Get help to find the best staff
Stuart Foxman / May 01, 2012
It’s time to fill a position. Contracting out the placement can be one of your smartest hires.
What it is
Recruiters, search firms, staffing agencies, headhunters—by any name, they help you find the right fit for a job opening.
Why you need it
Representatives from these firms can source and screen candidates, check references, and assist with interviews. When hiring on your own, “you can be swamped with resumes, and waste a lot of time going through [CVs from] people who are under-qualified,” says Vivian Fung, senior recruiter at Goldbeck Recruiting in Vancouver.
While you’ll still have to interview recruiters, you’ll be looking at a handful rather than hundreds of candidates. And, once you find the right firm, you can use it for future searches.
How it helps
Consider the direct and indirect costs of taking on recruitment. Beyond time, they include lost opportunities and productivity if the job remains open too long; workplace stress if personnel assume additional duties; and the chance of a less-than-ideal (or wrong) hire. Those costs can easily exceed the recruiter’s fee.
Good to know
With recruiters’ databases and contacts, “we can tap into an entirely different pool,” says Danielle Bragge, partner at The Headhunters in Edmonton, Alta. She notes a lot of high-level candidates work with recruiters exclusively, and don’t look at job boards or apply for jobs directly. This lets you access better talent, quicker: Bragge can sometimes have qualified candidates within days.
Search experts support HR efforts in many other ways, says Shadi Ghani, senior director of client services at IQ Partners in Toronto. For financial services clients, her firm has handled searches for positions ranging from product managers to sales reps.
Services can include consulting on job descriptions, providing insight on compensation trends, and assisting during negotiations. The right tactics increase the odds your preferred candidate will accept an offer, says Ghani.
How do you know if you’re getting the best recruiter?
Lisa Porlier, Toronto-based managing director for search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, gives these tips: Ask about experience and processes, and check references (ask how the recruiter kept other clients informed and handled challenges).
- Contingency-based agreement: pay only after hiring someone.
- Fee: 15%-to-25% of the first-year salary.
- Retainer-based searches (usually for executives): pay regardless of whether you hire someone.
- Fee: about 33% of the salary. usually payable in installments: one-third upon engaging the firm, one-third upon presenting candidates, and one-third upon the hire. Some firms might base their fees on potential bonuses for the first year, particularly for sales positions.
- if the candidate doesn’t work out: if termination occurs during the first three-to-six months (depending on the probationary period or the seniority of the position), the recruiter will conduct a new search at no additional charge.
*based on a $100,000 salary
Who can help
Find listings at the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services, and the Directory of Canadian Recruiters.
Originally published in Advisory’s Edge