Harry Ellis’s letter (DW 10 November) regarding the ‘large premium’ charged for candidates supplied to employers through agencies fails to take account of a number of factors, namely:
There is no guarantee of refund for individuals directly appointed, but who do not subsequently work out, or the cost to an organisation of not finding a suitable person.
Most organisations fail to include the cost of their own management and administration time in selecting and vetting appropriate employees. For example, if you get a huge response, your brand and company image will inevitably be tarnished if you do not respond appropriately and courteously to every application. Also, you may need to conduct two or three interviews during the selection process instead of one or two. Agencies that do their job properly should be interviewing and evaluating to ensure an accurate skills match and a shortlist of only suitable applicants from which the client can select the best cultural/ personality fit.
Advertising a post only attracts those individuals actively looking for a new opportunity. Some of the best future employees are those currently in full-time employment and not necessarily discontent with their current situation.
Those agencies that operate a ‘spray and pray’ policy with candidates’ CVs add nothing to the process. However, those that properly screen and evaluate and also act as an ambassador on behalf of their client can be very good value indeed – especially if the employer has delegated responsibility in-house to an individual who lacks either in-depth interview experience or specialist knowledge.
Finally, there are fewer people unemployed in the UK than at any time in the past 20 years. In our experience, for every opportunity offered, an individual has at least three other positions from which to choose. Developing a long-term relationship with a recruitment consultancy can considerably ease the pressure to find talented individuals in creative sectors in which the level of demand outstrips supply.