Is Partnering with an IT Recruitment Agency your Safest Bet?
by Namratha Ambat
IT Jobs and Recruitment Insights
The process of hiring a new employee who fits the technical requirements as well as the cultural aspect of your company requires a lot of work and dedication. It comes down to the question of whether you want to spend your time seeking out talent or save your time and spend the money to make that perfect hire. Recruitment agencies and recruiters are built on the idea of easing your recruitment and selection process. Through strong industry knowledge, specific technical sourcing skills, and a grasp on candidate expectations, they are able to deliver high-quality candidates who are most suitable to your company's needs.
If you’re a company looking to partner with recruitment agencies for the first time, here are a few pointers to keep in mind while making this engagement.
How do IT recruitment agencies work?
Recruitment agencies act as the two-sided platform that connects candidates and companies. Their purpose on the client-side (companies) is to aim to fill job vacancies presented to them. This can be accomplished by conducting detailed job qualification calls with the hiring manager, to understand both the technical and cultural needs along with the urgency of each role, if they’re required to make multiple hires for one company. Recruitment consultants also act as an extension of the company’s brand in the market as it’s their job to convince candidates to hop on board. So it’s key during that first qualification call to brief the recruiter as well as possible so they’re able to pinpoint and attract that ideal candidate. There are several myths surrounding recruitment, which can harm your companies talent acquisition strategy, which we as a recruitment agency can help you avoid.
On the other hand, on the candidate side of things, it’s the recruiter's job to help them take the next step in their career which ensures progression and development. A good recruiter will make it a point to inform their candidates at every step in the recruitment process. As recruitment consultants in GemPool we strive to provide an extremely consultative recruitment experience for our candidates, that they can benefit from. We aim to give the best possible candidate experience.
For a complete understanding of the best recruitment practices, you can download our Recruitment and Selection Guide on our services page. It provides detailed information on processes followed, laws surrounding recruitment practices, and more.
Why do tech companies use recruitment agencies?
Time-saving: A recruitment process is a lengthy and comprehensive activity. As an employer, it is important that you utilise your time in the most efficient manner as possible. The company might know best what is needed from a new hire, however, recruiters know the best ways to reach these candidates. One job can receive close to 100 applicants and this is where the recruiters keen eye for detail kicks in and they’re able to narrow it down to the best 10-20 applicants that suit the predefined requirements best. On the other hand, you might get no strong applications and need to rely on a recruiters network.
As the company all you’ll have to only focus on screening and interviewing, whereas the recruiters spend time on sourcing, screening, selling and preparing the candidates for the interview process with a company, as well as notifying the unsuccessful people. This helps create a streamlined recruitment process that helps the company save time without compromising on quality hires.
Cost effective: Using a recruitment agency can help in lowering the risk of bad or unsuitable hires. According to Gallup a bad hire can cost the company anywhere between one-half to two times the employees annual salary. Recruitment companies conduct a thorough screening process which usually results in highly committed candidates, thereby reducing unnecessary costs for the company.
Technical skill set: Talented and well-experienced recruiters know how to target active as well as passive candidates and they also would have established a solid networking system. This provides them with a constant stream of referrals, which helps quicken the process with quality exclusive candidates. Passive candidates are like hidden treasure, once a recruiter can build a rapport with the candidate, even if they’re not actively looking for a change, they’ll be more open to the idea due to the rapport with the recruiter that has been built over time. Employee referrals as well have a greater success and retention rate. A skilled recruiter will seek these referrals out because the employee can play a major role in gaining trust and be an advocate for the company. Hearing first hand from a trusted connection (the employee) there is automatic buy-in. In our view one of the most successful approaches to the skill of sourcing.
Industry knowledge and insights: The majority of the time a recruiter would specialise in a niche area in the industry and hence would have comprehensive knowledge of the area. They would be able to provide insights into what skill-sets can be found from what companies, what salaries a particular candidate is expecting based on experience, benefits packages they’re looking for, and the latest skills required to be successful in the industry.
It’s always good to pick a recruiter's brain on industry trends, as they are in constant contact with candidates and might be able to provide you with some inside insights. If you have any queries and want to speak to a specialised recruiter, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to have a discussion with you.
Advertising and branding opportunities: A company’s brand name can be a strong selling point in the industry. As mentioned earlier, recruitment agencies act as an extension of the company’s brand to sell the opportunity to candidates. Based on the information provided about the role to the recruiter, as a part of their sourcing strategy, they will advertise the job on well-targeted platforms to gather the appropriate type of talent.
