By Jessica Miller-Merrell
Partnering with a recruiting agency can completely transform the way your company sources candidates, or it can simply strengthen the way you build your candidate pipeline. As I talked about in part one of this series, a recruiting agency isn’t intended to be your total recruitment solution but rather supports your internal recruiting team’s efforts. That means that the wonderful thing about a recruiting agency is that you call the shots. It’s up to you to set expectations and define the terms of the partnership, like I discussed in part two. But even when you establish those things upfront, there is a lot of upkeep in a partnership like this. It’s not a one-and-done solution, but instead requires ongoing interaction and is strengthened by it.
To be successful when working with a recruiting agency, both parties must be involved. Take a look at these four key elements of the relationship and what each party’s responsibility is:
Introduce new products, technologies and ideas
Your recruiting agency should be providing you with input on what tools will help you best achieve your goals and what methods will help you bring in the best candidates. After all, they are out in the industry every day and are likely exposed to numerous tools and resources that you may not know about. Let them know that you want input on what could be of value to your organization. If you wanted to maintain the status quo, you wouldn’t have brought them on board, so be vocal about your desire to try new things and evaluate new technologies.
Don’t always go with the flow
Your recruiting agency’s greatest value is the expertise they bring to your organization, but your team also brings a wealth of institutional knowledge. This means that your agency will likely bring many ideas and solutions to the table that you will need to sift through. They may have seen these methods works before, or they may be fresh and untested. Either way, you’ll need to evaluate what will work with your organization and the type of candidates you’re trying to reach. If your own expertise and experience tell you it’s a bad idea, don’t be afraid to push back. It’s not only your right as their client but also your responsibility since you are accountable to your company. On the other hand, don’t be too afraid to try something new just because there are a few unknown factors.
Update each other
Your recruiting agency should provide you with regular updates on what they’re doing and what kind of results they’re seeing. It’s not enough to just let you know when they have a good candidate. A monthly or quarterly report on what their efforts are producing is essential. In addition to a regular report, it’s also valuable for the agency to check in with casual updates and to ask you questions about how things are going on your end as well. Just a quick rundown of what’s going on internally with your recruiting team can provide them with valuable insight. Another aspect you’ll want to check in with each other about is your strategy. A regular evaluation of your strategy can help you sharpen and hone your efforts.
When you bring on a recruiting agency, remember that you’re not only hiring a vendor but also expanding your team. By working with them, keeping them in the loop and having a unified strategy, you can strengthen your recruiting and develop a larger, broader candidate pipeline than your company has ever had access to.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell.