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What To Look For In A Executive Search Firm

The advent of the internet age has revolutionised the way recruitment works around the world. It’s a dog fight out there, with 5,110 new recruitment startups opening for business up in the UK in 2015 alone.

With so many executive search firms – how do you choose the right one for your business? What aspects should you look out for to ensure your business gets the right person for the job?

Take a look at just 8 simple things to look out for when selecting the right search agency for you.

1 – Industry expertise

It is vital that the recruitment firm you are considering has a firm understanding of what makes the industry tick, what sort of person is required to thrive in that industry, and that it has an expert understanding of what skills are required. Don’t be afraid to ask your agent tough and carefully chosen questions to ascertain whether they know what they’re talking about – this will only save you time and money in the future.

2 – A good range of contacts

In the days of LinkedIn, Twitter and so on, it’s easier now than ever before to take a sneak peek at who a recruitment agent really knows. Taking the time to check out how connected they really are within your industry weeds out the wheat from the chaff – remember, most agents will claim to know everything and everyone worth knowing in your world – all that’s important is that they’re telling the truth.

3 – A recommendation

We all recognise that recruitment can be a delicate matter, and that discretion is quite often absolutely paramount, so getting a recommendation isn’t always a simple process. If it is possible, go for it. Like any service, previous experience with a firm says more about what you are likely to experience than any other, and a good, honest appraisal is often incredibly insightful.

4 – Their client list

If they have a public list of clients, seek it out, or ask the agent who he or she has worked with previously. This will give you a clear indication of what sort of business they have carried out in the past, and whether or not they have experience with clients close to your interests.

5 – A proper after sales service

Does the agency offer a thorough after sales service policy? They should do. New employment can be difficult at times for both parties, particularly in the early days, and having a recruitment expert on side to help iron out any teething problems is a valuable practice.

6 – Their screening process

Don’t be afraid to ask how exactly the firm plans to go about filling your vacancy, and what sort of people they think will thrive in the role. The screening process of each individual recruitment firm will differ, some more than others, but getting a strong idea of what techniques they plan to use will give a further indication to their abilities.

7 – How busy they are

Are you able to visit the firm in question? If so, make the most of the opportunity. Face to face business is dwindling in this digital age, but it has enormous benefits, and whatsmore, it gives you an opportunity to take a look around their headquarters. Is it busy? Do the staff look energised and keen to get placing? If not, it’s wise to consider whether that recruitment firm is the one for you.

8 – Their industry qualifications

Most recruitment firms will have a number of industry qualifications as standard. The most important, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) certificate is an absolute must, and any firms trading without it should be treated with suspicion.

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