Getting Your Bargain for Money with Recruitment Agencies

Are you getting your money’s worth? A story as told by one with 20 years of experience in the HR industry

Links just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and in our twenty years of HR services, we’ve come across many people asking about our services and our fees. In this article we’ll be focusing professional recruitment services and teaching you how you can get your bang for the buck!

In Asia, the approach towards recruitment is usually quite straightforward and goes something like this. You have a role or a position to fill, you contact a recruitment agency, and once they find the right candidate for your needs you proceed to pay the recruitment agency for their services. If this is your only understanding of recruitment agencies, then you’ve been doing it wrong. 

Not all recruitment services offer are right for your top hires- more on this later . What we’ve depicted earlier is commonly known as “contingency search”. 

In contingency search, the recruitment agency is paid once a candidate is confirmed. By providing candidates who are qualified for the role, contingency search is designed to be quick, meeting time limitations from the client’s side. Reactive and usually quick to turnaround, it’s best for low to mid-level searches. 

If you’ve only been looking into contingency search for your recruitment needs, then you may have been missing out on the best talent. Here’s how you can start building a strong team with other types of search.

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Building a strong foundation with retained/ executive search

Retained or executive search differs from contingency search in a few key ways. While in contingency search, the client may choose to engage with multiple recruitment agencies, in retained search, the relationship is more exclusive.

At Links Recruitment, we coin this the Apex Search, why? Retained search is offered to clients who's been having a hard time securing the right candidate or those looking for talent who are at the peak of their game. This means your senior level searches and instrumental roles that you've had no luck placing.

Clients are required to pay a sum prior to the service in retained search, as such, they are usually engaged with a single agency. On top of this, executive search firms are paid a percentage of the employee’s salary regardless of whether the candidate is hired.

By now you may be asking yourself, “Why on Earth would anyone even consider retained search?!” Well, there’s a very valid reason for that, the same reason why some companies go on to make a fortune while others can only look in envy.

Price of excellence

In life as it is in business, there’s a time to save and there’s a time to splurge. A smart business would not use retained search for all their recruitment needs (can you imagine the cost?!), but it would use retained search for their high level priority hires, requiring extra attention.

Unlike contingency search, executive search takes a proactive approach. This includes reaching out to the best candidates, even those who aren’t actively looking for a new job - it’s for the talent worthy of being headhunted.

To make sure you’re getting your value for money, best retained search services will include a comprehensive consultation prior to the search. This not only acts as a gateway for mutual understanding but in this process you as the client can also receive exclusive insights on the type of talent for your needs.

A headline in retained search is the talent mapping. Only the best recruitment firms will offer this service as it is extremely strenuous and requires intimate knowledge of the industry and your business to do so. Talent mapping takes a holistic view of  your business’ talent structure, identifying gaps and star performers. Accompanying this with a thorough competitor analysis,consultants are then able to pin-point people who’d be instrumental to the growth of your business.

Clients of retained search also get a guaranteed timeline of delivery which should be stated in the service agreement. This service guarantee means you as the client have an extra level of protection, while the burden of finding the right candidate in the agreed upon time frame lays on the recruitment agency.

Talent is key to building a solid foundation for your business, the last thing you want is to skim on your high level hire and run the risk of a trickle effect, poisoning the morale of your people. With that, below are three key takeaways to making most of our your investment!

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Identify what level of service you need
Retained search is an investment. Examine whether the role you have in hand requires this level of service. Are you looking for a rare candidate to fill a priority role that calls for extra attention or are you instead looking for someone more general. The role’s seniority will help you determine the level of recruitment support you need.

Partner with a trustworthy vendor
Companies usually come to us for priority and confidential hires. To make sure your identity and company information is protected, you can partner with a reputable firm recognised by the industry.

Know your service terms
What we’ve highlighted in this article is only a part of the services offered in a retained search. To avoid future disputes and to get your money’s worth, it is crucial that you have a clear idea of the service terms. Looking for a trustworthy recruitment agency? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help elevate your business!

Here’s a simple graphic to illustrate the types of recruitment services we offer:

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Links International is an industry leader in innovative HR outsourcing with services such as payroll outsourcingvisa applicationEmployer of Record (EOR), recruitment and more! Contact us for more information on how we can help leverage your HR function.

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Links International

Links International

Links International is an award-winning industry leader in innovative human resources outsourcing in Asia. Links was established in 1999 and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Zhuhai, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia.

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