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How Does a Recruitment Agency Operate?

  • 14-11-22
  • user Richard Malpeli

Personnel is essential for any business. No company can operate without people. However, finding and recruiting employees can be hard and time-consuming work. Fortunately, recruitment agencies are available that will do the work for you, leaving you to focus on running your business.

If you are considering using a recruitment company, you might be wondering how they operate. We’ve created this article to help answer your questions. 

Why Use a Recruitment Agency?

Before we move on to the process that recruitment agencies go through, it can help to explain why it’s a good idea to use one.

  • Save Time:

As mentioned, recruitment can be a time-consuming process. By handing the process over to an agency, companies can spend more time on other important parts of their business. Not only can using an agency save time but the process can also be completed sooner. This is because agencies can dedicate their team members to finding and vetting the right recruits.

  • Save Money:

A good recruitment agency won’t come cheap, but they can still help you save money. For one thing, recruitment takes time, and as anybody in business will know, time = money. Even if you don’t pay an agency to manage recruitment for you, you will still have to pay in-house staff to do it for you.

A recruitment agency can also save you money by helping to hire the right person the first time. Otherwise, you would need to go through the process again, and you might also have to pay compensation in some cases. 

  • A Greater Reach

When businesses recruit, it usually involves taking out an ad in local media and maybe informing a jobcentre. The company will then have to sit back and wait for applications to arrive. One of the biggest problems with this solution is that it reaches a very limited amount of people. Potential candidates might not be aware of a vacancy, meaning they won’t apply. 

However, a recruitment agency will be more proactive and look further afield for suitable candidates. With their large databases and extensive networks, agencies are more likely to find ideal candidates for you rather than sitting back and hoping the right person contacts them. 

The Process

Recruitment agencies will go through a set process from start to finish. While the process will vary slightly from agency to agency, it will still look similar, whichever agency you work with. Below is a brief look at the process involved. 

Contract Agreement

When working with any agency, you will need to agree on terms bilaterally. Such terms will typically include fees paid to the agency for helping with recruitment and deadlines that new staff are expected to be recruited by. The contract will also usually state what the process would be should a hire not work out. 

Determining Your Needs

Every business has different recruitment requirements, so the agency will need to work with you to determine what you need. The agency will need to ask you questions about your specifications to help them find the best-qualified people for your company. You’ll need to provide information such as which skills and attributes you need and descriptions of the roles being filled. 

Finding Potential Recruits

Once the agency knows what to look for, it will begin the task of finding potential recruits. Recruitment agencies will typically have their own database to start working from, as well as extensive networks. The process will sometimes involve having head-hunters contact qualified people even if they are already employed.

Agency staff can quickly process resumes, helping them swiftly develop a shortlist of candidates. The candidates will then be screened to refine the list further.

Holding Interviews

Once a shortlist has been finalized, it is time to start arranging interviews. The agency will usually hold the first round of interviews to help find the most suitable candidates. It’s important for agencies to present the right candidates to their client to help uphold their reputation. Candidates will typically also be briefed on your company’s requirements, vision, culture, and other important aspects they might need to know.

Once the best candidates have been selected, the client will hold the next round of interviews. The agency will assist the client in arranging the interviews, while they will also brief the client on each candidate. In most cases, there will be three rounds of interviews before a successful candidate is selected. 

Handling Negotiations

Once you’ve found the right candidate, it’s time to start contract negotiations, including matters like salary and other terms and conditions. The agency will usually be happy to handle these negotiations for you, making the process even easier for you. Not only that, but an agency will employ skilled negotiators, helping to get the best deal for all involved.  


Onboarding is an often-overlooked part of recruitment and one that can help ensure staff retention and performance. This can be a time-consuming process for the client, but many agencies will be happy to handle this part of the process for them. A new member of the team who has undergone the onboarding process will get up to speed faster and will also find it easier to settle in. 


Overall, using a recruitment agency will help to take much of the workload away from you, and may even send you some money. By hiring a team of experts dedicated to the task, using an agency will also likely see results sooner. Perhaps even better is that thanks to an agency’s reach, you’re more likely to find a perfect candidate for the role.