Recruiting Agencies

What are recruiting agencies? Recruiting agencies act as intermediaries, the bridge between employers and employees by seeking and hiring people for the job.

Recruiting agencies - Everything you should know about

In today's competitive job market, landing your dream job is difficult sometimes, but recruiting agencies can help you by providing a hiring solution. Hiring is a hard job, and it's becoming increasingly difficult day by day for many businesses. So employers also go to recruiting agencies to get help to fill vacant positions when they don't have the time to sufficiently look through all of the candidates that have applied.  

It can also be difficult for job-seekers to remain motivated if they receive rejections for applied roles or struggle to find jobs that fit their skillset. By joining a recruiting agency, you can eliminate these worries. They're free to use, give you correct career advice, and are well-connected to employers of industries.

A recruiting agency is a bridge between a job seeker who is looking for employment and a company looking to hire someone. This way, recruiting agencies mainly focus on finding genuine candidates for a job opening its recruiters have been asked to fill.  

What is a recruiting agency?

Hiring is an expensive and time-consuming process when done by employers. So here we need a recruiting agency who works to find suitable candidates for employers.

Recruiting agencies act as intermediaries, the bridge between employers and employees, by researching the open roles, identifying qualified people, vetting candidates, and selecting the new hire to support the employer. In addition, they emphasize finding talent for permanent positions, including upper-management and executive roles.

Recruiting agency vs. employment agency

Recruiting agencies are considered the same as employment agencies. However, both of them are different. Recruiting agencies work to provide hiring solutions to employers, whereas employment agencies serve job seekers.

Recruiting agency vs. staffing agency

Recruiting agencies to work best when looking for fresh new talent and maintaining a pool of qualified candidates who will help you to your team or take over upper management. Staffing agencies come in when you have roles of short duration. A staffing agency is best used as many roles are needed to be filled in a short amount of time.  

For example, when you have to expand your staff for temporary projects but can't hire anyone as a full employee, you can contact staffing agencies. Staffing agencies can provide people who don't require detailed skills, lengthy training, or high compensation levels.

Why use a recruiting agency?  

In small organizations, where employees' are quite burdened already, in-house recruiting often doesn't come out as a wise investment. By not having a dedicated recruiter, you're pulling precious work time from your other staff members. However, a recruiting agency can be the way to go and get the true candidates. Here are a few reasons to get connected with a recruiting agency.

Extended talent pool

A recruiting agency has access to the best available talent, which includes access to those who are actively seeking a job and those currently employed elsewhere.

If you take help from a recruiting agency, you're more likely to be able to access the best job-seekers in the market; candidates who are actively searching for a new job position are more likely to register with a recruitment agency.

Sometimes finding the right candidates can be difficult because they can be hard to find. However, if candidates searching for a new job are not positioning themselves as 'actively seeking a job,' they are probably most likely to have some specialist, trusted recruiter working on their behalf to submit job applications. That's the access to a 'talent pool' which may be unreachable otherwise.

Recruiting agencies to have their networking among themselves. Each consultant is potential enough to contact their networks to help you connect to the right people.


It's commonly known that time is money. But if you take help from a recruiting agency, you can save your time. They save your business time as they take care of the initial steps in the hiring process—no need to sift through applications and resumes. Your recruitment agency will ensure that the time you are spending in the application process is spent wisely only on viewing those worth considering.

A recruiting agency will then line up with the candidates, ask for required documents, and schedule interviews. Then, all you have to do is prepare and turn up for the interview.

Your agency deals with all of the admin hassles, like communications with shortlisted candidates and rejected applications. Also, they will do all required cross-verification of candidate information like qualifications and references.

If you choose to work with a recruiting agency, they will reduce the hiring time and in-house resources needed for the recruiting process; this will lead to a quick turnaround in filling vacant positions and an increase in the organization's efficiency in other productive activities.

Addon Services

Recruiting agencies to take care of background checks on candidates is a must when considering potential employees. However, this can be a time-consuming process as it involves follow-ups on references, conducting preliminary interviews, and making sure the candidate matches what is mentioned on their resume.  

Another reason to use the services of recruiting agencies is that you can feel assured that any candidate you meet has already passed through the provisional tests as part of the additional services.

It's important to consider the add-on services provided by your recruiting agency when choosing which to go with, e.g., Contract and permanent recruiting, Psychometric tests, executive search, project support, and other managed services are all beneficial facilities provided by good recruiting agencies.

Suppose your business has a vacant job position for which you are uncertain about salary. In that case, a recruiting agency can give you an accurate market rate using its salary data and local market knowledge.

Market knowledge expertise

Sometimes, your required candidate may be specific and difficult to find. This is where a recruiter's market knowledge and industry expertise prove to be priceless. For example, if you wish to hire a manager, then you may require an expert opinion and knowledge of current recruiting trends. In addition, the agency should let you know all the relevant requirements and legal formalities applicable.

Gradually over certain years, when you have developed a trust and good relationship with your recruiting agency, your future hiring will be easier as your agency will be aware of the qualities you look for to make the right fit within your company.  

Efficient recruiting agencies will act as partners or collaborators and will act as your eyes and ears in the market. They know how to reach out for the best available talent, current hiring complexities, salary structure, career expectations, available skill-sets, and shortcomings. In addition, they can use their industry connections to get referrals, which are five times more effective than other sources of hiring.

Short-term and long-term cost and time savings

You can lose time and money on multiple fronts when you handle hiring internally. First, it takes a lot of time to search and vet the right candidates. As an employer, you are already juggling so many responsibilities. So your time should be spent elsewhere. Second, recruiting agencies have reached major job boards, ensuring that your job advertisement is in the correct place.  

