How to Choose a Recruitment Agency

There are many recruitment agencies available to assist you with your recruitment and selection activities and to ensure that your manpower needs are fulfilled.

There are five matters that you, as a hiring manager or corporate recruiter, can ask a recruitment agency to help assess if they are the right fit for your needs and you should ensure that these are addressed before you make a decision.

  1. Their Business.  Most recruitment agencies have operated in the country or across the globe for some time and have a good “track record”, while others have just been founded and are run by a limited number of professionals. The size of the company may be important for achieving a successful result as the reputation of a recruitment agency might influence the attraction of qualified candidates.  However, it does not always mean that bigger is better. 
  2. Areas of Expertise.  Normally, a recruitment agency can inform you right away about its areas of expertise, such as IT, engineering, finance and accounting, and manufacturing.  Expertise in a specific industry tends to guarantee your success.  You should prepare a list of difficult-to-fill positions in your company and ask the recruitment agencies whether they are familiar with these positions or not.
  3. Experience.  You should ask about the experience of a recruitment consultant to see whether they have a firm background in the recruitment industry.  Typical, yet difficult problems often arise, but an experienced recruitment consultant usually knows how to deal with them.  The possible success rate can be forecast from the areas of expertise and experience of a recruitment consultant.
  4. Recruitment Channels.  A wide variety of recruitment channels tend to increase the chance of acquiring qualified candidates.  A recruitment agency should be able to explain which recruitment channel is effective.  Some industries rely on digital media, such as job boards, email blasts, or social media while others might prefer job fairs or referrals.  New recruitment channels might be able to attract more candidates than the traditional ones.
  5. Terms and Conditions.  Make sure that you receive a thorough explanation about the fees and other conditions, such as payment terms, guarantee period, and exclusivity.  If a successful candidate fails the probationary period, what action will be taken – a replacement, a credit note, or a refund?


After you have enough information about a recruitment agency, you may let the search process begin.  Constructive feedback on the resumes that you receive is important for a recruitment agency to be successful in their recruitment and selection activities.