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Is Your Recruitment Partnership a Match made in Heaven?

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Updated: Monday, 19 May 2014

Is your recruitment partnership a match made in heaven?

Author: Natalie Singer, APSO Strategic Engagement Executive

With the proliferation of recruitment and staffing companies in South Africa it can be tempting to play the field rather than commit to an exclusive partnership. However, whilst this strategy can seem to offer the best of all worlds, the resulting quality of the relationship can be less than ideal.

Choosing a recruitment agency is an important decision, after all, the agency is an extension of your company in the minds of candidates and you definitely don’t want desirable candidates to be turned off by their interactions with your recruiter. In today’s highly competitive talent market employer brand and the perceptions of your company culture start from the first recruitment interaction so pick your bedfellow carefully to protect your reputation.

Partnering with the right agency should save you time, ensure that you’re able to source the best candidates who wouldn’t necessarily be accessible to you via other means, and to guide and assist you throughout the hiring process.

Date before you decide...don’t be dazzled by the first impression

Because there are currently no, or very low barriers to entry, there are literally thousands of individuals and companies claiming to be recruitment consultants. How do you choose from the myriad of options that all appear to be the same if you listen to their rehearsed telephone sales pitches or read their generic company profiles?

For most businesses, appointing a recruitment agency usually comes down to the following four factors:

-          Cost

-          Time

-          Specialist knowledge and insight

-          Quality of candidates


Whilst these are common factors that should always be considered, the real debate is how you weight the factors – at the end of the day, it should always be about getting results!

Partner with a professional

In Sept 2013 the staffing industry was formally recognised as a profession with the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO) being appointed by South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) as the professional body entrusted to be the custodian of the three registered professional staffing designations.

In addition to vetting the recruitment agency, it is recommended that you interrogate the quality and professionalism of the individual recruiter servicing your account. Have they committed to the profession, do they meet the minimum qualifications and have they invested in their knowledge and expertise via continuous professional development to ensure that they provide you with value-added services including specific insight into your business and your industry?

Got your perfect match in mind?

The quality of the individual recruiter will directly influence the success rate of finding, and securing, the best talent available.

Do you feel comfortable talking to the recruiter, do they seem intelligent and do they have a genuine interest in understanding your business to ensure a good fit, not just of technical competence but also of culture fit within your business context?

Do they demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the current job market and do they utilise this information to make suggestions to you on how you can improve your recruitment and selection process to attract the top talent?

How does your recruiter interact with candidates? Do they have a professional, honest and consistent process for candidate management?

And most importantly, do you believe that your recruiter operates ethically and honestly and will be a good brand ambassador for your company?

Commitment pays off

Utilising external recruitment providers can be very costly, but there are usually many different fee options available to clients who are willing to work with the agency. Many agencies are willing to offer reduced rates to clients who offer them exclusivity or who work with them on a continued, retained basis.

Above all, companies should remember that they will get the best possible return from their recruitment company if they are treated as partners rather than transactional suppliers.


Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  cost  insight  knowledge  partnership  Professional body  professional staffing designation  quality  quality of candidates  recruitment agency  recruitment partnership  SAQA  time 

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