In GSG Connections by Belo Cipriani

The job market is booming again in the San Francisco Bay Area and other major metropolitan markets, and recruiting top talent has become a priority for many employers. But while engaging a recruiting firm may seem too costly or not worth the investment, not having external recruiting resources could be hurting your organization’s productivity. After all, without the right staff, meeting business goals may become a challenge. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when starting a partnership with a recruiting firm.

DO: Hire for specialty

While some staffing companies will take any requisition you send their way, the truth is most recruiting firms have a specialty and it’s when you tap into their area of expertise that you begin to see results. Before you start sending job descriptions their way, figure out what their niche is. Doing so will save you a lot of time and keep you from receiving resumes that don’t quite cut it.

DON’T: Create a competition

While it may be tempting to send one requisition to dozens of recruiting firms, doing so will not get you better results. Eventually, candidates will let the agency know that other firms have contacted them with the same opportunity; giving the agency the impression that the opening will be filled by someone else and not worth investing time in. Eventually, agencies will not give your jobs priority and not forward talent your way; something that will keep you from building a flow of qualified applicants. This is why it’s important to create a vendor list and manage it closely. If a firm is not performing well, you can take them off the list and give another agency an opportunity to prove themselves.

DO: Create a process

It’s tough for a recruiting agency to keep a candidate excited about an opportunity for very long — especially in a competitive job market. So, it’s crucial for the candidate to make contact with the hiring manager as soon as possible. To avoid losing top talent to a competitor, try building a process that allows you to quickly respond to a submission by an agency. Having this in place will give the firm the ability to set the right expectations for the candidate and allow for a smoother interview process.

Even if you have an internal recruiter, recruiting agencies have access to additional networks that are simply not accessible to HR personnel. And while you may not want all of your hires to come via a recruiting agency because of the cost, it’s important to at least be open to having some come from this resource.

Remember, a big part of recruiting is about leveraging a system of tools and recruiting agencies are a great asset to a staffing strategy.

Belo Cipriani is a former recruiting professional and an award-winning author. He writes the online column “Get to Work” for theSan Francisco Chronicleand has been a featured guest lecturer at both Yale University and the University of San Francisco. In conjunction with Granite Solutions Groupe, he also writes GSG Connections. Learn more at