The Internet has changed the landscape of traditional recruitment by making  job boards available to everyone. Employers have started advertising on job sites themselves in order to cut recruitment costs, but they have also discovered that recruiting high-level skills is not only about advertising a job or searching through available candidates.

Why it is essential to use a specialist recruitment agency and how to engage with them when hiring top IT staff?

Finding top-quality candidates, which then result in top-class appointments, is not that trivial and requires a lot of different skills and means.

When engaging a recruitment agency that can provide these top-class candidates, an employer should look at various aspects. One should look at their candidate pool. Getting past the low hanging fruit requires active and ongoing networking into the industry.

Maintaining relationships with candidates over long periods is crucial. This is only possible with an independent recruitment agency. HR departments cannot maintain relationships with potential candidates to the same extent that an independent recruitment agency with a strong independent brand can.

Furthermore, finding candidates is an art in itself. A decent recruitment agency uses strategies to locate good candidates that go beyond job sites and print advertising and depends more and more on personal references and relationships with people in the industry. Social networking tools are nowadays more and more required to attract top candidates.

Screening should not only filter out fake qualifications, but also ensure a candidate is genuinely interested in a position, and competent enough to do the job. This can be done better by a specialist agency due to the fact that the candidate is interviewed and matched not only for one job, but as part of a relationship-building process.

The offer stage negotiations are crucial; the offer can make or break a deal. Got to this stage, it is a good fit; the candidate likes the employer and visa-versa? Beware; the deal can still break down. The recruitment agency should have the knowledge and skills to bring the parties together to result in a win-win situation for both. It is only easier for an independent person to get into detailed and delicate negotiations.

A specialist recruitment agency should understand the employer’s needs, especially considering its expertise in dealing with many companies in the industry and seeing the big picture. A recruiter should then be able to convey the employer needs properly to the candidate during the screening process. The candidate wants to compare the employer to similar companies in the industry, too.

A face-to-face meeting between employer and recruiter is crucial, as this brings the recruiter into contact with the real world of the employer and issues like culture-fit can best be experienced during such a meeting.

Specialist recruitment agencies work with the big picture and should be able to advise on trends that are applicable to an employer’s unique situation. Trends include salary trends and also shortage trends so as to be able to develop strategies over longer periods.

A specialist recruitment agency should be at home in the employer’s industry. They should understand the industry thoroughly and be able to show a track record of previous experience in working on similar positions. References of previous clients can be obtained to substantiate this.

The employer is an active participant in the process and should be available throughout the recruitment cycle. Often meetings have to be set up very quickly in order to attract a top candidate on time. Changing requirements or parameters on the employer’s side should be communicated instantly to the interested candidate pool to avoid wasting people’s time and effort.