Should I Use an Agency to Find Candidates?

Should I Use an Agency to Find Candidates?

For some companies and for some types of jobs, it is not uncommon that as soon as a job is posted online, applications come flooding in.  But what about the times when that isn’t the case?  Or when you need a highly specialized hire that may not be looking for a job at this time?  This is a perfect opportunity to take a look at other options, and one great resource to pursue is working with external recruiters or recruiting agencies.

LinkedIn has a great list of how staffing firms can help you excel and some of the advantages of working with them.  Some of the biggest reasons that companies start working with recruitment agencies include:

  • When the types of applicants they want are in high-demand and probably already in a job (and possibly not looking at this time).
  • When they have a hard to fill job that is not getting enough qualified applicants through their normal channels.
  • When they have already looked on job boards and not located resumes that fit their requirements.
  • When their company has grown significantly and the current team is overwhelmed with the number of job openings and the time required to fill them.

When you make the move to work with recruiting agencies, there are some considerations you will need to keep in mind in regards to the terms of your agreement as well as the responsibilities and expectations of the external recruiter.

  • What payments terms does the recruiting agency have?  In most cases, this will be based on the hires annual salary and paid after the employee is on the job for a certain number of days.  For example, you might end up paying out 20% of the employee’s annual salary to the recruiter after the new hire has been with the company 90 days.
  • What is the recruiter’s warranty period?  Many will offer you a timeframe during which, if the hire doesn’t work out of leaves, they will find you a replacement hire at no cost.
  • What additional services will the vendor complete for you?  Make sure that you work with an agency who, at a minimum, will pre-screen and meet every candidate that they send your way and that they will verify the qualifications before sending to you.  Also, depending on the recruiter’s field and specialty, some may offer additional services such as skills testing, background checking, drug screening, etc.

Keep in mind that these things can be negotiated – especially if you are making multiple hires through the same agency.  Make sure you discuss and come to agreement on the terms and price.  Also, make sure you shop around and thoroughly review each recruiting agency you use.  You may end up sending out to multiple agencies, but sometimes you can get competitive pricing if you work exclusively with a single vendor.

Additionally, there are some terms and scenarios you might want to review with a recruiting agency that may or may not be a part of their original agreement.

  • Do they offer a lock-out period?  This would be a time during which the recruiter cannot place your candidate in another position at a different company, necessitating you filling the position again.
  • At what point do you have to pay for the resume?  For example, what if the recruiter sends you a resume for someone that already applied through your website?  Or what if the same resume is submitted by multiple recruiters?  Make sure this is clearly defined and easy to document.
  • What happens if the recruiter sends unqualified candidates?  This doesn’t seem to be the norm, but it can happen, so make sure you have open lines of communication to address this situation quickly.

With all of this in mind, our last piece of advice is to make sure that everything about the relationship and the resumes you receive and hire is well documented.  Take steps to ensure you are able to find and report on the information about the resumes that have been sent your way.  Utilizing tools such as applicant tracking solutions and vendor management systems can help ease some of the burden of tracking this manually.  Also, having this as a part of your ATS makes it easier to track the resumes sent from recruiting agencies and house them in the same place as external or internal candidates which will help ensure consistency in your own hiring practices.

What is the Impact of Employee Engagement?

What is the Impact of Employee Engagement?


Gallup studies show employee engagement is on the rise and, hand-in-hand with this, so are engagement initiatives with many companies going so far as to assess their managers based on how well their employees are engaged. The link between top performing companies and a highly engaged workforce is becoming more and more evident as this trend takes hold.


Who is engaged?

Employee engagement differs between different groups, with managers at the levels at 38.4% and millennials the least engaged at 28.9%. Many factors drive these trends, and for millennials specifically, lack of job opportunities coming out of college or jobs that don’t allow them to feel like a valued and respected member of the team can contribute to this. 


What causes employee disengagement?

Whether we like it or not, employees have a life outside of work, and chances are, they care about that life with their family and friends a whole lot more than the 8+ hours a day they spend at the office. That is the life where they are able to create their own goals, set their own priorities, and manage their own work load. 


This “dual life” of employees is the root cause of employee disengagement.


What about a lost employee?

