How To Choose The Right Recruitment or Executive Search Firm

There are many recruitment and executive search firms that work internationally so how do you pick the right one for your business to ensure the best talent is found for you?

Here are 8 tips to help you choose the right recruitment firm for you.

1. Specific or general?

If your recruitment needs are fairly general you can look at a broad range of recruitment agencies. However if you have specific requirements related to a particular industry you should focus on working with executive search firms that work within the sector.

There are firms which only work in a few sectors and specialise in finding the best talent in those fields.  One benefit of using a specialist firm is that their network is populated with those in the industry meaning they already have a platform to work from.

2. Check their screening process

Understand the recruitment process and screening processes when choosing a firm.  Asking questions about every step of the recruitment process is essential to understand how they are going to find you the best talent.  If you feel they’re just a middle man and are going to bombard you with CV’s and let you do all the work – they’re not going to add much value.

3. Speak to someone!

Having personal relationships with a recruitment firm is the key to success. These relationships allow you to get to know one another as businesses and let you tell the recruiter exactly what you’re looking for in detail.  It also helps the recruiter get to know your company culture to make sure they find the right people for your positions. Relationships also strengthen the trust, which is essential in the process.

4. Look at their mission statement

Mission statements indicate commitment to high performance and ethics which is important if you want a recruitment firm that reflects your own business.

5. Everybody loves them

Look for testimonials and case studies which reflect the recruitment firm. Good recruitment or executive search firms should have some strong, positive feedback from reputable clients.

6. Will they tailor their service to you?

Work with recruitment firms which tailor their service to you. Depending on a variety of issues: who you are hiring, how many people you are hiring and many other factors – each recruitment process should be different.  Look for firms which will tailor their services to your company.

7. Ask them to present

If you are unsure on a recruitment firm invite them in for a sales presentation.  This will give you the chance to understand what they know about you and what they can do for you.  You will know whether they will be committed to your company and your requirements.

8. When your still not sure…

If you’re still having doubts about using a specific recruitment firm put them on a trial basis, just like Eloqua did with Oakstone [below].  This gives the recruitment firm a chance to show you what they can do.  If they deliver the results you are hoping for it’s the right match.

“Andy and his team at Oakstone began working with me at Eloqua in 2010. At first I was sceptical as all recruiters say they can deliver great results and many ask to be retained and work exclusively – up to that point my view was this a risky strategy that I didn’t want to commit to. Andy, was happy to prove their delivery capability on a contingency basis but soon we were keen to move to a sole supplier arrangement as this allowed Oakstone to focus more resources on my behalf and the results followed. Over the following 3 years I worked exclusively with Andy and Oakstone to search out the best talent to join our Sales and PreSales teams in EMEA – the results were excellent with Oakstone recruiting 35 people for us which was about 75% of the EMEA team. Partnering with Oakstone was a real win win – I recommend them highly.”

Bijan Bedroud- VP, EMEA at Eloqua