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 actually 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, more often than not 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 candidate(s) you’re searching for.

2. Quality Assurance

Companies only succeed if they have the right people in the right roles and not just based on skills but fit the company profile and goals. To find the right people I believe you have to utilise a company who values and understands quality, how better to demonstrate that than be quality assured.

3. 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 your account by the BDM is done poorly, the audit of your workplace by the WHS Advisor is done with a lack of understanding or even being put through to the wrong person within the agency by the front desk can make a difference in service levels and being supplied with the quality you’re looking for. Quality staff throughout the agency is key!

4. Established payroll with solid procedures

This is something I very rarely get asked but personally believe it’s vital. If you’re staff are happy and feel valued then your business will take care of itself no matter if the staff are full time, contractors or labour hire. What’s the easiest way to get your staff offside? Get their pay wrong or even worse don’t pay them 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? Staff being paid and paid correctly is a must for every business.

5. 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 are able to service your company with a workplace solutions service and not just a staffing service. Being setup with an agency providing these service gives you flexibility, piece of mind and the right people looking after the right areas!

6. Online capabilities

More and more companies are wanting instant access to candidates, industry information, pay scaling, changes to IR and a plethora of other items around workplace solutions. Having an agency who utilise and update their website and offer online portals so you have access to these items 24 hours per day is a huge assistance to any business.

There we have it, 6 tips on what to look for when selecting an agency.

By Stephen Ward
Account Manager