Working with employment agencies

As well as having expert knowledge of the recruitment marketplace, agencies can be used on a consultancy basis: REC research found that by working with an independent recruitment partner, employers can ‘road test’ their employer brand and build their employee value proposition (EVP).

Agencies can also use their expertise to help measure the success both of the EVP and existing recruitment practices by ensuring, as outside independent consultants, that organisations can meet candidates’ expectations, and answer questions candidates may ask, unfettered by internal organisational norms.

Complementing their more traditional role of finding candidates, recruitment agencies can also promote an organisation’s employer brand by effectively managing parts of the candidate care programme such as applicant expectations and rejections (see article 42 for more on candidate care programmes).

Top tips for working with agencies

• develop a partnership with your agency–the better they know you and your needs the better able they are to help you

• provide a detailed brief on the role to be filled,which preferably includes a visit to your premises

• give your recruitment agency the power to give honest feedback – it will enable you to create a better EVP

• work with your agency to develop ‘your story’–the reasons why applicants with the skills you need should join you instead of one of your rivals

• use your agency to help measure your recruitment activity.