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Why Use a Search Firm?

Brent Short

While companies continue to grow at lightning speed, the number of skilled workers continues to decline. Organizations are faced with an overwhelming shortage of skilled workers for strategic areas vital to their company's success and growth.

More and more organizations are looking outside their traditional staffing methods to find individuals who can't be lured through the door via media advertisements, job fairs and internal referrals. Many are turning to search firms to help them attract and hire top talent.

How many times have you heard this kind of story? In the process of filling a position, an employer made three separate offers, all of which were declined. It was like a recurring nightmare. Each of the candidates had a separate reason for declining the offer:

  • The first offer was turned down because the salary was too low.
  • The second offer was declined because the individual's spouse decided it wasn't time to move.
  • The third offer was rejected because a search firm had placed the candidate in another position before the client extended a final offer.

Using a search firm can prevent this nightmare from occurring, much less recurring.

Why Pay for the Service?

The biggest question asked by most organizations is why? Why should I pay a nominal fee to find an employee to work for me? The answer is simple -- it's cost effective. Finding an employee comes with huge costs, including:

  • Running ads
  • Recruiting
  • Pre-qualifying candidates
  • Setting up interviews
  • Coordinating and paying for travel and relocation expenses (in some cases)

More importantly, the process eats into your staff's productivity. And, even after investing all that time and money, you may still receive that painful phone call from the candidate, rejecting your offer.

What Makes It Cost Effective?

Simple. Search firms quickly identify candidates likely to meet your needs. In some cases, candidates are tested on their skill sets to ensure competence and qualifications for the position. In addition, various related services can be provided, such as:

  • Reference checks
  • Salary verifications
  • Travel and interview arrangements
  • Confirmed salary expectations

In most cases, this eliminates negotiation and rejected offers! Valuable time-consuming employment tasks do not eat away at your day; instead, your schedule opens up to handle other issues demanding your attention.

What Should You Look for in a Search Firm?

The process begins with you, on behalf of the organization, choosing the right search firm to fill your needs. Most executive search firms specialize in specific areas, such as accounting, information technology, health care and human resources. Typically, search firm consultants have experience in the specialty in which they are working. It's always refreshing to speak with someone who understands your personnel requirements and can provide you with market trend data, such as salary ranges and availability of qualified candidates in your geographic area.

But the relationship goes beyond finding candidates for you to interview. Look for your search firm consultant to provide you with continued follow-up regarding your new hire's progress.

Although most placements tend to become long-term relationships between employees and employers, changes often occur for various reasons. Most search firms offer a guarantee period to safeguard companies from disappointing placements, so be sure to discuss their policy and fee agreement prior to beginning your candidate search.

Happy hiring!

 
     
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