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An interviewee walks into an interview, the interviewer asks the interviewee “why did you use an agency?” to which the interviewee replies “I had never heard of you so if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be here”.
One of my candidates was asked this question in 2 of their interviews last week (they didn’t give this answer!), it’s an interesting question. BCL Legal’s biggest competitor right now is not another legal recruitment agency, it’s direct hires Ltd. It’s obvious and actually very logical for any employer to try and save money and promote their own vacancies. BCL Legal have recruited a number of new consultants this year, whilst the majority of these we have done directly, there are a few where the candidate has come via a recruitment to recruitment (AKA rec to rec) agency. Truth be known, if it wasn’t for the rec to rec we wouldn’t have been aware of the candidate and it’s quite likely that the candidate hadn’t heard of us or if they had they didn’t know we were hiring! They charged us a fee, we paid that fee, it’s money well spent because ultimately we will make more money with that person on board.
My candidate’s answer was as follows:
• Time – I am too busy to write to everyone myself
• Market knowledge – my agent knows what’s going on and where as he specialises in my area of law
• Interview prep – he helped with my interview preparation, gave me details I wouldn’t have known about
• Money – he can help when it comes to offer management, it’s easier to negotiate salary through a third party
• Finally – I didn’t know you were recruiting!
There is a bit of a misconception that by using an agency a candidate is instantly put to the back of the queue because if recruited, they will cost money due an introductory fee being incurred. In my experience, employers don’t compromise on hiring a candidate that doesn’t fit their brief just to save on paying a recruitment fee. Clients of BCL Legal more often than not value us more as we make more placements with them! Difficult to find skills once found are priceless, we can save both money and time because we make it our business to be excellent at candidate attraction. After all recruitment is all we do 24/7!