faqs for using recruitment agencies

how much do recruitment companies cost?
This varies depending on the agency and the nature of your business. It could be the case, for example, that if it is difficult to find candidates in your business sector that the agency would want you to pay for some advertising for the role in specific business publications. In the majority of cases, however, recruitment companies operate on a “no win-no fee" basis and so you would not have to pay unless you employ someone that they had found for you.

For permanent employees recruitment companies charge a percentage of the first year's annual fee for that employee. The percentage that will be charged differs enormously – anything between 15-30%. For temporary workers the recruitment company charges an amount on top of the hourly fee that you would usually expect to pay the worker in question. This also differs greatly from agency to agency.

if I didn’t want to use a recruitment agency how else would I employ staff?
You could advertise in newspapers and magazines, especially local ones. Websites can be effective as well – you could publicise the vacancy on both your website or other websites which advertise job vacancies (some of which are free). It may also be worth thinking about contacting the professional body in your business sector to see what advice they give about employing workers in your field.

are they different types of recruitment agencies?
There are many different types of recruitment agencies. Some are general and have candidates for employment in many different fields, and some are more specialised. For general recruitment there are agencies such as Red Recruitment and Juice Recruitment who specialise in general/administrative vacancies. However, there are some specialist recruitment companies out there such as Supply & Demand Recruitment Ltd which specialises in educational job vacancies and Action Medical who recruit in the medical sector.

what are the main advantages of using a recruitment company?
Recruitment agencies take the admin time out of the whole employment process. They will simply send you candidates for interview, rather than you having to sift through CVs. Often the whole process is sped up as employment agencies can often find potential employees quickly. They especially save time if you are recruiting temporary workers as you don’t have to spend time drawing up contracts or dealing with payroll issues.

You can also ensure that you are getting the calibre of interviewees that you want through a recruitment agency by asking that all candidates pass the agency’s basic tests, or tests set by you before sending them for interview.

what are the main disadvantages?
Recruitment agencies can be expensive. As detailed above they can change up to 15-30% of the first year's salary if you gain a permanent employee through them. They can be even more expensive if you are recruiting a temporary worker through them as the agency's fee is placed on top of the hourly rate that you are paying the employee.

how do I know which recruitment agencies are the best?
Go for one which has been recommended by The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The REC is a professional body which supports and represents the recruitment industry. It includes over 8,000 recruitment agencies.


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