Original article posted on Meghan Hanson's LinkedIn. Please go give her a LIKE and FOLLOW after reading this article!
Back in the day, before the Internet, companies had fewer, simpler options when it came to hiring talent. Recruiting was done through using one’s own network, internal recruiting teams, job fairs, college recruiting, print media (actual newspapers!), and of course, external agency recruiting firms. When the old-fashioned word of mouth was a main way to source candidates, the decision to use an agency recruiter was also much easier and simpler than it is today.
Nowadays, in addition to the ways mentioned above, there are numerous technology platforms and social media outlets that allow job seekers to connect directly with employers. As a result, I find myself frequently having conversations with my clients about the value of using me and my team to help them fill their open finance and accounting roles.
In order to help my clients hire successfully, I must be able to help them justify the costs of using an agency recruiter. After all, at the end of the hiring process, the actual cost of using me is very minimal compared to the significant benefits that come with doing so.
Here are the benefits of working with an agency recruiter:
1. Technical Expertise for Technical Roles - Agency recruiters generally have pretty strong backgrounds in the functions in which they recruit. For recruiters to work well with companies and candidates, it’s important that the speak the same technical language.
My CPA license and my experience in both public accounting and operational accounting in industry allow me to quickly understand your role and who you need for it. I know how to vet candidates technically for finance and accounting roles because I have the background and technical expertise in these areas. This makes your hiring process much more efficient.
2. Supplement Internal Recruiting Efforts - The most common response I hear from hiring managers when I approach them about partnering on a role is “internal recruiting is working on it.” The thought process seems to be “we’re paying internal recruiting to fill our role, so why would we pay her too?”
The thing is…I’m not coming in to take over for internal recruiting. I am partnering with you and your internal recruiting team. If you partner with me on a search, your internal recruiting team can still work to fill the role. I’m giving you and your team another pipeline of candidates to help you have a better shot at filling your role even faster.
Accounting and finance are highly technical areas and a lot of internal recruiters don’t have that specific expertise. Since I do, I can help them with the technical vetting. Maybe your internal recruiting team is sales and engineering focused and working on 50 other roles. It can be hard for them to focus their attention and you and your department, especially if you only have a few open roles relative to the rest of the company.
Maybe there is a concern that I won’t follow internal recruiting processes and procedures. However, this would not be in my best interest in trying to be a good business partner. I’ve used just about every Applicant Tracking System out there when submitting candidates to my clients for review. I want to partner with your internal recruiting team in the same way that I want to partner with you. We’re all on the same team with the same goal…. to fill your role.
3. Readily Available Pipeline of Candidates - Agency recruiters are always trying to fill open roles and thus, always recruiting candidates. If you work with a recruiter that focuses on a geographic location, an industry specialty, or a functional specialty, they are likely going to have a pipeline of candidates ready for you within a day or two of starting your search. They already have huge networks and databases of contacts who they know well. It becomes simply a matter of getting your open role in front of them as fast as possible.
4. Broader Candidate Pool - Active job seekers are likely to use job boards and reach out to your company directly through the their website. However, the passive candidates, who aren’t actively looking, but may be open to a change for the right role, are the oftentimes the ones you really want to reach. Agency recruiters have these connections already established. Thus, you’ll end up seeing a broader pool of candidates, including those who you probably would not have seen using only boards or even internal recruiters.
5. Help with Job Description, Candidate Profile, & Compensation Range - When you engage with an agency recruiter, the recruiter will scope the job by going through the job description with you in detail. They will discuss with you the desired candidate profile, the reporting structure, and the associated compensation.
Since agency recruiters work with many clients, they are looking at job descriptions all the time. So if you are my client and you’d like help with your job description, I’m going to be a great resource for you. I’ll talk with you about whether your description is reasonable for your desired candidate. We’ll talk about whether your ideal candidate profile makes sense for your preferred compensation range given my market knowledge. Before you kick off your search, I’ll help iron all of these details out, so that we are starting off a search successfully. The successful launch of a search will us fill your role even quicker.
6. Quality, not Quantity - Agency recruiters are incentivized to make your hiring process as efficient as possible. I’m paid for placements, not on the number of interviews I schedule.
My goal is to send you the least amount of candidates possible and have one of them be your person. To do this, I need to get to know you and your company well and delve deeply into your search with you (see #6 above). I’m not just going through every application, checking off boxes that fit your candidate profile, and sending you resumes to interview. Rather, I’m looking at the whole picture of the candidate and their fit for your role and your company culture.
I don’t just want the dart to land on the dart board. My job is to help you find your bullseye as quickly as possible.
7. Faster Initial Candidate Vetting - Agency recruiters will save you and your internal recruiting teams time. At DeWinter Group, we meet our candidates in person. We talk with them. We get to know them. We understand their backgrounds and professional histories. Essentially, we do what companies usually do in their first round vetting interview.
Since we already do the initial vetting, this is one less step that you or your internal recruiting team will have to take, saving you time. More importantly, this is one less step in your interview process, which shortens its overall length and helps you get your favorite candidate hired faster. Shorter interview processes are a huge advantage in a highly competitive market like the one we have in the San Francisco Bay Area.
8. Guarantee - Agency recruiters include guarantees in their contracts. For contingent and contained searches, the guarantee is usually 90 days. For retained searches, the guarantee is usually in the range of six months to a year. If the hire doesn’t work out, you are refunded a portion of your fee or you don’t pay at all and the search is redone by the recruiter.
The guarantee is essentially the recruiter taking initial responsibility for the success of the hired candidate. With every day that the candidate is employed, the responsibility for success transfers from the recruiter to the company. But, the guarantee gives clients protection for fees that they are paying recruiters.
If you hire using internal recruiters, direct application, job boards, or even your own network, there is no guarantee that it will work out. If it doesn’t, you’re completely back to square one. And chances are, you’ve already incurred a lot of costs associated with that unsuccessful hire.
Have I convinced you that agency recruiters are worth using yet? We should at least have an initial conversation and get to know each other. You never know, your best hire’s resume could be in my hands right this moment.