Unlike many other service providers, where you send a quote to a client for doing some work, it is agreed and on completion of the work you get paid, recruitment is different. We agree rates with a client, do the work regardless if we know if we will be paid at the end or not. Imagine having to manage a building for three months, cover the overheads for that period, not knowing if you would be paid. This is one of the reasons recruitment costs are set where they are.
As a supplier to the block management industry I know all too well how important it is to our clients to save money where they can. One way of doing this on your recruitment, is to go sole agency. I believe there are great positives to doing your recruitment in this way, but you should also be aware of some of the negatives.
Positives of going sole agency:
If an agency is assigned on a sole agency basis, they will prioritise your role and equate longer hours working on it.
All agencies are different but using an agency on a sole basis should also invoke loyalty from them, meaning they shouldn’t be headhunting your staff.
You’ll have one agency contact who’ll take the time to understand what you’re looking for and help you to understand what you need. Nothing will get lost in translation.
It prevents the headache of having to keep a schedule of who sent you candidates and when, to settle agency disputes. In the current market, strong candidates are hard to find, so often agencies are working with the same people causing duplicate CV’s.
A sole agent can spend time producing marketing material for you to help attract the right candidates. This sort of activity also encourages direct applications, saving you money.
Working sole agency gives you someone who you can speak to honestly about the short list of CVs’ without any conflict. Although in my opinion consultants should always help their client to make the right hire whether that is their candidate or not, I can see why the hiring manager may not trust their consultant implicitly, if they have candidates from several agencies.
Negatives of going sole agency:
If you need a new member of staff, like, yesterday then be aware that the hiring process may take longer as less agents will be working on the role.
You may receive fewer CV’s, although the sole agency consultant would have spent more time on the selection process, so although they may have sent fewer CV’s they may well be better quality. Saving you time.
All agents are different, but some may have agreements with other companies where they do not headhunt their staff, which may limit their talent pool.
*Tip* If you are going to choose sole agency, make sure they are specialists in your field!