Got perm jobs? Five reasons to use an IT recruitment agency

We came across the following blog post, and felt compelled to respond.

"I've worked as a pure recruiter and sourcer for most of my staffing career. I'm new to full desk recruiting and I would like to know how to explain to clients why they should use me as their agency recruiter for a placement fee. I do realize that HR or internal recruiters prefer not to use agencies for permanant job openings because it’s their function to recruit and source for these roles.  Employers also don’t like to pay a fee for perm placements. Any ideas why HR should consider a recruitment agency for their perm positions?"

From the perspective of a corporate recruiter, we understand why there may be a hesitancy to utilize an outside firm for perm placements. But there are advantages to partnering with an IT staffing firm, and here are just five reasons a company should consider the services of an outside recruiter.

  1. jobs resized 600High volume of open positions  -  There are times when the internal recruiter will simply not have the ability to work all of their openings.  At any given time, there may be 10, 20, 30 or more openings.  Trying to successfully fill a number of openings (many of which require very niche-specific skill sets) with a limited number of internal recruiters can be quite a challenge, if not nearly impossible.   In addition, many corporate recruiters have aggressive SLA’s with hiring managers. Continuously missing those targets makes a huge impact on overall performance within their organization. Working with an outside agency to fill at least some of these positions can “speed time to talent” and ensure SLAs are continuously met.
  2. Skillset/Focus – There may be some skill sets that the internal recruiter lacks expertise.  We’re seeing more and more job descriptions that require very specialized skills. Using an agency that has experience recruiting for particular roles and skill sets can be highly beneficial.  Companies may even want to consider using the outside agency(ies) to proactively look for talent with high-demand skills and make hiring decisions once those candidates have been identified. Competition for IT professionals with high-demand skills will become fierce in 2011, and to stay competitive companies have to be quick in finding AND hiring these extremely sought-after workers.
  3. Screening – This is a touchy subject with HR/corporate recruiters, but it can be a great selling point if you approach it in the right way.  HR personnel that recruit (especially when there is a high volume of positions throughout the organization) simply do not have time to develop and adhere to an effective screening process. A reputable recruitment agency will be able to guarantee a successful screening process.  Screening candidates is something staffing firms do on a daily basis, and it’s something they should excel at. Agile’s talent process “Ready. Aim. Hire." includes multiple levels of screening that ensures our clients receive the most qualified candidates in the fastest time possible.
  4. Network of referrals and candidates – Because a staffing firm is in the business of hiring people – that’s all they do 24/7 – the network of referral candidates can be huge.  Each recruiter at the agency has her own network of people that she’s either placed in the past or has received referrals from.  These individual networks, when added together, can contain hundreds or thousands of highly qualified candidates that an internal recruiter just does not have access to. By having access to a large pool of professionals, an agency is better positioned to identify, screen and present more qualified candidates in a faster amount of time.
  5. Recruit from the competition – Due to non-compete issues and recent laws pertaining to non-competes, it is very difficult (if not unlawful) for internal recruiters to directly recruit from their competition.  Here’s an example. Tim works at Company A and gets an offer from its competitor, Company B. He accepts the offer at Company B and HR asks him “who else would you recommend we hire from your old group at Company A. Tim says he would hire Sue, Sallie and Rich but he has a non-compete and cannot recruit these candidates. His non-compete extends to “direct” or “indirect” solicitation, therefore advising HR to recruit these folks would also be in violation of his non-compete. However, it is possible for a recruitment agency to assist a company in recruiting staff from the competition.  Provided Sue, Sallie and Rich are already in the agency’s database prior to Tim’s start date at Company B, the agency can attempt to recruit those individuals, whereas Tim and Company B legally cannot.

There are other benefits to using an outside recruitment agency.  The above are just a few that company’s should consider as they develop and refine their hiring strategies in 2011.

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