Why work with a tech recruitment agency
We at Toughbyte do tech recruitment for companies in Europe and the US. When we talk to potential clients, we first try to understand whether and why they need our help, because being clear on the reasons for engaging the services of external IT recruiters ensures a successful outcome. In this post, we’ll explain why you should consider working with a tech recruitment agency to help you decide whether you actually need it or not.
Why not work with a tech recruitment agency
Before we go through the reasons for working with an agency, let’s talk about why this might not be the right option for you.
First of all, if you’re looking for non-developers, a tech recruitment agency won’t be effective, even if they agree to work on your positions. Use an agency that has experience placing candidates in the roles you’re hiring for.
If you’ve just started your business, don’t have any developers on your founding team and need to figure out what should go into your minimum viable product (MVP), engaging an IT recruitment agency is not the best idea. Even if the agency were to present good candidates for you to employ, you wouldn’t have anyone to run the technical interviews. If an agency were to find a contract developer for you instead, they would be expensive and implement what you asked them to, without considering the long-term vision or strategy of your company. What you need first in this case is a technical co-founder or at least an advisor, i.e. someone with a vested longer-term interest in your success.
If you’re unsure about the profile you’re looking for and just want to see the candidates out there to understand their salary expectations, working with a tech recruiter will not be productive. You need to have the budget & concrete tasks planned for the person you’ll be hiring and be ready to have them start right away, as being vague on these points will alienate candidates you talk to.
If you need to fix major internal issues with your hiring process or hiring culture, an external recruiter working on a success fee only basis will not be able to help. An embedded recruiter could have some impact, but they will only be able to do so much, since you will need to get buy-in from your team members first.
If you’re already working with several agencies and are happy with their results, adding one more to source from the same talent pool will not move the needle. In fact, it can demotivate the agencies you’re already working with. There is also a chance of them contacting the same candidates, thus damaging your reputation.
Now that we’ve covered why working with external tech recruiters may not be the best idea, let’s dive deeper into why you should get help from a tech recruitment agency.
To save your time
Tech recruiters do sourcing and pre-screening, which is very time-consuming. Engaging an agency will save you a lot of time, since their recruiters specialize in doing this work. More than 80% of technical roles requiring at least three years of experience are closed through outbound work, rather than by inbound candidates applying via your career site. Around 20% of such candidates you contact will reply. 20% of those will be interested and agree to the first call. For each subsequent stage in your hiring process, you should expect a drop off rate of around 50%. Assuming three stages before making an offer, you’re looking at a rate of 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.25% from contacted to offered. So, just to get to one offer, you need to contact 400 candidates on average.
A tech recruiter can help make your position title and job ad more attractive to candidates. They can suggest improvements to the job description and adjust it based on feedback from candidates they interview. If you want to write the description yourself, we have a blog post on how to write a good developer job ad that you may want to check out.
Filtering out the candidates that don’t fit some well-defined criteria is another thing a tech recruitment agency can help with. Doing that can take a lot of time and effort, so delegating it to a third party is an excellent way to optimize the selection process and free up your time for other tasks where you can make a bigger impact.
To hire faster
Most tech recruitment agencies have a readily available pool of active candidates, so they can present those who fit your requirements and are interested in your position quickly. Interviews with such candidates can be scheduled a week or two from the start of your collaboration.
Tech recruitment agencies usually have a variety of channels where they can promote the positions, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, paid job boards, local forums, Slack groups and Telegram channels. They can also suggest the positions to candidates already in their database and have referral programs that reward the candidates for recommending their friends.
If you want to make your hiring process more efficient, a good tech recruitment agency will advise you on how to do that. For example, they can suggest how many interview steps you should have and their order. For example, they can advise on whether and when to give a test assignment and how long it should take or identify stages where the candidate drop off rate is too high.
To reduce costs
Recruitment agencies know the expected salary ranges of candidates at different skill levels and in different locations, so they can suggest the best talent to approach in terms of value for money. If you have several compensation options in mind and need help finalizing your comp structure, they can provide salary ranges and give feedback on your total package.
