Using Recruitment Agencies
I’ve never understood why so many companies insist on using recruitment agencies to hire both contractors and permanent staff.
It’s a huge overhead to their business.
Indeed, they could get 5 contractors for the price of 4 if they didn’t insist that they go through a middle person to hire contractors.
Indeed, some companies outsource the selection of candidates to these middle people.
Any contractor will tell you that most recruiters haven’t very much of a clue about the product that they are selling.
When a company hands them a requirement they just do a search for contractors (or permanent staff) with those skills.
They don’t know which of the skills are more important than others.
Cutting Out the Recruitment Companies
So, what should companies do to cut out the middle people?
How can they wean themselves off using recruitment agencies?
How are they going to find suitable candidates to interview?
Should they just advertise?
Well, they could do that.
But they could do something better.
Ask Contractors to Recommend Other Contractors
They could ask their employees and their contractors if they know of good people out there with the appropriate skills.
Contractors, especially, will have been to many companies over the years.
They will have met, and worked with, many good people, both contract and permanent.
If companies asked their contractors to recommend other contractors, or even permanent employees, they would come up with better quality candidates than the agencies could come up with.
Recommended Contractors to Company
I remember one company where I worked where I recommended 3 people who were all taken on and the company were happy with.
However, they wouldn’t take them direct.
They had to go through one of the agencies that the company used.
What a waste of money!
I think I got a finder’s fee for each of some pittance like £150 for each.
That’s while the agency coined it in for placing contractors that they didn’t even place.
That’s a ridiculous waste of money.
The company could almost have afforded an extra contractor with the money they could have saved if they had taken the three contractors direct.
Why Don’t Companies Ask Contractors for their Recommendations
So, why don’t companies ask contractors more often to recommend people they have worked with?
I think that there is a fear by the companies that contractors would recommend their mates.
The people I recommended were people that I knew and liked. However, they were also good. The company liked them too and renewed them over and over again long after I spent my measly £450.
Recruitment Company Accountability
When I ask managers why they don’t take contractors direct they say that there is accountability with the agency.
If the contractor is no good, or quits, the agency will replace them.
What a stupid reason.
There would be loads of agencies out there who would be happy to replace them.
If someone gives you a duff contractor why would you go back to them for more anyway?
Contractors Happy to Help Companies
You probably wouldn’t even have to incentivise the contractors.
They would normally be happy enough just to do both the manager and the contractors hired a favour.
As a contractor I must have been at more than 20 companies. Never once did any permanent managers come up to me and asked if I knew any good contractors with the skills I had.
I did manage to get a few contractors in to various places where I worked.
However, that was because I went to the managers and told them about the contractors.
I have to say that many were suspicious of me and my motives.
I was only trying to do contractors that I liked a favour and do the company a favour.
This, the managers couldn’t understand.
I had to tell them “look, go and interview these guys yourself and make your own decisions”.
I think that every contractor I recommended in that time got taken on.
So, company managers (and companies), do yourself a favour.
Ask your contractors if they know any other good contractors (or permanent staff).
That is a much better way of finding quality people than contacting agencies.
It makes sense.
Managers Won’t Listen
I say all this, though, but I know it won’t make a blind bit of difference to hiring managers at companies.
There’s none so blind as those that won’t see, none so deaf as those that won’t hear.
They believe that agencies are much better at identifying good contractors than contractor themselves.
So, they’ll continue using recruitment agencies even though it wastes loads of their money.
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