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  • Nicky Webster-Hart

How working with a recruitment consultant will save you money - find the best talent.

As the number of job vacancies in the UK continues to grow, currently sitting above 1.1 million, companies face an ever-evolving list of challenges when it comes to finding, attracting and retaining the best talent. The result of Covid across a number of sectors is that companies delayed their hiring in times of uncertainty, and they now face growing demands on time and money to catch up. Those who remained in post are taking the strain which risks employee attrition. In other industries hiring has moved so fast and competition for candidates is fierce; dubbed the war for talent.

Recruitment can be a strenuous task at the best of times, but even more so when the opportunities available to top candidates are plentiful. A lot of time and effort goes into the process, particularly when you think about the CVs and covering letters to review, candidates to pre-assess for suitability, culture fit and understanding what their potential is and how they might fit in with your company. As a result, choosing the best path for your recruiting needs has become even more of a priority, and cost efficiency is key.

A bad hire is very costly, particularly in terms of time to hire, time lost when an employee leaves, resources and time to train the new employee and the costs associated with recruitment. It really does pay to invest in the process, as finding talent can have a measurable positive impact to the bottom line of your business. Make the right hire and you can often boost retention rates as well.

If you are struggling to compete for candidates, have a small team or don't yet have one, or you are missing a talent pool, here's how recruitment done right can transform your business and positively boost your bottom line.

Partner with a good recruiter who understands the sector/function

Recruitment is costly in-house; costs of advertising roles and then sifting through advert responses, researching the market place, sourcing and initial interviewing/screening, not to mention effectively and legally managing the candidate data is time consuming and costly. Advertise a role direct and you can expect to be spammed with CVs, many of which are irrelevant to the role you are recruiting. You need to partner with a specialist recruiter, someone with experience and knowledge who will already have access to candidates you need and will partner with you to help you with your recruitment process. They will know the market, they'll have a good handle on the market and candidates that are available, and can identify those candidates who are seriously looking for their next opportunity, versus those who are window shopping, or using it as an opportunity to boost their salary. They will help you avoid those time wasters and candidates who are likely to ghost you.

What time is it?

(Good) Recruitment agencies or recruitment agents will work with you to understand the role that is being recruited, the experience of the team in situ, the culture of the team and the business and the type of talent you are looking to attract. The agent will cover the costs of advertising roles, data storage and processing, reviewing and sifting CVs, researching the marketplace and time, lots and lots of time which let’s face it, you need to be working on so many other things. An excellent recruitment agent will be like an extension of your business. They will communicate directly with the candidate and support you to successfully onboard them into the team. They will also be a great representation and fit to your employer brand and will understand the benefits of your employee value proposition. A great recruitment agent will understand the dynamics of your business, the challenges you face and be able to give a balanced overview of a business to potential candidates hires. Finally, a fabulous recruitment agent will do the job of prescreening all possibilities, only sending you a selection of no more than five CVs for a role, typically three.

When you do have a candidate selected and ready to join, then you need to keep them engaged, to ensure that they do join. You need to onboard them, training them in systems and process, which is also costly (especially if you have an unsuitable candidate) too.

You have a job to do, a business to run, a team to manage and quite frankly this is not your area of expertise. Particularly if you are running a light team, or are a new startup. Time is money and resources are light.

If you have a legal problem you see a Lawyer, if your tap won’t switch off you get a plumber and if you need recruitment support you work with a Recruitment Consultant (preferably someone from Auxeris)!

So what does it cost?

There are a wide range of costs associated with hiring, some of which are transparent and obvious, and some that are more subtle. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of recruitment:

A recruitment consultant will charge typically around 20-30% of total compensation. At Auxeris it is 15% of annual salary. We're backed by an experienced network of specialist recruiters who are experts in their field of recruitment. They have covered contingency recruitment as well as identifying niche candidates. We only work with the best in their field.

The cost of recruitment can seem high, but when you break it down and look at what can go wrong, the cost can be immeasurable.

So how do you recruit efficiently AND effectively?

There are two main avenues open to companies looking to hire, and there are benefits and drawbacks to both.

Recruiting through an Agency

Agencies don’t have the best reputation at the best of times, but there is a reason the industry is worth over £48bn a year, and that is because, like Auxeris, a large chunk of them know what they’re doing. They are tapped into the market 24/7 and understand what’s out there, and the good ones can quickly garner a deep understanding of your business and find you the right match. However, there is a cost associated with such expertise.

What are the benefits of using recruiters?

  • They have a large network of candidates and they understand how the market moves so they can seek out the best candidates for you quickly.

  • The relationship can be flexible and non-exclusive meaning you can change tack if you’re not happy with their work.

  • A good agency will aim to understand your company intimately and therefore be able to accommodate culture fit, team fit as well as the basics of qualifications and experience.

  • They’ll save you a lot of time and associated expense (see above). Your time is valuable and recruitment agencies can significantly reduce the amount of time you or your team spend with seemingly menial tasks such as sifting through CVs, screening with preliminary interviews and managing the recruitment process with strong communication. After all, they should operate as an extension of your employer brand although see below for the flip side.

It can’t all be positive…

  • Recruitment agencies appear expensive. The average agency charges between 20-33% for their services, and that can feel like a large investment up front.

  • Some agencies will focus on delivering quantity over quality and that will lead to frustration - who needs a mountain of CVs, when the agency is supposed to be narrowing the field to find those talented individuals.

  • Recruiting through an agency means your company is not front and centre in the hiring process and it can reduce your brand representation if the agency doesn’t represent you effectively.

It is important to note that, if a recruiter is doing a good job, it should feel expensive. You’re wondering why? A good recruiter will deliver a small selection of excellent candidates quickly and efficiently. If they do their job well, you will have your new starter in a matter of weeks and it’ll feel like you’ve paid for very little work, but that efficiency and accuracy is what you’re paying for. The connections and excellent communication skills, alongside the clear understanding and representation of your brand.

When you add up the cost of time you’ve saved, the revenue generation enabled by your new employee and opportunity to focus on growth, good recruiters are more than worth it.

Invest in the additional support and it will more than pay for itself with the right talent and culture fit that will support your business to grow and will impact the bottom line.

We’re Auxeris recruitment, the 15% recruitment agency. Powered by experts with a network of specialist recruitment agents who work across numerous sectors. Not only will you save on your recruitment costs with us, you’ll be partnering with our recruitment team, who have years of experience in their industry and are focussed on identifying the right candidates for your business and your talent needs. Find out more about us and get in touch today to see how we can help.

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