I read an article a little while back called “Tips Around Selecting the Right Agency” which I wanted to share with everyone for all the wrong reasons and pull the article apart.  When I read back over the article I realised it wasn’t a bad article and had some good information, it was simply the title that was wrong!  If the article had been called for example “Tips Around Selecting an External Recruitment Consultant” the information would’ve fit, just not to selecting an agency.

I instead decided to write my own article on the subject to give my opinion on what you should look for when selecting an agency and why.  There are plenty of agencies out there and it’s easy to select the wrong one, get caught in an even worse scenario than you were before and blame the agency because they’re not good at their job!  Sometimes that is the case and I’m not denying that fact, however, often it’s simply that the agency doesn’t fit the client as they may specialise in another industry or don’t have the right service offerings to suit.  Here are 6 tips around what to look for when selecting an agency:

  1. Make sure they recruit and have experience in your industry sector

For me this is a no brainer and I know this sounds obvious but not all agencies promote what industry they recruit in!  If the agency doesn’t recruit or have enough relevant experience in your industry, then they don’t have too much of a chance in finding the right positions you’re looking for.

  1. Quality Assurance

Companies only succeed if they have the right people in the right places and not just based on skills but that they fit the company culture and their goals align.  To find the right company for you I believe you must utilise an agency who values good culture, treats candidates they’re placing as employees, follows a solid, set process and understands quality, how better to demonstrate that than be quality assured.

  1. Experienced staff throughout the organisation

Yes, the Recruiter is key to the process but so are all the other staff involved in the agency.  If any aspect of establishing their client base is done poorly, for example the audit of their workplace by the WHS Advisor is done with a lack of understanding or even if you’re put through to the wrong person within the agency by the front desk, that can make a difference in service levels as well as being placed to the quality employer you’re looking for.  Quality staff throughout the agency is key!

  1. Established payroll with solid procedures

This is something I very rarely get asked but personally believe it’s vital.  If you’re happy and feel valued from the $ side then everything else will generally take care of itself no matter if you are full time, contract or labour hire.  What’s the easiest way to be put offside? Be payid wrong or even worse don’t get paid at all.  Always ask the agency how they run their payroll, how it’s financed, how they keep up with changes to pays across all industries as well as how they resolve any issues when they arise? Being paid and paid correctly is a must for every employee.

  1. Multiple service offerings

An agency who offer a range of services shows they understand that the workplace is constantly changing, evolving and hopefully improving.  Agencies who offer services such as Labour Hire, Permanent Placement, RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) WHS (Workplace Health and Safety), HRO (HR Outsourcing) and in some cases PPE Supply will generally service multiple industries and companies with a workplace solutions service and not just a staffing service.  Being registered with an agency providing these services should give you better odds of being placed with a good host employer.

  1. Online capabilities

More and more employees are wanting instant access to company information, industry information, pay scaling, changes to IR and a plethora of other items around the workplace and employment.  Having an agency who utilise and update their website and offer online portals so you have access to these items 24 hours a day is a huge plus to anyone in the job search market.