Maybe your business has always handled its own hiring. Maybe employee referrals and website postings have worked in the past. Maybe you never thought your business would ever need to partner with a recruiting firm.
Until, you remember, that one guy who oversold himself in his interview and never met expectations?
Or, that really specialized position that didn’t yield any good candidates?
Or, that time it took over six months to find the right person and the long delay cost you a big account?
I admit, recruiting firms can be kind of like of insurance companies. It’s not likely you’ll need to partner with one until you really need to use one. And when you do, you want to make sure you receive superior service and coverage.
But beware: Not all recruiting firms are alike. Each one has different abilities and specializations. Before hiring a future recruiting partner, be sure to ask these five essential questions.
1. What are the firm’s guarantee and replacement policies?
Make sure you carefully evaluate any guarantees a recruiter makes in the case of new hire replacement. Many recruiters offer different policies based on the level of service chosen. Understand what you are getting, and make sure it suits your needs. If a candidate requires a specialized set of skills, it might be worthwhile to ask for a higher level of service.
2. Does the recruiting firm have experience in your industry?
Although firms may advertise many areas, each firm has its own specialty. Artemis, for example, specializes in supporting Software, Technology, Data and B2B Services companies. When hiring a recruiting firm, you can and should ask for examples of placements made in your industry.
3. How does the recruiting firm qualify candidates?
Or, in other words, what is the process? At Artemis, we employ a PinPoint process where we meet with the company to evaluate critical business issues and characteristics of an ideal candidate. We then use social networks and networking to identify key factors like qualifications, geographic regions, education level, and interests. Next, we approach the candidate, assess abilities, qualify for matching the preferred profile and assist companies in closing the deal. Following up after the placement to ensure the intended fit is important too.
4. What differentiates a firm from their competition?
This is an excellent question to ask of a recruiting partner and should elicit a quick response. The firm should be able to quickly reference several points that would give you clarity on how well they can perform for you.
5. How quickly can the firm build a pipeline for you?
We all know that time is money. If a company is reaching out to a recruiting firm, there is a critical need. Can the firm act on that need quickly? Can they provide a timeline when you’ll start seeing qualified candidates? Do they have the resources to complete the process in a timely manner? Waiting to hire someone in sales, for example, can mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue for your company each week a position goes unfilled.
You want a partner you can trust. We recommend you choose a recruiting firm that is happy to answer these five essential questions.
Chris Gardner is Co-Founder & CEO of Artemis Consultants.