By Joel Barnett – Director, Fortune Hill Executive Search

Whilst there are many people looking for jobs, there is only a limited amount of outstanding talent available and it can be challenging for businesses to find these people and entice them to join. Remember that 94% of the skilled workforce are not actively looking for a job, so in order to be able to access the best people in your field it is essential to form strategic partnerships with recruiters.

Forming a partnership with a well connected, experienced recruiter can transform your business. Look at it as an investment in these difficult economic times – one that companies must make in order to be able to identify and attract the right people to drive their business forward.
But what does it mean to work with a good recruitment consultant and how can you ensure that they do a good job that will serve you well in the long term?

• Your recruiter should become your partner
When choosing your recruitment partner, you need to work with a company that matches your business’ culture and has an understanding of your vision and aspirations. Your recruiter should be a business partner that helps you achieve your goals — to find great people who will deliver great results for your business. To achieve this it is essential that you invest the time to brief your recruitment partner to ensure that they have an in-depth understanding of your business and requirement so that they can provide you with the best service and find you the right candidate.

• Your recruiter should provide you with a personal service
You should have a single point of contact at your recruitment partner and you should feel like your contact is always available and approachable. You should be in direct, personal contact with them at all times rather than communicating by email. Your recruiter should ALWAYS meet candidates before introducing them to you

It is very difficult to judge someone solely on their CV. A good consultant has an obligation to meet with the candidate before introducing him to you to ensure he/she is talented, has the skills needed to perform and as importantly, fits within you business culture.

• Your recruiter should be available to meet with you and the potential candidate and assist with the interview process

Whilst you may not always want this to happen, your recruitment consultant should offer you the opportunity to assist you in preparing the interview questions and even to join the meetings. Joining you in meetings will enable them to better understand what you are really looking.

• Your recruiter should offer you equitable fees
Hiring recruitment consultants can be costly, but they should offer you different fee options, which you should make sure to agree in advance. Fee structures should incentivise the recruiter to do their best to find the right talent. For example you can agree to an exclusivity arrangement and pay the consultant a fee when you give them the assignment, an additional fee after the person starts the job and then pay them the final instalment of the fee a year after the person has joined subject to their continued employment at that date.

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