Let’s look at the savings. Suppose you need to recruit a technical professional. Many companies advertise in the newspapers or on internet job boards and the timeline could look like this:
1 week – design, vet and submit ad
2 weeks – time span of ad campaign
2 weeks – wait for resumes to come in
1 week – go through resumes to select short-list of candidates
6 weeks total, and this is a conservative estimate as you have so many other things to do, and the technical person to vet the resumes is also very busy. Who actually LIKES to read through scores or even hundreds of mostly unsuitable resumes! So, it’s something everyone keeps putting off. In fact, it can take months to get to the point where you arrange interviews.
Compare this with placing a call to a reputable agency, such as CRS, that has a readily accessible database of technical professionals. Once the agency has a good profile of what you require and there are candidates available, then they can start sending you a short-list of candidates within a day or two. Certainly it should take no longer than 2 weeks to submit a complete short-list of vetted candidates, ready for you to interview.
Not only have you brought forward the interviewing stage by at least a month but the candidates you have short-listed are already screened for suitability and salary expectations and are briefed about the job, the company and its environment. So your time is not wasted interviewing people who don’t want the job. Time is money!
Best of all, the calibre of candidates will usually be very much higher than those responding to an ad. The reason is that ads work best for inexperienced people perhaps looking for their first job, and also for people out of work or anxious to change jobs for whatever reason.
Of course, some high profile companies would always attract experienced people and their problem would be more of finding these resumes amongst the deluge that comes through the door.
An agency would have access to “passive candidates”. These are skilled professionals who are reasonably content in their job and who are most unlikely to respond to ads. However, if it’s very easy (and free) for them to register with a reputable agency, e.g., on the Internet, then they would do so as they would like to get a sense of the job market out there.
A big advantage of an agency is that a Recruitment Consultant can present the job and the company in the best light, overcoming any prejudices that the candidate may have about certain companies or industries. The Recruitment Consultant works to ensure that there is a best fit between candidates and jobs. When there is a “magic” fit, the agency becomes worth their weight in gold!
We had a case where a candidate was rejected because he didn’t seem to have certain experience. Our Recruitment Consultant asked him about this and it turns out that he had omitted to specify this knowledge in his resume. An interview with the client company was arranged for the following week. If he had sent in his resume to the company directly then he would have been overlooked!
But isn’t an agency expensive? Consider the cost of advertising – TT$4,000 – $12,000 or more with no rebates if the person hired doesn’t work out. In fact, you may not find any suitable candidates at all, and what do you do then … go to an agency anyway? Plus there’s a huge cost in terms of man hours to process the resumes, and wouldn’t you rather be doing other more interesting work?
An agency usually charges the company a fee based on the recruit’s starting salary. It is just like paying an extra month’s or so salary for that person. There is normally a small or no charge if you do not hire anyone from the agency, and there would be a partial refund should the recruit leave the job within a certain period of time.
When you add up all the costs and benefits of advertising versus using an agency, then it is just good sense to put your money where there are guarantees and better and quicker results.
(Susan Hale, Managing Director, Caribbean Resourcing Solutions Ltd)