When you decide to outsource your recruiting process, you basically put all of your trust in a stranger to find the best match for your company. While there are methods and recruiting tips to help you choose the right recruiting firm for you, and reading through the small print of the fee agreements can help you make sure you understand what you’re getting into, that’s not always enough. You also don’t want to give them full control, as after all, you will be the one eventually working with the candidate they pick. As professional as the recruiter is, they can never know your company and the role you’re offering as well as you do.
Before hiring a recruiting firm, it’s best to understand the basic steps recruiters take to find new talent. This, for one, will help you make sure you have all of the information they need, such as job description, skills tests, interview questions and so on. It will also help you ensure that this specific recruiter doesn’t skip any steps to save themselves time. Knowing the basic recruitment stages will allow you to understand what questions to ask a recruiting firm, and know that they’re doing a good job.
Of course, these steps may change from firm to firm, to make them more effective or customized to a specific company and role. However, these are the basics you should look out for, from start to finish:
1. Defining The Role, The Company, and Expectations
Before the recruiting firm starts to search for candidates, it’s important for them to make sure that they have all of the most current information from you. This includes the job description, company culture, management style, and anything that is a must when looking for your ideal candidate.
One of the top recruitment tips for employers at this stage is to make sure the recruiter asks as many questions as possible. They should be able to understand all of your needs and be able to represent your company as best as possible. They should also have suggestions on how to improve descriptions to better refine the search.
2. Building a Strategy
Based on the information the recruiting firm gathered, they will build the best strategy to attract top talent for your role. This will vary from firm to firm, as they will have different resources, such as LinkedIn, past candidates, networking and more. This will also vary from role to role to match the ideal employee. In your list of questions to ask a recruiting firm, you should be sure that they don’t just advertise the position, but also actively approach top applicants. In addition, you should make sure your company is well-branded to attract passive candidates.
3. Pre-Screening and Assessing Performance
The recruiting firm usually has an internal method of assessing the candidates and screening them, to make sure they weed out those who are irrelevant for the role. Based on the list of skills you have provided for this specific role, qualifications, knowledge, experience, and company culture, they may ask applicants to take an initial test. They may also grade all of the candidates on a curve and will only pass those over a certain number.
4. Telephone Interviews
In an additional effort to save you time and money, the recruiting firm will conduct an initial phone interview with the candidates. They will double-check all of the candidate’s experience, make sure they align expectations with them and also prepare them for the face-to-face interview with you.
5. Keeping The Pipeline Open
While you are interviewing the first few viable candidates, the recruiting firm should still be working on marketing the position, screening new applicants and performing phone interviews with new candidates. This circle will keep on going until there’s a good match found (or until the agreed-upon time in the contract with the firm).
6. Post-Interview Evaluation
Once a candidate has finished interviewing with you, ideally, the recruiting firm should talk to both of you, separately. First, they should talk to the candidate and get their feedback about the role, the company, and understand from them if they are still happy with pursuing the position. Second, they should talk with you and your team and analyze each candidate to see if you wish to hire them or not. If you don’t want to hire them, the firm should draw conclusions for the rest of the recruiting process. If you do, they move to the next step.
7. Background Checks and References, and Extending an Offer
At this point, the negotiation with the candidate begins. First, the recruiting firm will conduct a background check, if necessary, for the role, and contact all of the references to cover all of the bases. Then, the recruiter will be the one extending the offer on your behalf and negotiating it back and forth, if the candidate wishes to make any changes. The recruiter, of course, has stakes in this, as their salary involves a part of the candidate’s salary, which is decided when you first sign with them.
At every point of this process, always remember that the recruiter is there to help you. There are many recruitment tips for employers out there, but the best one is to simply communicate with your recruiter. If you don’t tell them what you want, they will do their best, but it may not be what’s best for you.