What to Look for when appointing a recruitment Agency
The global pandemic has driven a lot of change in the way businesses operate, forcing companies to adapt, become more flexible and use new technologies in order to survive. The legal recruitment industry has not escaped from the need to change and agencies that have grasped the opportunities are now able to provide an enhanced service to their clients that's more attuned to their needs.
Historically, the recruitment industry has relied on getting out there and meeting people. This has always been a cornerstone of Interlink Recruitment's philosophy and the way in which we've been able to deliver great candidates that deliver for our clients, but the pandemic temporarily prevented us from attending the awards dinners and sponsoring the networking events that we would have done in the past making us look differently at how we could discover our clients' next generation of recruits.
We took the decision to invest heavily in technology and systems that would help us scour the market so that we could continue building relationships even if we could not meet face to face.
Now the restrictions caused by the pandemic are easing, we're pleased to be able to get back out there meeting people but our methods have changed slightly and we're continuing to use technology to turn over more stones so that we can find the right people at a point in their careers where they would consider a new opportunity.
Law firms looking to hire new people should be aware of the benefits technology can bring to the recruitment process and should be sure that their agents use every advantage available to help find their next recruit.
Ensure your agents have access to the best Sources of Data
According to Harvard Business Review, data-driven recruitment is on the rise. New data is now available to help companies answer key questions about their workforce and its needs. The article states that “the rise of digital collaboration platforms and new methods for harvesting data, along with new technologies and novel approaches for finding and managing talent are redefining how companies will build their workforces going forward.”
At Interlink Recruitment, we clearly see the benefits of incorporating new technologies and data sources in order to help find new talent; however, we feel relationship building is crucial in recruitment, so if the methods introduced allowed the team to focus more on this aspect, it would definitely be a positive element to work into our typical recruitment processes.
Kean Smith, Legal Recruitment Consultant says: “While building relationships with people is a large part of a recruiter’s job, there is also a need to mine various data sources to find the candidates that we've not yet met. Finding the correct candidates that meet a client's requirements is often the hardest part of the job for a recruiter. An agent that recognises new methods and technologies can refine the search process to help identify additional candidates and speed things up is more likely to obtain a good result.
“Data sources do the job of the recruiter before the recruiter sits at their desk. They organise all the information required in a very simple, quick and accessible manner. This allows recruiters to reduce the amount of time they spend searching for candidates; thus the real task of the recruiter can go underway - building relationships with the candidates and placing them into roles.
“When using data sources, you not only see the time taken to find candidates reduce but also find that the quality of the talent considerably increases. This means when contact is made, the candidate is likely to be what the client is looking for, meaning placements will be more likely.”
MAKE SURE THE recruitment Agents you use HAVE GREAT SYSTEMS TO MANAGE THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Advances in automation technology have meant that recruitment and HR processes can be effectively managed and streamlined.
At Interlink Recruitment, we don't believe in the widespread use of AI and bots to undertake what can be time-consuming jobs like CV screening, as the benefits of a trained eye that understands a client's particular requirements can't yet be replicated. However, there are ways in which technology and an effective candidate management system can be used to deliver improved results. To be effective, recruitment agents should be using technology to:
- Target candidates with the right profile on social media platforms
- Create dynamically generated adverts that can appeal to individuals
- Manage the application process so that candidates and employers are communicated with effectively at all stages of the process
- Undertake skill assessments
- Schedule interviews
- Nurture the relationship with potential candidates to make them more amenable to an approach
Thomas Crea, Legal Recruitment Consultant, feels there are many benefits to incorporating technology into the recruitment process:
“The key benefit of using technology in the recruitment process is the way it can help speed everything up. In today's candidate-driven market, agencies and employers need to be very responsive and keep the processes moving efficiently. Failure to do this risks another employer stepping in and stealing candidates from under your nose.
"At Interlink Recruitment, we have invested in one of the market-leading recruitment platforms that helps us ensure we're always on the ball and helps us build confidence with candidates.
"However, as a client, you should be careful not to rely on an agency that relies too heavily on its technology platform to do all the hard work. Recruitment is about people and relationships, whilst online robots can start conversations they still don't provide the ‘human touch’ needed to develop a strong relationship. Long-term client relationships require the personal touch to provide a feeling of trust, comfort and security. Recruitment software doesn’t take the client out for lunch, a recruiter does.“
Don't forget the Personal Touch
Data mining, efficient nurturing and management systems are key elements of recruitment and you should be sure any agency you appoint to work for you utilises everything possible to get you the best result.
However, you should also be careful to ensure that your agent is prepared to put in the effort to understand your culture, expectations and any specific requirements. At Interlink Recruitment, we believe that these softer issues can only be properly understood and appreciated if we know our clients, and in turn, we think that can only be done by getting to know the people within the firm as individuals rather than client codes in our software.
Our advice to all clients who are looking for a relationship with a recruitment agency that is fruitful and mutually-beneficial is that they should check the agency uses the latest technology but then ask themselves if they like and trust the person they will be dealing with.