Another cost-reduction benefit of working with an agency is that you can use them only when you need help instead of increasing the size of your in-house team, only to have to let people go when the number of positions you’re hiring for drops.
You can also reduce the costs of hiring a new employee if the previous one leaves. Recruitment agencies usually provide a free replacement warranty or a rebate after a candidate starts. If you end up parting ways with the candidate within a period you’ve agreed on with the agency, they will either find a replacement at no extra cost or offer a full or partial refund.
Finally, working with external tech recruiters will help you save on marketing expenses for job postings. Most agencies post jobs on various paid job boards, forums, local communities & groups and promote the positions among their candidate network. They usually take on these costs rather than expecting you to cover them.
To reach niche talent
Reaching candidates with a specific skill set is key to finding the right fit for a challenging technical role. Recruitment agencies have experience with certain positions, which means they know what to look for in a candidate and can identify suitable profiles. In addition, they know how to pitch the job to the candidates to get them interested in your offer.
External tech recruiters have the knowledge and network of specific industries, so they can attract candidates with the experience you are looking for and the skill set relevant to your company. They are usually aware of what is happening within the industry and visit industry-specific events to talk to candidates you might not find elsewhere.
An agency can source candidates across the globe and from specific locations, depending on your preferences. The recruiters know how to find the right approach for a person from a particular country. They also know which areas to target to reach the best talent, how to relocate them to your country or work with them remotely.
Another significant benefit of working with an agency is that they can engage candidates who are not actively looking for a job. This is especially important if you’re after very senior developers who don’t often announce that they are open to new opportunities on social media. Engaging such candidates can be tricky, but the recruitment agency already knows how to approach them and might already have such candidates in their database.
External recruiters can also help attract more diverse talent. For example, if you’re interested in bringing in more female candidates, a good agency will quickly identify relevant candidates from their database and approach them first.
To increase offer acceptance rate
An agency can mediate between you and the candidate during the contract or salary negotiations. They will ensure the expectations of both parties are met and there are no misunderstandings, thus preventing the candidate from dropping out at the final stage of the process.
A good tech recruiter can effectively persuade the candidate to join your company. Suppose the candidate or their family members are unsure about relocating to another country or the job offer. In that case, an agency can address their concerns by providing the necessary information, answering questions and emphasizing the benefits.
If you need to do background checks on the candidates, an agency can also help. The recruiters can contact the candidate’s former employers and ask for a reference. Such recommendations should help you decide whether the person you’re about to make a job offer to is the right one. Just make sure not to ask for references until you’ve made an offer, which can be conditional on the references checking out. If you ask for them too soon in the process, this can spook the candidate and alert their ex-colleagues of the fact that they’re open to new opportunities.
If you’re open to relocating candidates from abroad, external recruiters can help sell your country and city to the candidates. They can also assist with relocation by providing information support and help with the paperwork so that the candidates don’t get confused and have a smooth experience of moving to another country.
There are many benefits of working with a tech recruitment agency. It’s a great way to save time and effort by delegating time-consuming tasks to external recruiters. A good agency has a readily available pool of candidates and can attract them via different channels so you can hire the right person faster. Working with external recruiters can also help you save money, since you don’t have to keep a large in-house recruitment team or pay for job ad placements. Additionally, you can get the best talent in terms of value for money and a refund or a free replacement if it doesn’t work out with the candidate you hired. Tech recruitment agencies can reach niche talent so that you will have access to a pool of candidates from different locations with specific skill sets and experience in your industry. You can also expect the agency recruiters to help with contract & salary negotiations and persuade the candidates to accept the job offer. Providing information support to the relocating candidates is something the recruitment agency can do as well.
However, before engaging external tech recruiters, ensure their services are what you really need. If that’s the case, partnering up with a good agency will be worth it. If you haven’t already decided on the recruitment firm to work with, our blog post on how to choose a tech recruitment agency to work with is worth reading next.