For all these of you who have never worked with them, recruitment agencies are an important mystery. What do they really do? Are they any good? What are they to start with? Companies? NGOs? Employers? Governmental organizations? So many questions… So let’s clear the air a bit.

First of all, recruitment businesses are companies — primary and ordinary firms that have employees, that pay taxes and that make profit (or at the very least try to because the niche may be very tough and competitive). On the market there are a couple of global high rollers which can be present in several international locations (like Lugera & Makler, Adecco, Trenkwalder), a number of small companies that specialize on a niche, are good at it and really make profit (like SAP recruitment) and several other others which attempt to survive (but a lot of the instances do not).

A recruitment agency covers mainly two basic activities: helps candidates find a job and helps other firms find good candidates for the open positions they have. So they are a mediator on the market between candidates that search for jobs and corporations that search for candidates. Most businesses (I exploit «most» because all of those we have worked with did it, however I can’t wager that every one in the world are in the same situation) provide mostly free providers to candidates and get paid by firms only.

To a candidate, a recruitment company presents the next companies (fundamental companies are free):

— Receiving their resume and inserting it in a database which helps search for candidates with a sure skill; for businesses operating on the same market, competition is huge because they find yourself eventually with the same database, so winning the consumer gets more durable; additionally, small inexperienced businesses cannot compete with massive ones which already have an enormous list of candidates that they will search in minutes;

— Helping the candidates build a professional resume (typically paid service);

— Assessing the candidate’s skills by applying tests (IT, language, professional psychological tests) or throughout interviews;

— Offering improvement suggestions (sometimes paid service) and offering to incorporate them in training or coaching sessions (additionally mostly paid service);

— Sending the candidate’s resume to employers who have open positions, in response to required skills (free service mostly);

— Offering the candidate feedback in case of rejection or mediating the salary offering process (mostly free service).

To an organization, a recruitment company presents the next providers:

— Search resumes in their database;

— Post ads on suitable recruitment channels;

— Interview and test candidates;

— Propose the best candidates for the available positions;

— Substitute candidates totally free if candidate leaves or is being fired (on candidate’s fault) within a sure time limit (3-6 or even more months depending on position);

How does the hiring process work?

1. The consumer of the recruitment agency opens a position and offers it to 1 or several recruitment companies, relying on inside necessities, policies or relying on the signed contract between the two parties;

2. The consumer may be required to pay an advance price (used for posting ads or for initial time spent on interviews). Payment just isn’t returned. Depending on initial agreement, this payment may be skipped and a remaining success payment paid instead (only if company manages to fill the position with the suitable candidate);

3. Company posts ads, selects resumes, interviews candidates;

4. Agency affords a remaining list of top candidates to the consumer;

5. Consumer interviews closing candidates and affords one or several;

6. If position(s) is (are) covered, taxes are paid and process stops; else, recruitment process starts again. If several companies work on the identical position, the first one to fill it gets the money. The rest just waste time.

A recruitment company works just like every other company. It’s a service provider. Its employees are recruiters (the people who do the actual recruitment and selection), sales folks (who seek for purchasers and sign contracts — typically in small businesses sales individuals are also recruiters) and support people (like finance individuals, building maintenance, drivers, every other internal position vital for an organization to work efficiently).

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