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Why Using a Recruitment Agency Isn’t a Cost… It’s an Investment

Whilst some company directors and owners may baulk at the thought of using a recruitment agency to assist with their recruitment needs, there’s no doubt that thousands upon thousands of companies do every day in the UK. The popularity of using recruitment agencies is underlined by statistics from the recruitment finance provider Sonnovate. The UK recruitment industry is now worth over £35 billion, employs over 100,000 people in over 23,000 agencies and is growing by an average of 9per cent annually. Undoubtedly, these statistics prove that there is a huge amount of value to be had for companies that use recruitment companies. So why do some company directors and owners still see using a recruitment agency as a cost rather than an investment?

Why Should We Pay For Recruitment?

This is the view that some people have about using a recruitment agency. With the majority of recruitment agencies charging a percentage fee to recruit an individual to their organisation, they see the money that they are forking out as a cost rather than an investment. Indeed, it can seem like a double whammy when you have just lost a valuable member of your team and now you have the added expense of paying a recruitment agency to find replacement talent. But actually, it’s not a cost at all, it’s an investment, and the money you spend on a recruitment agency pales in comparison when compared to what it costs recruiting yourself.

On the face of it, it may seem that recruiting in-house is cheaper and makes sense. But in-house recruiting can be a lengthy and costly process and for every minute that your vacancy isn’t filled, your business is not performing as efficiently or as profitably as it could be.

Recruiting internally will see a business go through the following process:

· Write a job description

· Find suitable websites to advertise the position

· Wait for applicants to apply

· Sort through the piles of applications

· Interviews

· Shortlisting

· Second round of interviews

· Background checks and referencing

· Meeting with other management to discuss candidates

· Make job offer

· Wait for candidate to work out notice

· New candidate starts

Think about how long this process takes. Realistically, you could be talking at least three to five months from beginning to end (even longer if the successful candidate has a two month + notice period).

Using a recruitment agency however has number of advantages which significantly reduce both the time and cost of recruitment:​

· Agencies, like in-house teams, recruit for many disciplines and sectors. Agency consultants however, are able to specialise in one area, becoming experts through gaining years of experience in one market. This ensures they have established networks and really understand the sector they operate in. In-house recruiters have to cover a range of disciplines and can only offer a general approach

·Clients can provide a very specific and detailed brief to an agency and can, for example, be very exacting regarding qualifications, length of notice period and years of service required. This ensures they only receive the precise CV’s that they’re looking for. In-house teams however, tend to take a more generic approach

·Candidates may be instantly available as recruitment agencies have a large, live database of suitable candidates

·If advertising is necessary, the appropriate channels will already be known and tested

·Sifting of applications, pre-screening, initial interviews and shortlisting can be done by the agency before they are sent to a client. This time consuming part of the process guarantees candidates meet all areas of the brief. In-house teams are unable to provide this resource due to staffing and time constraints

·Background checks and referencing is done by agency

·Fixed fee (% of salary) costs, known at start of process

Using a recruitment agency can significantly reduce the time and effort required to hire the perfect individual and result the costs involved are much less.