Recruitment and hiring guidance: Using a recruitment agency will help create a more streamlined hiring process. All the administrative and coordination work with the candidate is taken care of by the agency. They schedule interview timings, prepare candidates and clients, communicate feedback information from both sides and also help with offers and rejections. They are all-rounders that will help the company in their recruitment process. Sometimes on the request or direction from the company, recruiters also conduct background and reference checks on the candidates.
What do recruitment agencies charge and how do their fee structures work?
The typical 'contingency' recruitment model in Ireland is a no-placement no-fee model. So if the agency does not fill the role, there is no cost to the employer. If the agency makes the placement, they will charge a one-off fee based on a percentage of the first year's gross annual salary for the placed candidate. This percentage is typically between 15%-20% for contingency recruitment services. Normally there would be multiple agencies working the same role.
There are variations to this model. Typically these involve exclusivity deals or retained agreements. In an exclusivity deal, the employer commits to working with one agency only on the open requirement. In a retained agreement, the employer again commits to working with just one agency on the open role but in this case, some of the fees are paid upfront, with another payment during the recruitment process with the remainder falling due once the candidate is placed. All of these models are often a similar cost to the employer. It's just a different approach in each case.
Retained recruitment services are more popular for more senior vacancies. This is often related to exec search services. As a matter of opinion, this is a real shame. The retained model should be more prevalent across all types of hires and levels of seniority. Retained recruitment is the most effective approach to filling vacancies as it's a win-win. The employer gets their role filled, and the agency gets the fee for the work done. When a recruitment process is being conducted under a retained agreement, it's imperative to fill the role. This model allows the agency to commit resources and more time and budget to ensuring the role is filled.
Is working with an IT recruiter worth it?
Using IT Recruiters for hiring talent
As mentioned above, you would have access to a well networked recruiter, a large database of existing candidates and will also be able to leverage the extensive network of these agencies to secure the top talent that will be best suited to your company. Tech recuiters have a few special IT recruitment tools up their sleeves that help them deliver. They would provide you with recruitment advice at every stage of the process so that you’re able to create a good candidate experience and will also keep you posted on the competition for that candidate. In this candidate driven market, inside knowledge of this nature is priceless to secure that talented candidate.
It’s a good idea to hop on a call with a recruitment agency who specialises in your area of work and weigh out your options. Especially if you are a new start-up and deciding to start your recruitment drive, we have some important hiring pointers for you. We offer free consultations, you can schedule a meeting here and we’ll be in touch with you. You can also look at our recruitment service options, to understand what fits your hiring criteria.
Using IT Recruiters for your job search
A recruiter can be a jobseeker's best friend. They bring exciting opportunities to you, help mend and structure your CV for better response rates, save you time by submitting applications to multiple job vacancies where they think you’re better suited to, and also provide you with guidance and assistance at every stage of the recruitment process.
Another important point to keep in mind is that recruiters have a relationship with many companies and the CVs they send over tend to be reviewed frequently. This should be taken into consideration especially in large multinational companies that receive over 100 applications for every open job position and it’s harder to have a success rate. Recruiters are meant to deliver candidates to companies and they are aware that they are probably receiving higher quality CVs from agencies, which would lead to them reviewing those CVs more frequently.
If you work in the IT sector and are looking for a job, you can browse our job page and apply to the one which fits your experience or you can email us on email@example.com.
How to choose a recruitment agency?
The following are the best-recommended steps when it comes to picking your ideal recruitment partner:
Conduct thorough research
It is essential to conduct a deep dive into the recruitment agency you’re having a conversation with. Check their social profiles, ask for referrals, and go through their website. Their social channels and website should reflect their work and match the offerings as mentioned to you.
Interview recruitment agencies like your candidates
Question the agency as you would your candidates. Make sure they hit every requirement well, for example, ask them how many candidates they have with a particular skill-set, how quick their average turnaround period is, and so on. This is one of the best tips when it comes to picking your ideal recruitment agency.
Consider the agency’s expertise and track record
It is important to understand their sourcing methods and strategies in place. The whole purpose of hiring a recruiter is to find the hidden talent, not the ones you can find on every job board. Ask for case studies regarding their previous work to understand their work plan.
Evaluate their terms
Recruitment companies have a certain set of terms they follow, but more often than not, they are willing to accommodate your needs and tailor their services to fit your staffing requirements. It's good to have a discussion around their terms and maybe strike a deal that benefits both parties.
Be clear about what you want
It is extremely essential that you paint an accurate picture for the recruiter regarding your needs with the new hire. As mentioned, during that first qualification call for the job, you should provide them with information about the technical skills, company culture information, benefits, and if possible insight in the career path of the candidate. A really good recruiter will listen carefully and be able to deliver prime candidates that tick all of those boxes.