Why Use a Recruitment Consultant?

recruitment consultant


Studies indicate that the cost of employing the wrong executive amounts to at least three times the remuneration package of the failed appointee. This puts pressure on any organisation to inject rigour into their hiring processes. It is especially true of CEO recruitment, where the responsibility of selecting the right Chief Executive is of course the single most important decision any Board can make.


People and Culture specialists within any company have a whole range of issues to contend with, spanning Learning and Development, Succession Planning, Payroll, Remuneration, Industrial Relations and so on, so that even Human Resources executives within an organisation do not always have the time, the inclination or the specific expertise to devote to orchestrating senior selection projects.


Recruitment consultants have a place, since they are by definition sub-specialists in one crucial aspect of the HR continuum. When comparing the consultancy fee of an external recruiter with the prospect of running an internal exercise, it is vital to take into account the opportunity cost associated with devoting in-house resources to the task. At the level of CEO appointments, few Directors factor in the time, effort and involvement necessitated by the intricacies of a comprehensive process.


Consultants who are active participants in and supporters of the not-for-profit sector will be easier to brief than their generalist counterparts, since they have industry knowledge gained from membership of relevant peak bodies and professional associations. This in turn increases their networks with potential candidates, and also among those who are not themselves relevant, but who can be valuable sources of informed recommendations.


Professional recruiters have access to tried and tested methodologies which include probing interview techniques, as well as their capacity to extract the most incisive information from reference check discussions. Recruitment firms should also be expected to offer employers the highest standards of copy writing for advertising campaigns. Since there is ample evidence that anonymous insertions generate more enquiries than those which name the employer, the unique ability of a recruiter to publish a “blind” ad can dramatically bolster the number of responses. Their links with appropriate peak bodies will also enable the message to be spread throughout the broadest possible pool of talent.


However, a specialised firm can offer even more in terms of the variety of candidate sourcing methods which can be applied to any given vacancy. Not only can they effortlessly formulate a targeted advertising approach, but they can also use their connections to contact potential candidates or sources of leads, far more effectively than the organisation which is seeking to recruit. Of course a consultant who is active in any given marketplace can quickly augment the list of available individuals by interrogating their database of recent applicants for analogous roles.


Optimal results can only be assured if all of the above candidate sourcing options are used simultaneously. The greatest probability of success is enhanced by taking the candidates generated by this multi-faceted approach through a sequence of steps which are rigorous and proven to be low risk, thanks to years of refinement.


A number of sayings apply to staff placements, many of which are hackneyed, but most of which are valid. One such example is “the best indicator of future performance is past performance”. If an individual consultant can demonstrate a track record of having personally conducted recent searches themselves that lends further weight to the case for enlisting the services of a boutique search firm.


Avatar About Jeremy Wurm

Seven years in senior international roles with pharmaceutical multinationals in England and The Netherlands. Two years with Ruston Poole International, a London based healthcare recruitment firm. After nine and a half years overseas, returned to Australia in 1989, subsequently establishing Brooker Consulting, now a joint venture partner of Ruston Poole. Jeremy has recruited over 100 Directors and CEOs for health, human services, not for profit and research organisations. Former Board member and Director of Vision Australia Foundation for 10 years. Memberships include the Institute of Management Consultants, Australian Institute of Company Directors and Disability Professionals Victoria.

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