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The Pros and Cons of Using Recruitment Agencies

Posted by Optimize | Jul 3, 2017 7:01:00 AM


It seems that recruitment agencies are everywhere these days. In fact, in the UK there are more than 23,000 registered recruitment agencies - and that number is predicted to grow; it’s over a £35 billion industry! But is it worth the pricetag - to employers and employees?


Recruitment agencies are great for getting quick results at a defined price, but what are the pros and cons of using these recruitment agencies?  We’re here to answer the question: should you be using recruitment agencies, or is your money better spent elsewhere?

Here are some pros and cons of using recruitment agencies.

The Pros


1. Quick results

Recruiters have a database of candidates already, so you don’t have to spend time searching for the candidate you need. They do the leg work, you reap the rewards. Recruiters can work to the deadlines you set so if you need a new hire in a month or a week, they’re the professionals who can work for you.

You can often expect to receive candidate CV's within the week.

2. Recruiters are out to impress

Recruiters work for your company and are determinded to continue the relationship. They want to see the best candidate placed with you for the amount of time you wish (whether it’s temp or permanent). They’re highly experienced at working with companies like yours and getting the results they need to make you both profit. Afterall, it’s a symbiotic relationship and recruiters are competitive. A good recruiter should fight for your business and offer you the best service possible at the price your willing to pay.

3. You'll save time. Lot's of time

Unless you have a full time HR department working around the clock to find candidates, then not having to find candidates and go through the initial stages with them (sending out emails, initial interviews, and so forth) saves you both time and money. Even if you do have a dedicated HR department, your HR department may be busy with other day to day tasks such as helping new employees fill out new hire paperwork, dealing with payroll, training employees, and other administrative functions.  

4. There's the potential for discounts

If you hire en masse and use the same recruitment agency, they often offer mass hiring discounts, which - again - save you money whilst still giving you all the benefits of using a recruiter in the first place.

5. Quality you'll struggle to match

Recruiters quite simply have quality candidates at their fingertips. They scour LinkedIn, job sites, job fairs, and all sorts to find a pool of talent they can use. They have any number of quality people ready to work for a company like yours. The more they work with you, the more they know the kinds of individuals you like. It’s a win-win.


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The Cons

1. The Cost

The price may seem like a con - with recruiters asking for anywhere from 10-30% of the new hire’s starting salary; however, if it takes your company double the time to find a mediocre candidate that will cost you more in the long run. Set aside a recruitment budget and compare it to your cost and time to hire in previous years, and I’m sure you’ll come out ahead. Plus, the quality you’ll gain may not be found in previous hires. For those being hired, it may seem like they could make that extra £5k themselves instead of having that fee go to a recruiter, but if they’d found the job organically, would your company really pay them the extra salary - and would they have found the job or got the job in the first place without the recruiter involvement? Who knows!

2. Often hard to locate specialists single handedly

When you work in a specific industry - say IT, engineering, construction, etc. - then it may seem difficult to find specialist recruiters who know the needs of your industry, and know how to find candidates who fit the bill. But it’s not impossible to learn which recruiters work best in the industry if you have the right tools.


Find specialist Recruiters on our Free Marketplace

3. It takes time to build trust

Another con is that it does take time to build trusted relationships with your recruitment agency (or agencies), but you’ll benefit in the long run. Nothing can be a substitute for time and experience, but recruitment agencies know how to ask the right questions off the bat to build trust; they also know how to hire for your industry, so you’ll soon get the results you want and relationships will strengthen with time.

4. Impersonal

For the person being employed, recruitment agencies can sometimes come across as impersonal because they don’t get to meet you until the end. The candidate is told about your company, coached and then they only have correspondence with you or a face to face interview later in the game. But since recruitment is ubiquitous these days, most candidates expect to have some level of interaction with a recruitment agency so they often feel comfortable with the process.

The Takeaway

Often you can find candidates yourself, but it’s the recruitment agency’s day job to learn how to fill roles for your specific industry. When you use a recruitment agency, you know what you get in the end product is a quality candidate who wants to work for you at an agreed price. There are fewer surprises and variables, and fewer headaches.


Do you want to build trusted relationships with specialist recruiters?

With our Marketplace, you have access to over 600 recruiters, who are experts in their field. You can build relationships over time and set preferences so that you can use only your preferred recruiters, reducing time to hire further.


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Topics: Hiring

Written by Optimize

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