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What Makes A Good Recruiter? 9 Considerations When Outsourcing

by Karyn H. Rhodes | SHRM-SCP, SPHR on Apr 6, 2021 4:45:36 AM

Employers who excel in recruiting generally experience more revenue growth and profit margins than those less capable. That’s likely why you, and about 40% of all US companies, have decided to outsource much if not all of the hiring process. But with so many recruiters available to help you find candidates, it can be challenging to know which vendor to choose.

Complete Payroll Solutions provides outsourced HR services to thousands of companies, including recruiting. While we work with companies of all sizes and in all industries, we know that we may not be the right choice for every business. But we also know what companies should consider when evaluating vendors to find the best fit.

In this article, we’ll help you identify the ideal recruiter by discussing the biggest factors to consider when evaluating vendors, including:

  • Experience
  • Specialization
  • History of Success
  • Cost
  • Guarantees
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Messaging
  • Services
  • Client Support

After you read this, you’ll be better equipped to identify the right partner to help you find the best talent to grow your business.

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Recruiter

To help you choose your recruiter with confidence, here are 9 things to consider when evaluating your options.

1. Experience 

The more years a recruiter’s been in business, the wider and deeper their network of candidates they can tap into to fill your role — and ones that aren’t necessarily visiting job boards. With extensive connections, a seasoned recruiter will have access to more individuals who may be a great fit for your organization so be sure to ask about a recruiter’s experience.

2. Specialization

Depending on your needs, you may want to find a recruiter that specializes in your industry so they’re familiar with the training, technology, and other aspects of the work that are standard. Or you may prefer one that focuses on a certain level of position like the C-Suite or recent college graduates. Clearly identifying the role you’re trying to fill and your objectives can help you decide if you need a recruiter with a specific background.

3. History of Success

Find out how a recruiter attracts candidates. Do they have a bank of people to draw from or do they post roles? And ask if they are producing job applicants that are qualified and likely to stay. One way you can find this out is by asking about their results. For example, see if they’ll share:

  • the average time it takes to fill a role
  • the percentage of searches they actually complete
  • the percentage of hires that have stayed two years or more

4. Cost

The most common way outsourced recruiters charge for their services is a percentage of a new hire’s first year’s salary – but only if they’re successful in filling the position. The standard range is between 15% and 30% but you’ll want to check with the recruiters you’re considering to find out exactly what it will cost you. That’s because sometimes the percentage they charge may vary based on factors like your industry, the position, market conditions, and your geographic location.

5. Guarantees

Since there’s a lot riding on a successful placement, be sure to ask if the recruiters you’re considering offer a guarantee. Most will provide a set guarantee period – usually 90 days – in case the new hire doesn’t work out. In these cases, the recruiter would conduct another search at no additional cost.

6. Cultural Understanding 

When you’re hiring, you want to find an employee who is a fit for both the role and your company. And that means making sure your company’s brand is reflected in your recruitment efforts. As you evaluate recruiters, ask how they’ll gain an understanding of your values, culture, and how you treat employees so they can convey that information effectively. They should also be on the same page about what a quality candidate would look like so they bring forward candidates that are good matches.

7. Messaging

Find out how the recruiter will position your open role. You’ll want to make sure the recruiter’s outreach reflects your company messaging and is attractive to your target candidates. Ask if they’ll collaborate with you to create a credible message and one that “sells” individuals on the position. It’s also important that they provide realistic information. Otherwise, you risk new hires feeling the job is not what they expected, causing them to either perform poorly or leave.

8. Services

Each recruiter may offer slightly different services to help you attract, select, and hire candidates. For example, they may handle all or part of the entire recruiting function, which can include:

  • Job descriptions
  • Advertisements
  • Sourcing talent
  • Compliance with employment laws that prohibit discrimination
  • Application review
  • Candidate screening
  • Interviews
  • Background checks
  • Offers

As you interview recruiters, find out exactly what they’ll do to aid in your recruitment efforts and free you up to devote more time to your core business.

9. Client Support

As you evaluate recruiters, find out how often they will update you on their progress. Ideally, you’d want to get a status update weekly or bi-weekly so you can make any adjustments, if needed. It may also be a good idea to ask how many searches they’re working on so you know if you’ll get the level of attention that you expect. Having the time to engage candidates and follow up are crucial to hiring success.

How to Choose the Best Recruiter For Your Business

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to finding the ideal recruiter. As you’re evaluating potential partners, you’ll want to narrow your list and compare them in these 8 areas. While reviewing your options, Complete Payroll Solutions could be a good fit for you if you:

  • Need assistance with any role, including the C-Suite
  • Want a more personal relationship rather than working with an agency or call center
  • Like the added benefit of other integrated outsourced HR support to help your business’ talent strategy

If Complete Payroll Solutions sounds like a good match, read our next article to learn more about the recruitment services we offer.


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