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Everything you need to know about working with Recruitment agencies

Read the recruitment agency guide

Read the Guide

Recruiting is a key part of every business and many companies partner with recruitment agencies to satisfy their hiring needs. This article will share some practical guidance on how to work with a recruitment agency, how these agencies work, how they differ from other forms of recruitment and what you should be aware of when working with one.

What does the recruitment process look like?

Recruitment agencies usually approach companies who have advertised they are looking to fill a role but your company can also reach out to recruitment agencies beforehand in order to receive their input on the recruitment process. When a company has chosen to work with a recruitment agency they will enter into a terms of business agreement which will define for example the conditions of a successful placement of a candidate by the employment agency and the resulting agency fee. The fee can either be fixed or a percentage of the candidates salary.


After agreeing on the terms, the recruiter will then head hunt candidates who are likely to be a good fit for the role. These candidates can be sourced from the recruiters network or via outbound techniques on professional social networks such as LinkedIn. Once the recruiter has identified candidates, they will be put forward to the employer who will assess their suitability for the role. If they are happy with the candidates they can then invite them to enrol in an interview process. Finally, if the interview process is successful they can make a job offer.


Recruiters will accompany the candidates during this process and act as an intermediary between the candidate and the employer. This often involves helping the candidate prepare for interviews, share the employer's feedback and help the candidate understand where to look in their employment contract if and when they are made an offer. A candidate can then start working after serving their notice period with their previous employer and the recruitment agency will usually receive their referral fee in full if the placed candidate stays with the employer longer than a certain duration.


How to choose a recruitment agency

There are many recruitment agencies in the market and each one will have their own specialisation and geographic focus. For example, some recruitment agencies specialise in sourcing IT and scientific candidates whereas others support short-term staffing needs. Some agencies will only cover certain cities and regions. Each employment agency will provide varying levels of input in the recruitment process to help you define your recruitment strategy.


Regardless of which recruitment agency meets your focus, it is important to choose an agency which understands your specific recruitment needs and the culture of your organisation in order to increase their chances of sourcing candidates who are a good fit. It is also important to choose a recruitment agency which can satisfy your long term hiring requirements, in particular if you are growing quickly. Recruitment agencies sometimes partner with other agencies when there are too many candidates to place at the same time which is why you should ask the agency upfront if they will do this or not and who they work with in these situations.


Contract recruitment or permanent recruitment

Recruitment agencies can provide recruitment services for short and longer term requirements. Whilst recruitment agencies can source candidates who are looking for full-time work, they can also provide a supply of temporary workers. For example, companies sometimes use recruitment agencies for short-term, staffing requirements. Contract recruiters can provide short-term consultants who work off-payroll outside IR35 and are paid a daily rate. This means that the consultants will not be full-time employees and the employer will not need to pay national insurance on the consultancy fees. For this type of work, even if the consultants are self-employed or operating under their limited company, employers will still be responsible for health and safety. This type of arrangement can be useful for short-term projects which require little maintenance and support post-completion. Hiring a full-time employee can be more appropriate if you have a longer term need which requires ongoing development and support.


What are the standard terms of a recruitment agency contract

Like most contracts, the template of a recruitment agency contract will provide a good indication of the recruitment agency's level of professionalism. The template should clearly define how and when the agency will be paid and if there are conditions when the employer will not owe recruitment fees to the agency. The template should also indicate if the recruitment agency is responsible for verifying the candidate's qualifications, in particular if they are part of a professional body, or if it is the employer's responsibility. Clearly defining these terms helps establish a strong relationship from the get go.


Recruitment agency agreements should also have an end date or a fixed term so that the obligations and restrictions will no longer apply after the candidate has been successfully placed. This is important as it means the recruitment agency can't seek referral fees for candidates the company approached outside of this period but who might also be working with the recruitment agency. This means that the company won't be liable for recruitment fees for non recruitment agency activities. Equally, a recruitment agency agreement should clearly define how the agency will be paid in order to protect the agency's right to be paid for successful placements.


How to create recruitment agency contract

Once you have agreed on the role you are hiring for and which recruitment agency will help you source candidates, you can create a recruitment agency agreement which is tailored to your specific requirements thanks to Legislate. Legislate's contract templates are lawyer-reviewed, meet all the legal requirements and can be customised by answering simple questions. Legislate offers an end-to-end contracting experience which is faster, more pleasant and professional for all the involved parties. To create your recruitment agency agreement today, read a tutorial and sign up today.

About Legislate

Legislate is an early stage legal technology startup which allows large landlords, letting agents and small businesses to easily create, sign and manage contracts that are prudent and fair. Legislate’s platform is built on its patented knowledge graph which streamlines the contracting process and aggregates contract statistics to quickly unlock valuable insights. Legislate’s team marries technical and legal expertise to create a painless, smart contracting experience for its users. Legislate is backed by Parkwalk Advisors, Perivoli Innovations and angel investors.


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