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How to Get the Best Recruiters for Your Recruitment Agency


A recruitment agency hires recruiters to marry job seekers with suitable jobs and their clients with the right candidates. As a leader in a recruitment agency, where can you find the best recruiters and how do you hire them? 

What you need is someone with whom you can work and share a job with. You probably need to ensure that whomever you hire is a proactive self-starter individual with a track record of hiring ‘in-demand’ candidates. The individual should also demonstrate resourceful and innovative ways of finding the best talent for your business and client’s business. With this in mind, you need to focus on those candidates who had experience head-hunting. Having professional or experienced talents will lower the mistake of fulfilling a company’s and client’s needs. 

Where to find the best recruiters? 

You can surf on social media and find many talents awaiting a job. But professionals are usually a hidden gem. Here are some places where you can find experienced recruiters to help you:

  • Your preferred agencies. You run an agency, so would it be weird to ask another agency their talent? The answer is, it is perfectly fine to ask another agency to refer to a talent. If you have a good, healthy, and professional relationship with the agency’s managers, this could be the fastest method to build up a top talent pool for your own agency. Besides, some agencies would want to team up with a branch company or even another talent agency to offer different perspectives and experiences to their employees. 

  • Your network. Ask your network to refer professional recruiters they know or anyone with a recruiter’s competencies that might suit your needs. Imagine you ask 10+ connections to do this, how many talent recommendations will you get?  

  • Executive search companies retirees. While young generations are more energetic, hiring a retiree who has spent time in a contingent company and retained search with experience of recruiting at all levels is also good. The executive search companies retirees might also be a good investment as they can train young and less skilful recruiters. 

  • Look locally. While the Internet is a great source of talents, don’t forget with your own acquaintances, friends, or families. You can recommend them to your executive if your company allows a family member to work in the same office or company.  

See also: Hunter vs. Farmer: Which Type of Recruiter Are You? 

Core competencies to look for 

You are a recruiter, you know what skills are needed to be a good one. But to not miss out on the best, here are some competencies you should look for in your future teammates: 

1. Personal qualities. Some common traits to look for include but not limited to: 

  • Result-driven. The ability to attract the best talent to meet your current business needs or clients business needs. 

  • Resourceful. Know how to get the most out of limited resources. 

  • Strong decision-maker. Skilled at making good and timely decisions to keep the recruitment process moving forward. 

  • Organised. Can plan and prioritise work to meet commitments aligned with your company’s goals. 

  • Strong communicator. Know how to develop and deliver multi-mode communications to different audiences both inside and outside organisation. 

  • Persuasive. Ability to win support or buy-in from others and can negotiate skillfully in competitive situations. 

  • Network-builder. Effective at building formal and informal relationship networks inside and outside of the organisation. 

2. Behaviours to look for are as follows: 

  • Ability to adjust to unexpected situations in real-time

  • Can readily cope with change

  • Can make decisions without the whole picture

  • Does not get upset when things are ‘up in the air’

  • Can comfortably handle risk and uncertainty

  • Remains composed under pressure

  • Can deal with paradox

Considerations when sourcing future professional recruiter 

Here are some questions you should ask yourself when sourcing for talents, especially recruiters: 

  • Have they hired technology positions previously in their career? If so, have they hired engineers, developers, and sales executives? These are the most common and in-demand roles for any businesses today.

  • How do they source and attract ‘high demand’ talent? Look for innovative approaches to recruiting. 

  • What are their current goals and targets? For someone focused on sourcing only, their target would be considerably higher. 

  • If they have an agency background, are they a hunter or a farmer? A hunter is excellent at winning the work but might be less excited about the delivery. They measure deliverables from a financial sense and are probably best suited to an agency environment. A farmer is more of an account manager and usually better at candidate management, less inclined to generate sales and generally enjoys recruitment delivery. 

  • How do they cultivate their network? Ensure they do not rely too heavily on LinkedIn to recruit unknown candidates. It is important that they know how to readily access their own network and yours. 

  • Are they happy to recruit or do they want a broader role over time? If not, can you provide this career development for them?

Come to the last part - how to ensure your recruitment process or recruiting a recruiter runs smoothly

While you often prioritise finding talents for other roles or departments, it is time to prioritise your own department. Here are some tips to help you get started: 

  • Make sure to prioritise your firm and its recruiters. When you can hire the best recruiters, everyone will be happier. Your client will be more satisfied and your agency will get the reward it deserves. 

  • Keep in mind that hiring a recruiter for your agency goes through the same process as other roles. Only this time, you should put yourself in the position of being both the hiring and the recruiter. You can look within yourself what you are looking for in others. If you click with a person and they have the skill, they could be the one. 

  • Give your candidates a real work assignment. You can assign a written take-home assignment tests, personality tests, or any tests that will show your candidate’s communication, prospecting, and sense of urgency skills. The test should contain components of integrity and adaptability. 

  • Look at the team for the best. What unique attributes of values your team have led you to success? Or you can find a person who can find gaps and balance them. Make your team diverse, where they can elevate and learn from each other. 

Next read: Work Smart vs. Work Hard: What’s Its Impact on Success? 

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