Questions to Ask Before You Engage With an External Recruiter

In a data-driven age constantly fed by social media updates, tons of floating fake candidate profiles and job spams, it becomes extremely difficult for the real job seekers and HR experts alike to declutter the real from the fake. Talent acquisition managers are thus facing a major recruiting challenge in terms of finding the right medium to reach out to the best talent.

Amidst the chaos and disruption, buzzing recruitment feed updates and tons of resumes floating on the web, all experts will definitely agree on one common ground – the talent-skill mismatch gap is only getting wider to perhaps create an artificial talent shortage scenario. How you bridge this gap and narrow down research on the professional talent passionate about their careers looking out for the right opportunity?

Here’s where HR professionals and reputed employer brands find the need to engage with an external recruitment specialist, who can help them with the head hunting exercise by shortlisting best profiles, conducting preliminary screening rounds, ensuring consistent engagement with the talent pool and thus helping right talent connect with the industry and vice-versa.

While there is no dearth of job platforms offering promises to candidates and employers alike, the recruitment needs continue to be unmet. The industry seems to be counting high hopes now on the intermediaries, the facilitators who understand businesses to help bridge this huge disconnect.

Entering into contracts with external recruiters to facilitate the hiring need is not easy as well. There are many factors that need to be considered before you confirm engagement with an authentic service provider who meets the delivery time and understands your hiring need. A quick list of questions below can assist you through the decision-making process of signing up:



  • What are the industries you recruit for and how many years have you been in business?


This is one critical question that will help you understand business domains catered by the external recruiting agent and his tenure serving clients. You can research to dig deeper the satisfaction levels experienced by clients served and learn about his workings with through internal networks and referrals. The truth is out there in the open, all you need to do is ask and seek for answers.

Do not go blinded by the fact of longer tenures of recruiters serving industries, it needn’t necessarily have to be an absolute measure of their reputed success. Sometimes a business can withstand years, even without much credentials to certify quality hiring in their basket. Look through the cracks and crevices of information presented to you from all sources, before you arrive at a decision of signing up with an external recruiting agent.



  • What is the employee turnover rate experienced by businesses hiring candidates referred by the external recruiter?


An employee turnover rate experienced by organisations served by the external recruiting agency most often is an accurate measure of the candidate screening and hiring methodologies used by the recruiter, before referring them to reputed majors.

The underlying reason on why your company intends to engage with an external recruiter is to make the recruiting process less cumbersome by saving on time and efforts invested to authenticate candidate profiles, study their experiences, passion and connect them with potential opportunities for fruitful long-term careers. Make sure this objective is met and your brand derives RoIs of engaging with an external recruiter.



  • What are your sourcing methodologies and strategies to attract the best talent?


It is important to understand the sourcing channels and methodologies used by the external recruiter. Most effective agencies are quite transparent about their workings with clients, the candidate screening process, filtering mechanisms of CVs and background verification methods followed before shortlisting candidates for further rounds.

Authentic service providers do not fear scrutiny by companies, who delve deeper into facts, figures and numbers before entering into a contract. They are quite confident and do not show any signs of insecurity or fumbling behaviours to create ambiguity in responses. Their commitment to helping industries meet their talent requirements is performance exemplified.



  • Is there any form of guarantee you provide to clients?


Sometimes external recruiting agencies go an extra mile to win over clients by challenging their performance from time to time. With an aim to set new standards and benchmarks in recruiting excellence, they do provide a word of guarantee sometimes quantified in numerics to be achieved within a time frame to meet immediate industry demand.

These recruiters do not just push the envelope by being proactive to understand business needs, they exude confidence in their abilities to leave no stone unturned to meet your talent requirements.



  • Can you share more details on your client base and the industries you serve or wish to explore?


External recruiters with a good track record are quite open to questions seeking answers from company recruiters and brand managers to provide a list of the clients they serve, the industries catered and the industry they wish to serve in the times to come. They rant no success but make you believe their service value through consistent performance.

Last but not the least, observe careful attention to details before you arrive at a decision of signing up with an external recruiter. Weigh on the pros and cons, conduct research, ask for industry views and learn from internal networks on how they manage their hiring needs, look for feedback, recommendations and suggestions before you take the final call.


Read: Essential Skills You Need to Ace in Your Career in 2018