What to Look For in a Recruiting Agency

It’s a double-edged sword in the business world. As your business grows, more demands are put on your staff. To keep up with the increasing demands, you decide to add more permanent employees. Now, who has the time to pour through the dozens, or even hundreds, of résumés that you’re bound to receive? With so many people looking for jobs, every opening is likely to generate considerable interest—not necessarily from qualified applicants.

The time you and your staff spend separating wheat from chaff is time that’s not being spent on your primary business. Once you weed out the non-starters, you’ll still have hours of interviews, conversations with references, background checks, and pre-employment screenings to conduct. A recruiting agency can be a reliable, cost-effective way to handle your staffing needs—as long as you know what to look for.

Proven Reliability

Since the quality of your applicants will be directly related to the quality of the agency you choose, it’s important to make sure they know how to do their job. There are more than a few fly-by-night agencies that offer incredibly low rates and “specialize” in every conceivable industry. An easy way to make sure you’re dealing with a reliable agency is by speaking with past clients and candidates.

Get references from businesses they’ve worked with and from applicants they’ve placed with those businesses. If the recruiting agency is unwilling, or unable, to provide several references from satisfied clients, it’s best to find another agency.

Industry Experience

Once you find an agency that knows how to do its job, it’s time to find out what they know about doing your job. A quality recruiting agency must have an understanding of your business in general, and of the specific role or roles you’re trying to fill. Many recruiting agencies deal with a wide variety of industries—and there’s nothing wrong with that. You just need to make sure that the person who is handling your staffing has specific experience with your business and needs. When you’re requesting references from the recruiting agency, be sure to get the names of any companies that are in the same field as you.


Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to new employees. Some work out, others don’t. However, you can, and should, get a guarantee from the recruiting agency. If, through no fault of your own, an candidate doesn’t work out, a reputable agency should attempt to refill the position at no additional cost to you.


A recruiting agency should take the time to fully understand your needs. Once they understand your needs, they should maintain contact with your office, giving you status updates and clarifying details. The point of a recruiting agency is to narrow down potential candidates to the cream of the crop. The more details the agency gets from you, the more successful they’ll be sourcing the right candidate.

The right recruiting agency can save you the time and aggravation of trying to find the perfect employee. While this list is by no means inclusive, it provides a solid foundation for evaluating potential agencies. Once you choose a reputable agency, you’ll be amazed by the time and resources they can help you save.

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