How to get more from your recruitment consultancy


Working with a recruitment consultancy should be a rewarding and successful experience that is beneficial for both parties.

The consultancy should be focused on finding the right person to join your business, leaving you with more time and energy to devote to other tasks.

At Spring, our consultants work hard to understand your business, your market, the technical and cultural aspects of a role, and how to get the best talent for your company.

Find the right agency for you

Asking some straightforward questions of your potential recruitment consultancy will help you to identify whether it is the right partner for your business. Here are some suggestions:

• Does the consultancy specialise in your market?
• Does it recruit for your discipline?
• How long has it existed?
• Has it recruited for your competitors or similar organisations?
• Can it provide added value?
• Can it demonstrate previous success?
• Can it commit to an agreed deadline?
• Will it come and meet you?

Prepare a good brief

It is essential that you pull together all your requirements before you meet with a recruitment consultant. This will allow you to really understand what you are looking for, to assess what you need, and to properly position the role and the company. 

A good brief for a recruitment agency should include:

• Technical specification – which technical skills are necessary to get the job done?
• Person profile – what type of person are you looking for and what sort of temperament should they have to fit in with your company culture? List any ‘soft skills’ that you require – for example, communication, leadership and negotiation skills.
• Background – is experience in any particular sector or organisation needed or preferred?

Write a detailed job specification

The more detail you provide, the more focused the search will be and the better the brief that the consultancy will be able to give to potential candidates. 

Job specs can sometimes be too brief, contain irrelevant information or poorly describe the vacancy. Make sure that your consultant helps you to avoid these mistakes.

There are seven key areas to include in a job specification:

1. The Organisation?

1. The organisation
The organisation’s business objectives, history, key markets and size should be clearly articulated. Strong candidates will want to know where your company is heading so that they can decide if they can, or want, to be part of its future.

2. The Team?

2. The team
How many people are in the team and how is it structured? How does the function fit into the organisation as a whole? Who are the key stakeholders? Describe the culture of the team as well as that of the company. Candidates will want to know if they will fit in.

3. The Role?

3. The role
What is the reason for the vacancy? What is the purpose of the role? What are the main tasks and responsibilities entailed with the role? Which skills will be needed to do it? What training could be provided to help do it? What background would help? Which previous achievements would be considered essential and which useful?

4. Development within the role?

4. Development within the role
How will the role look in the future? Where might it lead to? What opportunities are there to progress? Strong candidates will be looking for a job that offers a promising future.

5. Personal qualities?

5. Personal qualities
What kind of person does the role require? Sometimes there is a danger that employers describe the personal qualities that they like rather than those that are best for the role. Most teams benefit from having a broad personality profile.Therefore, it is best to shape the personal attributes to the role, as well as to the team and organisational culture.

6. Remuneration?

6. Remuneration
The complete benefits package should be detailed. Sometimes the smallest of things can tip a candidate in favour of a particular job.

7. Process and timescales?

7. Process and timescales
When will the interviews take place? Who will be involved? How many stages are there? How will the candidate be informed? Will feedback be provided?

Top tips for managing your recruitment consultancy

How can you manage your recruitment consultancy so that you get the most out of the partnership? Here are our top tips:

• Develop a successful relationship by establishing clear lines of communication and managing expectations.
• Hire a consultancy with a long track record to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
• Listen to your consultants. They can advise you on how they think the candidates stack up against each other, how likely you are to find what you’re looking for, and whether you are in any danger of losing a preferred candidate.
• Stay in touch. Your consultant needs to keep candidates interested, particularly the good ones who may have several opportunities to choose from.

And finally…

• Do make sure that you have a sign-off process and that your budget is approved. These can often be sticking points that hold up the recruitment process.
• Set realistic timescales to review CVs and conduct interviews – it may take longer than you think.
• Remember that your recruitment consultants should make the recruitment process easier for you – let them shoulder the burden.