Not all third-party recruiting firms are created equal.

With unemployment at record lows, more and more companies are turning to third-party recruiting services to fill open requisitions at their companies. The competition for top talent is incredibly fierce, especially in sectors such as IT and finance.

If your company is looking at partnering with a third-party recruiting firm, it’s important to do your homework. Though they all may work toward the same end goal – filling seats at your company – the quality and style of their services can vary dramatically.

It’s important to consider the unique needs of your business and what you want out of a talent acquisition service. Every company will tell you that they’re the team for the job…but we all know that’s not the truth. Let’s take a look at some things you want to look for in any recruiting firm.

do they have a Pricing Model That Supports Your Talent Acquisition Objectives?

There are a variety of different pricing models in the world of recruiting services. The most common are contingent and retained. Contingent is great if you’re looking to hire at a high-volume or if quality isn’t a primary concern.

However, the nature of commissions means that a contingent recruiting firm will be most profitable when making a lot of hires fast…and may even lose money if they take too long. As a result, this model emphasizes speed and quantity over quality.

A retainer pricing model is more effective in getting quality hires. Unfortunately, this model is also typically associated with high upfront costs despite there being no guarantees of a hire or quality submittals. By the time you realize the partnership isn’t working out, you may have no way to back out of the contract. If you do go with a retainer model, watch out recruiting firms with onerous contracts.

Hourly models are becoming more popular with recruiting firms as well. We’ve actually used an hourly pricing model for 20 years now. We strongly believe that this is the best model for making quality hires without high upfront costs.

There’s no start-up fees or minimums, meaning you can use our services for as little or as long as you like. If you’re not finding our recruiting solutions valuable, you can stop at any time. Furthermore, without commissions at play, our recruiters are able to focus entirely on finding quality hires rather than rushing the process.

In sum, make sure the pricing model is going to support your unique objectives for talent acquisition. Every model has its pros and cons – but you want to make sure they fit what you’re looking for.

Does the recruiting firm use Validated Methods to Select and Screen Candidates?

For decades, recruiting firms have relied on resumes and “gut feel” to select the right candidates for open positions. Unfortunately, these methods are notoriously unreliable for predicting success. Factors such as education and prior experience are actually very flimsy predictors, and can often mislead us into thinking the wrong person is the right fit.

When you’re looking into third-party recruiting services, consider their processes for vetting candidates. How do they structure the interview process? Do they leverage any unique tools for candidate selection?

People analytics are becoming increasingly valuable for companies seeking to make the right hires for the right reasons. By using validated analytics platforms, companies can select candidates who will mesh with their specific teams – not just the person with the “best” resume.

In short, take a critical look at how third-party recruiting firms select candidates for submittal. Are they leveraging any validated selection methods, or just relying on gut feel?

Do they Have Access to Candidates You Couldn’t Find Yourself?

Back in the day, companies hired recruiting firms because they had a broad network of contacts. Essentially, you were paying someone for their big Rolodex. With LinkedIn, job boards, and other online resources, we all have access to a lot more candidates. Why pay a recruiting firm for their network when you can find the same candidates yourself on LinkedIn?

You shouldn’t just be paying a recruiter firm for their time – you should be paying them for their ability to do the job better than yourself. And with an ultra-competitive job market, it’s essential that we find larger talent pools to recruit from.

Ask any third-party recruiting firm how they source candidates – and if they source candidates that others can’t reach. If they don’t offer a unique competitive advantage in this area, they might not be the best choice.

Find the Third-Party Recruiting Firm That’s Right for You

We’d love to tell you that we’re the right recruiting firm for your company – and we might be! But the truth is that every company has different needs when it comes to talent acquisition.

Regardless of your industry, company size, or unique culture, you need to find that the recruiting firm that’s right for your  business. The points above can help guide your decision, but ultimately, it’s a decision you’ll have to make on your own once you’ve gathered all the data.

Contact us a call today to see if our recruiting solutions are right for your business.

The right people, empowered to perform.