Home > Uncategorized > Five questions to ask your recruitment consultant

Five questions to ask your recruitment consultant

There are many reasons to work together with recruitment consultants or head hunters to meet your recruitment needs. Consultants can do all the donkey work for their clients, only bringing them in at the very end of the process to choose from pre-qualified applicants. Another reason might be that some companies may wish to keep the fact that they are recruiting for a particular position confidential and this is much easier through a consultant. Also, it is perfectly acceptable for consultants to directly approach candidates who work with their clients’ competitors, but less so if the client were to do this directly themselves.

The fact that there is a huge need for recruitment consultants in India is proven by the large and ever increasing number of consultancies out there! They range in size from sole-proprietorships to multi-billion dollar global enterprises; some specialise in particular industries and some in particular functions; and so on. So how should you go about choosing the right consultant to work for you? To a large extent, this depends on your precise reason for hiring a consultant’s services, but here are five questions to ask any consultant before you hire them.

  1. How do you go about finding candidates in general? If the consultant’s answer does not include something about looking for a fresh pool of candidates for each mandate then stay away! The worst possible answer you can get to this question is that the consultant has a database of tens of thousands of jobseekers waiting to change jobs tomorrow. Even if such a claim were true, would you really want to hire somebody who is desperate to change jobs tomorrow? Or would you prefer someone who is not actively looking for a job because they are successful where they are?
  2. How many candidates do you aim to provide in general?The smaller the number here, the better the answer is for you. You absolutely do not want to hire a consultant who sends you 20 candidate CVs per day per position because it is impossible that they are actually screening these candidates properly. Basically you would be paying a consultant when you are actually doing all the work yourself!
  3. How long will it take you to send a shortlist of candidates? The best answer here will vary depending on the position, but as a rule of thumb if a consultant is truly making the effort to find someone appropriate for your vacancy, contact them, interview them and prepare a shortlist, they will need a minimum of one week to do this, with time increasing with seniority and complexity of the position. If the consultant answers that he will send you the first CVs tomorrow, then alarm bells should ring.
  4. Time based fee structure? This is a good follow on to question 3. If a consultant says that he will provide a final shortlist within, say, ten days, ask what discount they will give on their fees if they are late. If the answer is no discount, then the consultant doesn’t believe in his own capabilities.
  5. What guarantee period do you offer? If a consultant only offers a 90 day guarantee period, this is not nearly enough time for a company and new employee to decide if they like each other and can work together. Ideally the guarantee period should be between 6 and 12 months, with the duration increasing with the seniority of the new employee.

Also, when choosing which consultancy to entrust your requirement to, consider how important you are likely to be to the consultancy as a client. Unless you represent a very large corporation yourself, it is unlikely that the larger consultancies will put real effort into finding candidates for you. The smaller the consultancy, the more likely it is that your company will be considered to be a key client and treated as such.

karl@sevenpillars.in

www.sevenpillars.in

First appeared in Vashi Times Jobs & Career on July 9th, 2011

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Categories: Uncategorized
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