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I am the HR Manager for a Recruitment business and am in the process of setting up a training programme to assist our consultants in working better with HR people.  Recruitment consultants invariably see HR as the gate keeper who prevents them from talking to managers about their recruitment needs and therefore the relationship they have is sometimes a little difficult and the aim of our training is to improve that relationship.

To develop this training I would like to gather some independent feedback (in addition to my own) about what HR people think of recruitment consultants.  If anyone can provide input to the following questions I would be very grateful.

1.    Why does an organsiation prefer to have their recruitment managed centrally by HR rather than by line managers individually (in those organisations where this is the case)?

2.    What things do HR worry about that impact the relationship with a recruitment agency?

3.   What is the typical perception of a recruitment consultant by an HR professional? 

Many thanks for any input you can provide!

Replies (3)

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By jperrett
19th Jan 2011 12:46


My thoughts as a starter:
1) Line managers generally hate repeated calls from recruitment agencies - they've got more than enough to do
HR can ensure consistent terms are agreed with preferred agencies, left to individual line managers the company can end up with vastly differing agency charges in different parts of the business
HR will ensure that internal candidates have been considered before managers start looking externally
Often HR will have details of candidates who have approached the company directly or have just missed out on previous vacancies which may speed up and reduce the costs of the recruitment process
2) Sorry I don't follow the question
3) Depends very much on the recruitment agency - some are good at understanding the role and getting the right sort of person. Others seem to think its a race to get the first CV in front of a manager rather than the most suitable candidate. My philosophy on permanent recruitment is that to earn its fee a recruitment consultant needs to present a more suitable candidate than I can find myself through a quick ad on a jobsite.

Hope this helps, John

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By Vickbert
01st Feb 2011 10:35


Many thanks for your response which was most interesting.  I think you answered my question 2 in your answer to question 1 because basically I wanted to find out why HR are so worried about letting their managers go off and deal with recruitment agencies on their own - you answered this in question 1.

Your input is very much appreciated.

Kind regards


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By kansel
03rd Mar 2011 11:40

My experiences with recruitment consultants have, on the whole,  been negative I'm afraid.

Agencies repeatedly call, even if you place ads that clearly state 'no agencies'.  Managers just simply don't have the time to field such calls.

It is also quite often the case that recruitment consultants will try to fit a square peg into a round hole and are less than honest about candidates and / or vacancies.  One example is that we were recruiting for a Customer Services Manager where one of the responsibilities would be staff training.  Agency sent a CV over for an L&D professional confirming that they were aware of the role and wanted a change of direction.  Interviewee arrives with a briefing sheet from the agency for a L&D Officer position.  The agency had placed the vacancy on their website under this job title.  Needless to say both the candidate and me as the recruiter were less than impressed.

Recruitment consultants are to all extents and purposes salespeople who are paid hefty commissions for results.  When money gets involved scruples often go out of the window.

Sorry to be so negative but that's my experience of agencies from a recruiter's perspective - I am yet to experience it from a candidate's perspective!

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