find yourself in a very common predicament. You have built a great startup company that fulfills your desire to succeed in a field in which you’re passionate, and allows you to make money doing so. You started the company yourself or with a small team of trusted workers, but now, your company is growing and you need more help.

You’ve turned to the online job sites and to social media platforms to try to recruit new members for your team. So far, though, you haven’t found the right candidates, or as many candidates as you need.

As the head of a small business, you often find yourself filling the role of owner, CEO, manager, sales rep and head of human resources all at once. You don’t have the time to spend hours figuring out the intricacies of recruiting services to find the right candidates, and while you’ve thought about contracting an HR consulting firm, you are very careful with every dollar your company spends.

Hiring is an expensive proposition, not just in terms of the money spent on job postings, but on the projected work lost when an employee leaves your company or a position of need is unfilled. According to the Department of Labor and Industry, the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be about one-third of their salary. Recruiting is a vital task for any business, which is why more small businesses and startups are turning to outside human resources consulting firms to do the job for them.

HR outsourcing services could be a great option for startups hiring new employees. Small business HR consulting firms specialize in doing that one thing that seems so difficult but is so vital for the success, health, and longevity of your business – recruiting employees to help your company grow.

HR consulting firms can be a godsend for your small business or startup. However, simply hiring an HR consulting firm and sending them on their way will not set you up for success. You need to approach this as a true partnership between you and the firm you choose.

The firm will be representing your company to potentially thousands of people who haven’t heard of your company or are only vaguely familiar with what you do. As such, you need to think of your HR consulting firm not just as a recruiting agency you contract but as a front-end marketer for your small business or startup.

The firm you choose will be a major form of brand marketing you conduct to a group of people who could help your business reach the true potential it has. In addition, the HR consulting firm will be the face of your company in recruiting, so you need to make sure they are representing your brand very well. You need to have trust they are doing so with the utmost care, because it will be impossible for you to know how they are interacting with candidates.

To make the partnership between you and a human resources consulting firm more successful, and to ultimately find the best candidates you need, follow these six basic ways you can get more from your recruiting agency by setting expectations on how you want the search to be conducted.

1. Be Forthcoming with Your Recruiter

The HR consulting firm you hire is not an employee of yours. The person or people assigned to your company are not intricately familiar with your business, what you do, your mission, your goals, your desires and, most importantly, your needs.

That’s why it’s essential you are forthcoming and upfront with your small business HR consulting firm. This includes creating a really good job description and a profile of the type of person who would be a great fit. You may also want to create a target list of companies from which the HR consulting firm can source. This would help them better understand the work you do and the type of person who would be the best fit for the job.

2. Be Crystal Clear

There is no room for ambiguity in this relationship. Your recruiter needs to know the background, skills, capabilities and work experience you want your candidates to have. This is the point in which you need to be specific. If you are looking for a candidate who has three years’ experience in the field, don’t tell your HR consulting firm you have no minimum requirements. Be up front and honest so the firm knows who to target and who not to target.

Once the specifications have been determined, it’s up to you to hold the firm accountable. Document how well the candidates they bring you match the specifications you set. If the candidates are not up to snuff , you need to have a discussion with the HR consulting firm to figure out why.

3. Provide Direction About Service

There are two sides to recruitment – finding the perfect candidate for the current job opening, and building brand awareness and a backlog of potential candidates for future open positions. The recruiting process is most likely not going to be an anonymous one, meaning the candidates who apply to and interview for the job are going to know the name of your company and be educated on why they should want to work there.

But the fact is only one person among all the candidates is going to be offered the job. That means there will be at least a handful of people who have had an extensive interaction with your company in some fashion – whether it be a screening phone call or a full in-person interview – and didn’t get the job. It’s equally as important for your HR consulting firm to be as cordial and pleasant with the candidates who don’t get the job as the one who does. No candidate should be left with a bad experience.

4. Manage Your Brand

When your human resources consulting firm begins the process, there is one thing they will not be able to control – your business’ brand. Building a solid brand for your startup is essential for all aspects of your business, but particularly so when you are beginning the recruitment process.

You can’t expect your HR consulting firm to overcome your branding issues. Following contact from the recruiter, candidates will often seek out information about your business, so you better make sure that what these candidates find matches up with what the recruiter is telling them.

5. Think Long Term

There is a lot of work that goes into finding the right HR consulting firm and then onboarding them with all the information from above. It will probably take some time for you and the firm you hire to get on the same page and in a smooth workflow.

That’s why it’s important that when you are searching for a human resources consulting firm, you approach it as a long-term relationship. The firm can provide you a wealth of knowledge and services to save you money, time and effort and help your business grow. It’s best, then, to find a partner you can work with long term who understands your business, your culture and how to work with you.

6. Hire Right

The job of the HR consulting firm ends when the candidates are turned over to you. Some firms will screen candidates before recommending them for full interviews, but once that process is completed, the ball is completely back in your court.

The selection of who to hire is up to you. You can’t blame your recruiter for making a hiring mistake; they only pass a pool of qualified candidates onto you. That’s why it’s essential that you create and follow a structured interview plan, and stick to that plan for every candidate.


By following these six steps, you will set proper expectations and benchmarks with your HR consulting firm, who can then conduct the job in an effective and efficient manner.

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