The cost of going through all available resumes and conducting initial conversations adds up, but if you hire a recruiting agency by their advice and guidance, not only is that cost reduced, but you can negotiate the best salary resulting in a higher chance of hiring the top candidate.

Then if you make a bad hire, you also lose time and money. Putting the lack of productivity aside, before ultimately parting ways with that employee, there's some time spent trying to retrain or rehabilitate. These concerns become nonissues when working with a recruiting agency. The agency must find your next great hire.

  • Short term cost saving
  1. No job advertisements posting
  2. Your in-house staff can perform their other duties as usual
  3. Reduces potential overtime costs paid (temporary hire or overtime periods paid)
  4. Reduces the cost of hiring if a candidate is unfit for the role
  • Long term cost saving
  1. Reduces training costs
  2. Reduced future hiring costs when you have trust in a recruiting agent

How do recruiting agencies work?

Agencies make a list of vacant positions after discussing with employers. Then they place advertisements on online job boards and other places. They always try to upload new CVs to the online job boards.

If you've kept an eye on online job boards for current vacancies, you might have noticed that very few advertisements mention hiring companies' names. The reason being, if you saw that advertisement and you find it relevant, you might apply it directly to the firm. The agencies are worried about not getting paid because they wouldn't get their fee from the employer.

Generally, recruitment agencies will take your CV in word format and send it to the employer in an edited version. The agency edits and puts your CV into their fixed template. Some of them may remove your details to prevent the employer from approaching you directly to avoid paying a hiring fee to the agency. But no reputable recruitment agency will ever change the basic contents of your CV without taking your permission.

As we are heading towards the digital world, technology allows these hiring activities to be performed remotely. Digital document verification and video interviewing can support how recruiting agencies work in the 'no bricks' model.

Many start-up recruiting agencies initially might choose to avoid setting up a company office. However, it is feasible for a start-up recruiting agency to do the work using the 'no bricks' model. While basic services may vary slightly from one agency to another, most recruiting agencies use a similar working process. The basic process will be like


You'll first need to come to an agreement when you decide to work with a particular recruiting agency. For that, you'll need to agree on pre-decided payment terms, a retained fee, or a contingency fee structure. However, you'll also need to agree on terms regarding your expectations for the work.

Some recruiting agencies offer a guarantee period. This will ensure that you'll receive a great hire. The agency will go back to the drawing board and continue searching for your next hire if your latest hire goes wrong.


After the agreement, your recruitment agency will meet you to discuss your hiring needs. For example, maybe your company needs multiple positions filled, or perhaps you have only one important higher management executive position open.

The agency will try to gather as much information as possible, which will help them to identify and attract the best possible true candidates for the job. You have to provide your agency with a true job description, a full list of requirements, a list of required skills and attributes, and any other key criteria expected.


The agency will then start to screen their database and networks, searching for qualified candidates and mobilizing their influencers to reach candidates within their networks and circles. These recruiters work swiftly to scan true and suitable resumes.

The agency makes a list of potential candidates, then screens these individuals, and sets up interviews. However, on average, barely 2% of applicants reach interviews.


The process of interviewing is two-fold. First, the recruitment agency will arrange shortlisted candidate's interviews with employers. During this process, the recruitment agency will brief candidates about your company's requirements, work culture, and long-term vision.

After narrowing the pool of candidates by these interviews, the hiring company will be briefed on each candidate, and the agency will assist you in making a final list of candidates for the last round of interviews. Most of the recruiters report that three rounds of interviews are needed before extending an offer to a candidate.

Final offer and negotiation  

After identifying a candidate you'd like to hire, the recruitment agency will be with you to handle final compensation-related negotiations with the candidate. Again, the recruitment agency will save you time by offering negotiations off your plate and ensuring to work as a primary point-of-contact for candidates throughout this process.  


Once a selected candidate has accepted an offer, the agency may assist your company with employee onboarding. Both parties complete the required paperwork for employment; the agency will make sure your newly hired employee gets adjusted, feels comfortable, and is excited to join your team.

How do recruiting agencies get paid?

Recruiting agencies get paid by the employer for each candidate they put forward, who gets selected successfully to get a job. Based on the structure of their fees, recruiting agencies can be divided as below:

  • Contingency recruiting agencies: They work on a salary-based fee that is paid only if a hire is made.
  • Retained or executive search agencies: Such agencies work on an up-front fee which is paid for assistance if hiring is made
  • On-demand recruiting agencies: They work with an adjustable level of support, paid at an hourly rate of services provided.
  • Outsourced recruiting: In these agencies, the hiring process completely replaces the employer's internal recruiting function.

Advantages of taking help of recruiting agency

  1. Faster hiring process
  2. Better candidate availability
  3. Specialized recruiting knowledge
  4. Focused client service
  5. Better market knowledge
  6. Extended reach to employers and job seekers


It is worth contracting with a relevant recruiting agency to increase the chances of finding the right talent. One can mix recruiting alternatives using in-house recruiting and recruiting agencies. External recruiting agencies have the expertise, qualified personnel, wider talent pool, competitive spirit, fewer chances of favoritism, etc. Taking their help will allow an in-house HR department to devote its attention to other responsibilities.  

If your company decides to use an external recruiting agency, do it thoughtfully and correctly. Don't worry about a few thousand here and there, even if you have to pay a significant fee for that perfect hire. Efficient recruiting agencies can shoulder some of your hiring burdens. All good agencies aim to provide the best possible service to their clients as they understand the importance of building strong and lasting relationships. 

About the author

has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2022, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.

Dennis Hoinkis CEO, GLOMASTCO Ltd.

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