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Did you know that as well as finding the best new people for your business, your recruitment agency can also negotiate pay and contracts, act as a knowledgeable advisor in your industry sector, and do everything from designing the job ad to conducting the first round of interviews?

If you’re not using your recruitment consultants to their full potential then now is the time to start! Melanie Langridge, consultant at recruitment agency Solutions 4 Recruitment, gives her top 5 tips on how to get the best out of your agency…

1 Talk, talk, talk to your agency!

First off, share the full job specification and details of the role you are recruiting for with your consultants. But don’t leave it at that. Melanie advises: “Take at least ten minutes to have a chat with your consultant face to face or on the telephone about what kind of person you really want, who will fit in with your current team and the culture of your business. These vital details are often the difference between finding a brilliant candidate and a good candidate, but often don’t come across on paper. Bring them alive with a phone call and make sure you disclose this extra anecdotal information about what you are looking for. It will save you time and effort in the long run and the agency will be able to pinpoint the right person for you in double quick time.”

2 Ask questions!

Companies often find themselves in need of a new recruit but unsure of what the current market rate is for those particular skills. Melanie says: “If you are struggling with knowing the appropriate starting salary, or unsure of which job title best fits the role you have …ask your agency! The right recruitment consultant will be market savvy, know your industry sector intimately, and will be more than happy to give you the insight required to ensure your job description, title, responsibilities and salary are pitched perfectly to your ideal candidate.”

3 Let your agency negotiate on your behalf

Use your agency’s specialist negotiating skills and market knowledge to your advantage. Melanie continues: “A good agency will have a wide knowledge of the industry, know your competitors and how they position themselves, and will be able to ‘sell in’ your role and company favourably to your preferred candidate, with the added benefit of objectivity and market expertise.”

4 Consider letting them manage the entire process

Did you know that most consultants are happy to manage print advertising campaigns for you and will happily write the job ad, design the artwork, and place the advertisement with the appropriate media? They’ll also read the CV’s, find the candidates, conduct first interviews and negotiate on salary and terms and conditions. In other words, agencies can do a huge amount of the legwork for you – enabling you to focus on the really critical business of interviewing the best candidates and spotting the best recruit for your business. Melanie adds: “Agencies often have established relationships with the industry media and will be able to obtain discounts on their rack advertising rates, saving you money. Plus if they are managing the entire process for you, that’s time and money saved for HR or the recruiting manager.”

5 Be open, honest…and keep in touch

If a bigger project or priority comes up that takes the focus off recruitment, be upfront about it. Melanie continues: “Your agency will appreciate knowing where they stand, and will stop chasing you for answers and come back to you at an agreed time.” If they have sent you CV’s or set up interviews for you, try and give feedback as soon as you can. “This is particularly important if the feedback is negative, because if the agency is sending you the wrong kind of candidate they’ll want to quickly refine the type of person they are looking for.”

For more information on pr, marketing and design recruitment in Hampshire, Surrey and Wiltshire contact 01489 890276 or visit


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