Getting the most out of recruitment agencies - tips & tricks

Recruitment agencies are an amazing service - when the recruitment is done right.

But how do you make sure you get the right candidates?

How do you maximise the value they provide and the quality of learnings you gather?

Here are some of the tips gathered during a recent project researching research (and through our own experience):

Research before you commit
Look at and speak to a range of research agencies, especially if you’re after a very specific set of candidates.

  • Ask them about the most common kinds of research projects they recruit for
  • Ask where they tend to source their candidates from (are they largely metro or rural, older or younger)
  • Ask your colleagues who they’ve had productive relationships with in the past.
  • Do some of your own research about your customers so you have a better understanding of the context before you start.
  • Speak to your stakeholders to see if they have connections to the communities you’re speaking to (but be wary of relying entirely on this channel).

Write a detailed recruitment brief
Don’t be shy about detail. Lay out the exact kind of candidates you’re looking for, as it will usually make their job easier.

  • Provide an outline of the kind of project you’re working on and the outcomes you’re trying to achieve.
  • Provide screening questions and the kind of responses that are in or out
  • Use a table to show your required representative spread.
  • Give some examples of the kind of experiences you are looking for, rather than just a list of attributes.
  • Provide your contact details for any clarifying questions.

Establish a relationship with the recruiter
Don’t just shoot over the brief and cross your fingers.

  • Set up a call to talk through the brief.
  • Get to know the kind of recruitment the specific recruiter does most to make sure they’re a good fit.
  • Form a friendly relationship and explain the kinds of expectations you have personally.

Stay involved through the process

  • Ask to sit in on some of the initial screening calls to make sure they “get” what you’re after.
  • Read through the responses to screening questions before candidates are confirmed.
  • Follow up with the recruiter after the interviews to provide feedback on the quality of candidates and suggestions of how things can be done better next time.

These are just a few tips for getting the most out of recruiters.

Please share yours below and we can all get better together!


Thanks Rich - great advice, I will share with my team

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