Evaluating head hunter / recruitment agencies

These days, hiring have changed. It seems that every company's staff has no time to actually evaluate candidates, and uses head hunting / recruitment agencies to sieve through candidates.

Over the years, I have been approached by many of these agencies, and here's my approach to dealing with them, by asking the agencies these questions.

  1. What's your relationship with the hiring company? Is it an exclusive or non-exclusive relationship?
  2. Is the recruitment agency used by the hiring company on a contingency or retainer basis?
  3. What is the agency's fees for placing the successful candidate?

Why these questions?

If the recruitment agency has an exclusive relationship with the hiring company, that means they're the only guys authorized to sieve through candidates. So, the agency is your only chance of communicating with the hiring company. If the agency does not have an exclusive relationship, then it's open season, and every recruitment agency is scrambling to present you to the hiring company.

Next, contingency or retainer basis. Contingency means that the agency gets paid only if the hiring company hires the candidate, so the agency would be sure to work their butt off to present the best candidate available. Retainer means that the agency gets paid regardless of whether the open position gets filled or not.

If it's open season, knowing the agency's fees will help, because, assuming a constant budget, the more the agency gets paid, the lesser your initial salary is. So, it is in your best interests to select the best agency to represent you (this assumes you have no idea what is the hiring company).

Published Fri, 1 Jun 2012 @ 6:32 PM by chuacw
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