Choosing a Recruitment Agency

What is the problem with taking a speculative approach to recruitment agencies?

I am going to use an example of something that actually happened to me recently when registering a new candidate to show you.

I was sitting in the office late one late evening with a great candidate and whilst we were talking about his loves and hates and looking through his portfolio, the cogs started to move in my head. With every piece of work he mentioned as the night progressed, I could think of more and more clients who I knew would be interested in employing him to do some freelance work or meet him at the very least. Fast forward two days and as requested the candidate sent me through a list of agencies that other recruitment consultants have already speculatively sent his details to. From this list I could see that they have literally hit every agency in London. This might seem like a good strategy. However – and this is a big however – it is important to ask whether or not they actually work with these clients and if they have a relationship that gives them the leverage to deliver a candidate they know will fit culturally and have the right skill set?

I knew instantly that the consultants didn’t have relationships with a lot of those agencies. There were agencies on the list that didn’t fit the candidate’s hierarchy of requirements and even agencies that no longer existed as a business!

I found it even more interesting that two of the agencies on that spec list actually had roles on at that time. I knew this because I have a strong, exclusive relationship with those clients. The candidate, however, had not been made aware of the roles because the consultant that was ‘speccing’ them across had no relationship with the client and didn’t know that they were actively recruiting. After further investigation I discovered that the client had never even received the details of the candidate in question, despite the promised proactive speccing from the consultant.

What did the candidate think of this?

This was a learning curve for the candidate because he hadn’t dealt with recruitment agencies previously. However, he walked away feeling happy because I could recommend him for various roles with clients that I had a strong relationship with, who had a studio that would suit his skill set and a host of clients that he would love to work with. He was annoyed that he had given the first consultant he met permission to send his details to 20+ agencies and disappointed that this consultant had so little knowledge of the agencies on that spec list – so much so that they didn’t even know one of them had not been in existence for almost a year!

Moral of the story?

A lot of consultants will offer you the world but then fail to deliver. At Source, if we can offer you the world we will, but we won’t make promises we can’t keep. We will do our best to get you your dream job, but will manage your expectations throughout the whole process. We will deliver you roles that fit your personal and professional requirements. We will talk to you about potential agencies that are relevant to your skill set, will add to your portfolio and develop your career. We are committed to building strong relationships with both you as a candidate and all of our clients so we are able to advise you on what agencies and studios would be right for you with inside knowledge. If we say we are going to send your details to a potential employer, we will get your permission first, actually send the details, then follow it up and get some feedback for you.