A study done by “The Centre for American Progress” shows that the cost of replacing an employee is clustered between 10 percent and 30 percent of an employee’s annual salary.

Consider the real total cost of losing an employee:

  • Cost of hiring a new person
  • Cost of onboarding a new person
  • Lost productivity
  • Lost engagement
  • Customer service and errors
  • Training cost
  • Cultural impact
  • Impact on other employees

How can employee disengagement be addressed?

Many ways in which you interact with employees will drive their engagement at work, but this needs to be something addressed and reinforced at all levels of the organization.

  1. Engagement starts at the top.
  2. Mission and vision statements are a way of living.
  3. Create harmony between the “dual lives” of the employees.
  4. Communication is key.
  5. Invest in your employees’ future careers.

Over the next couple of months, we will expand upon these ideas and dive into how specific areas of talent management can have an impact on your overall employee engagement.  Some specific topics will include:

  • How having mobile talent management tools can increase employee engagement
  • How career paths can encourage and motivate your employees
  • How development plans can keep employees engaged and promote growth
  • How promoting your company culture can lead to a more engaged workforce
  • What is the impact of performance reviews on employee engagement?


You got a guy? I got a gift card… Tips for leveraging an employee referral program

You got a guy? I got a gift card… Tips for leveraging an employee referral program

Employee: Hey, are we still looking for a project manager for Karen’s team?

Me Recruiter: Yes, we still are.  A certified PM that is willing to commute to FAR OFF TOWN has been hard to find.

Employee: Well I know a guy that fits that bill!

Me Recruiter: We are also doing gift cards if they get to interview, and a cash bonus if they get hired.  So send them to me!

Employee: Great!  I won’t forget to send that resume. 

Me Recruiter: Great!  I won’t forget to add you to the spreadsheet that’s sitting on my desk.

There are a number of benefits to hiring an employee referral.  Including a higher quality of hire, faster application to hire time, lower cost per hire, and a new team member that will work well with your current employees.  But often a new, impromptu, or not often used employee referral program can fall through the cracks.  Making sure that the employee, their referral, and their appreciation don’t fall through the crack is a combination of preparation and automation. 

Getting ready

A successful program requires some simple prior preparation to make sure it’s a clear process. 

What are we giving and when?

This conversation can start by defining which positions are most in need of referrals.  They may be your hard to staff for positions.  They may be positions that benefit most from team members bringing in former team mates that can get up to speed quickly.  As you move from defining the positions to that can most benefit from employee referrals, you can define out the rewards. 

Typically, rewards are the easiest to convey.  Are you giving gift cards, cash, or PTO days?  How far in the process does the referral have to get for each reward?  A gift card for an interview, cash for 2nd interview, or PTO days for a new hire.  As well as do the employees need to submit the resume directly to HR or refer the resume through the Applicant Tracking System. 

Next steps

Defining the different rewards and candidate steps will help you define what the process should be for employees and all participants of the hiring team.  For this, remember to keep it simple and clear.  Make sure the steps for the employee to submit an employee are clear and simple.  Make sure the steps for the hiring managers, interviewers, and anyone else who may touch the process are also clear and well documented.  For both of these, a short checklist that’s easily distributed, accessible, and redistributed often make sure the new processes will stick. 

Tracking referrals

Modern applicant tracking systems will help you track which employees refer a resume in.  They can help track when that candidate hits different activities like interview, second interview, offer, and hired.  The end result can be consolidated reports on who is owed what level of payout. 

If your solution doesn’t support this level of automation, then build these checks into the process.  Every time someone is hired, make sure that information is logged to a central point of contact. For the various other candidate activities such as interview or second interview, add that central point of contact to the standard interview forms as an activity.  By adding the logging to the process, you can help insure that the information gets to the correct place. 


Set the schedule of sending out awards.  This may be governed by payroll, or by quarterly reviews.  Whatever the schedule is, make sure it’s clearly communicated to your employees.  Also make sure these schedules include reviews on the quality of hires brought in.  Do employees know about the program and the incentives?  Are they excited about the incentives?  Also, are awards being properly tracked and distributed?  Checking these items periodically will help make sure you’ve got a successful program.