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How can I improve my relations with my recruitment agency?

"I work with a recruiting agency on a regular basis as part of my role within an in-house HR department. Unfortunately, I do not think I am getting enough out of my relationship; the recruiter always seems to supply me with the wrong type of candidates. For example, last month we recruited an interim finance director; we specifically wanted someone with sector experience but I only received CVs from candidates with backgrounds in alternative sectors. How can I stop this from happening? I also get the impression that the recruiter hasn't always met all of the candidates or taken the time to fully understand the job specification, is this something they should be doing?"

22nd Mar 2010

People Management

Julie Waddicor, Managing Director of Hays Human Resources advises:

"There are various things both the recruiting agency and you can do to improve the situation. Consider how closely you work with your recruitment consultant; it is important to be upfront from the outset and work together so that the consultant has a strong understanding of the job requirements and person specification. A good consultant will offer expert advice and guidance regarding the initial job description and salary level. You must consider company culture and the background to the role, as this will help the consultant compile a more detailed competency framework and vastly improve your chances of employing the right candidate. The consultant should also request detailed remuneration and benefits information, as any factors that could provide an edge will need to be mentioned.

An expert recruiter will meet every candidate face-to-face, in order to gage their suitability for the role and the working environment. If this is not happening it can result in inappropriate candidates being sent to you for interview. Remember to feed back to the recruiter if this occurs, let the recruiter know you are dissatisfied and explain why. Ensuring that you are transparent from the start about what type of professional you are looking for and what level of service you expect from them, will enable you to feel confident in securing the most suitable hire."