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If your business is like many today, it’s hiring during a competitive time to land top candidates. The Great American work reset translates to a candidate’s market, a trend not likely to reverse for some time.

Bringing a recruiting firm onboard is an idea you’ve heard about, but you’d like to know more. Glad you asked!

Understand that a top recruiting firm will streamline the hiring process for you so you can focus on what you do best — running the day-to-day operations of your business.

But before you agree to move forward, Eric Kean, Principal at The Lee Group, offers some suggestions to consider. Lee Group Search has built a national reputation on expertise, discipline and professionalism in interviewing and placing only the best employees for its clients. The executive search and staffing firm works with companies nationwide by aligning talent to grow businesses.

  • First assess what you want from a recruiter. What’s the goal? Are you seeking a warm body to throw a stack of resumes your way so you can do the vetting, interviewing and make all the decisions? Or are you seeking a recruiting firm that will partner with your business for current and future hiring needs? Would you value professional expertise?

“I can’t tell you there’s a right and a wrong way,” Kean says, but he isn’t remiss in giving his opinion. Effective use of a recruiting firm involves an employer looking to develop a partnership to handle all aspects of the hiring process. That relationship flourishes due to a mutual trust that develops based on results that include better processes and better candidates to fill vacant positions. Top firms aren’t facilitators. They’re experts.

  • A recruiting firm isn’t looking to replace a company’s human resources department, but the best recruiting firms examine hiring processes with objective eyes. Your company’s process might be too long or full of obstacles that deter top candidates from ever applying. Some processes prevent candidates from accepting an attractive offer.  It’s not unusual for companies to refrain from taking a hard look at their own processes, something a recruiting firm has no problems doing. Are you open to this? “At Lee Group Search, we’re going to tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it,” Kean says. Is that what you want?
  • Understand that the best recruiting firms are experts in gathering feedback and making recommendations based on actual data. While most companies offer exit interviews, departing employees typically have a higher comfort zone talking with someone who hasn’t been their boss. These honest assessments can inform decision making. Be willing to let a recruiting firm do what it does best to explore how to attract and retain top talent. Just as you wouldn’t tell your surgeon how to perform your upcoming appendectomy, be mindful of telling recruiting firms how to go about the hiring process. They don’t dedicate a part of their business to hiring. It is their business.
  • Don’t quibble about paying a fee. Kean wants this elephant-in-the-room question answered as quickly as possible when he works with new employers. Companies working with a recruiter pay a fee for services. Recruiting firms save employers time and money, both of which are valuable to any employer. The best staffing companies free up business owners to allocate their efforts elsewhere. “So yes, you pay for services,” Kean says. “If you’re a business owner, you don’t work for free. Neither do recruiting firms.” Don’t devalue a firm’s expertise by trying to get out of paying for services. “You want to work with somebody who has a track record,” Kean adds. “There’s a reason they charge the fees they do, and you want to respect that.”

With so many suiters looking to secure elite talent for their companies, the time is ripe to partner with a recruiting firm to take your hiring practices and procedures to the next level. Just be sure you understand that getting the best out of that relationship starts with a mutual understanding.

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