How Do Recruitment Agencies Work?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published February 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recruitment agencies work closely with companies to find the most qualified candidates to fill job openings. Working with an agency streamlines the discovery of skilled applicants, saving time, money and resources in the process. If you're an HR professional looking to streamline the hiring efforts of your employer, learning about how recruitment agencies work could be of benefit. In this article, we explain how recruitment agencies work, why they're beneficial and how to use one effectively.

What is a recruitment agency?

Recruitment agencies handle the entire hiring process for businesses from start to finish, finding qualified candidates, conducting interviews and clearly communicating job duties and expectations. Recruitment agencies utilize their industry resources and staffing expertise to find applicants with the most potential to succeed. They eliminate most of the time-consuming aspects of the hiring process so that businesses can focus their attention and resources elsewhere.

Recruitment agencies may have different applicant screening processes and resources depending on their specified industry or area of expertise. Agencies are also equipped to fill varying job roles such as seasonal, part-time and full-time employees and often work with companies to adjust expectations as the hiring process progresses.

How do recruitment agencies work?

Recruitment agencies work with companies to find qualified, relevant candidates to fill job vacancies. They utilize databases to search for individuals who meet specific criteria and post job opportunities online to source applicants with the right skills. Finding qualified applicants, interviewing them and negotiating salaries can take lots of time and cost companies money, making recruitment agencies beneficial options for smaller companies and any other organizations interested in streamlining the application process.

A recruitment agency assumes responsibility for most of the hiring process. This includes creating job descriptions, reviewing and sorting through applications and posting job listings on the most relevant websites. The company gets more involved in the final stages of the hiring process as they make the final decisions about who gets the job.

Related: How Do Staffing Agencies Work?

Benefits of working with a recruitment agency

Working with a recruitment agency can save a company time, energy and resources so they can remain productive while seeking qualified candidates. Working with a recruitment agency is beneficial for a variety of other reasons, too:

  • Saves time and resources: By assigning all responsibilities involved in finding and vetting candidates to a recruitment agency, businesses can use HR resources to build more effective programs and improve the lives of current and future employees instead spending time and effort on doing the process themselves.

  • Flexibility: Some companies need specific job roles filled during certain periods of time. For example, a retail company may want to hire part-time cashiers during the holiday season. Recruitment agencies can help organizations reach short- and long-term goals like these, making the entire hiring process a faster and more flexible experience.

  • Risk reduction: Recruitment agencies are also responsible for the legal and financial aspects of the hiring process. They cover tax information, provide insurance coverage and ensure all labor laws are being met. Working with an agency can reduce any legal risks related to the hiring process, saving time, money and resources as a result.

  • Access to resources: Working with a recruitment agency may also provide a company with valuable resources to find the most qualified candidates. Developing a relationship with a reputable agency can give organizations access to recruitment experts who work to find applicants that will drive the business forward.

Related: What Is Direct Hiring?

How to use a recruitment agency

Working with a recruitment agency can be incredibly beneficial for companies with specific job vacancies looking to streamline the hiring process. Here are a few steps you can take to use a recruitment agency for your organization:

1. Research agencies

To get the most out of working with a recruitment agency, research the most relevant and reputable organizations. For example, if you need to hire IT technicians for your marketing company, look for agencies with experience and resources that directly relate to the IT and marketing industries. This can help you choose the most effective recruitment agency for your company that finds the most qualified and skilled candidates.

Try to choose an agency that's easy to work and communicate with so the hiring process is as productive as possible. Consider reading reviews from previous organization's who've worked with different agencies to learn about their experience and success.

Related: How To Find a Headhunter To Find You a Job: With Tips and FAQ

2. Communicate your expectations

Once you decide to work with an agency, contact them for an initial meeting to discuss job requirements, expectations and the number of employees needed. It's important to clearly communicate your company's requirements and desired timeline for hiring new employees so recruitment agencies can work to meet your needs. Consider inviting a recruitment representative to visit your company's office or typical workplace so they can gain insight into company culture and find individuals who have the most potential to succeed.

3. Discuss budget requirements

Before hiring a recruitment agency, discuss what your organization's budget is so applicants know what to expect financially once they get the job. Candidates should have access to information about their potential salary and benefits before accepting the new position. Try to provide all budget-related information at the start of the hiring process so that agencies can succeed in finding the best candidates.

4. Keep in touch

Make sure to consistently communicate with your recruitment agency throughout the hiring process to ensure your needs are being met. Think about finding a dedicated point of contact within the agency who fully understands your needs and keeps you informed about potential candidates so you remain engaged.

5. Utilize agency resources

Contact your recruitment agency with any questions or concerns you might have regarding the hiring process. Developing a relationship with your agency and utilizing their most relevant resources can help you make informed decisions about the future of your company and its employees.

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