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10 Questions to Ask Your Recruiting Partner

As the economy continues to recover and thrive, more companies are looking to hire and although some companies may try to go it alone, most will be looking to partner with an established, successful recruiting firm to help get the job done. 

The recruiting landscape is cluttered with a multitude of new and varying recruiting companies all vying for your business. With the advent of new aggregate technology, more and more recruiting firms pop up promising ‘quick fills, proprietary methods, and top candidates.’ So how do you go about securing a successful partnership with the strongest and most relevant recruiting partner for your company? 

It helps to know which questions to ask.  

1.    How long have you been in business and can we speak to your references?  o    Established recruiting firms are obviously head and shoulders above the newer and less experienced recruiting firms.  Firms that have been in the business a long time should also be able to provide a long list of satisfied clients.  Top firms should be able to say they are 100% referenceable.       TIP: Dig through a recruiting firm’s references for past clients and candidates to uncover both client and candidate satisfaction.

2.   Will you show us all of your work?  o    A successful recruiting firm will stand by their processes, from start to finish. Asking this up front will not only illuminate a firm’s internal processes but also you, the client, to have all the information from the search.  

3.    Who will be doing the work/ and what is their experience level? o    Sometimes a recruiting firms’ executive may sell you their services; only to have very low (or worse yet, outsourced) employees do all the heavy lifting and recruiting.  Again, in a quest to be transparent with one another, the firm should be up front with you as to who will actually be pulling the levers daily on the other side.       TIP: An established successful firm should have Senior Recruiters with multiple years of recruitment experience. 

4,    How many of your accounts have you made multiple placements? o    An established firm will always be trusted to fill multiple placements within the same account. 

5.    What is your guarantee?  o    It seems everyone offers a guarantee nowadays but the better firms will obviously be able to stand behind stronger and more robust guarantees.       TIP: Look for a six-month minimum guarantee.

6.    Will you be submitting your candidates to only us, or to other companies as well? o    A very important question to ask, as most firms are constantly multi-tasking multiple clients. But a reputable firm will keep the accounts separate and never show a candidate to two different clients at the same time.  

7.    Do you find passive candidates or just through your database? o    Of all the questions to ask a potential recruiting partner, perhaps this is the most loaded.  The more successful firms, such as Tri-Search, pride themselves on sourcing passive candidates; ones who are gainfully employed.      TIP: The best candidates for your open requisitions are more often than not, still employed by someone else.  This is the difficult part about filling your openings and why a strong recruiting partner, who identifies passive candidates, is a must.  

8.    If speaking with a specialty firm, ask if they have off-limits that potentially will make you miss out on candidates? o    Some recruiting partners are specialists (within market niches) and are inundated in a particular industry. Because of this, they will have off-limits on certain companies that you might want to go after. The best way around off-limits is to utilize a generalist recruiting firm who can build large relationships per industry and are able to go after all targets so no quality candidates are missed due to off-limits.     TIP: Specialty firms can be effective and make good placements, but….you must guard against “off-limits” as specialty firms may have some blockages. At the same time generalists may not have the exact expertise of a specialty firm but recruiting is a process and many times the generalist process can overcome this with no blockages.

9.    Do you direct source from target companies? o    Recruiting firms should always attack direct target lists provided by the client.     TIP: Direct sourcing from a targeted list from companies is the backbone to passive recruitment. Post and pray and database methods are not foolproof, so sourcing from the target list is always needed.   

10.    What are your fees?  o    Detailing of fees should always be discussed up front, with no hidden costs or surprises along the way. Both companies need to know exactly the billing roadmap in their partnership.     TIP: Discounts should be provided for multiple searches along with project pricing opportunities for project recruitment initiatives like Tri-Search provides with their CPR Solution. 

Hopefully these questions will point you in the right direction of an established recruitment firm and a successful partnership. 

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