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Salesperson Recruitment - the best way

Has anyone else had a similar experience using one of the plethora of recruitment agencies?

We recently recruited a member of our sales team via a UK-based recruitment agency.

The agency seemed to do very little (apart from providing the basic introduction) and charged us a hell of a lot of money.

I couldnt help feeling ripped off.

I personally have never found a job via a recruitment agency either.

So the question is Recruitment Agencies are they worth the time of day? - by Julian
If you're in a pinch or can't seem to get the job done yourself a recruiting agency looks like a viable solution. I would think the costs involved in finding qualified candidates is going to be high. - by Liberty
You have to understand where the recruiting agency is coming from. If any recruiters read this, they won't be really happy with my analysis.

Most recruiters only get paid their commission if and when they place a person. So, if they don't place anyone, all of the time they've invested has been wasted. In addition, the longer it takes to place someone and more time they have invested, the less they make in real terms (their commission stays the same, they simply make less per hour invested).

Their job is to find a warm body that meets enough of your criteria to get that person hired--period. Is the person really good? Not their problem. Is the person really right for your company? Not their problem. Does the person really know what they're doing? Not their problem.

Can the person breath and does the resume reflect your basic requirements? That's what they look at. Their job is to locate a live, breathing individual who has the basic qualifications you've requested. It's your job to evaluate and hire. They're like an apartment locater service--here's the apartments that fit your budget, go look at them and pick the one you want.

The primary problem with recruiters is they can't deliver the best talent. Most of what they deliver is average or slightly above or below. It's a time thing again. In addition, they have little to no discernment because most have never performed or managed the function they're trying to fill. All they know is what you've told them--along with any other information they've picked up in the past trying to fill similar spots.

Top salespeople in virtually all industries move slowly from one company to another. For the most part, they have to be courted, not called and asked if they're interested in a new job. Recruiters have to cold call salespeople to find someone who happens to meet your basic requirements and is interested in moving companies--now. Hardly any top salespeople move that way. Typically the ones who are ready to move now are in the middle of the pack.--or, worse, below the midldle.

As mentioned above, top talent has to be courted and recruiters don't have that kind of time to invest. They move from call to call until they find someone interested in moving today.

The chances of landing a top salesperson--or manager--through a recruiter is slim (yes, it does happen on occasion). The nature of the beast is that you know going in that you will more than likely end up with someone who is just average and that in terms of doing the hiring work, other than the leg-work to locate the person, will fall on you. And that leg-work is expensive.

As Liberty mentioned, if you're in a pinch, recruiters can help out--if you're just looking to fill a slot. If you're looking for really top talent--sales or management--they're not the route to go.

The only people who can successfully and consistently recruit top talent are the managers within the company and that with a formal, organized top talent recruiting program. Not outside recruiters, not an in-house recruiting department. But, that's a long-term solution. it takes real time and effort to court and bring on top sales and management talent. But if well designed and implemented, it can change the course of a company over the course of a couple of years.

Disclaimer--despite what I've said above, there aren't many, but there are a few recruiters that are really, really good and don't operate in the manner of most. If you happen to find one, they're worth their weight in gold. - by pmccord
IN my experience with the agencies - I think the hardest is finding one that is willing work with or for you not against you. I have a particular way of screening my potential employees and feel as though maybe the recruitment agencies don't service that to my expectation. However if you find a good one they can be a viable solution. - by Snowboy
Can't say I have - by Jabber
Tough Break,

Better luck next time. - by dodobird
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