Dear <<First Name>>
Your business is growing and you know that you need to take on more staff, in order to sustain that growth and look after all your clients. But do you try to do all the recruitment yourself, or do you look for an agency that can do it all for you?
This issue of HR Watch shows you the pros and cons of DIY recruitment versus getting some professional input, to help you decide which is best for you.
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The DIY Guide to Recruitment
DIY or get some professional help? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
- Pros – the actual cost will be less than using an agency. You need to balance this against the time you’ll need to spend looking at applications to draw up a shortlist for interview, whereas a recruiter could do this for you. Of course, if you’re looking to fill a specialised role, the chances are you won’t get that many applications; but for a more general role you could receive a lot of CVs. By doing it yourself, you’ll get to see everyone you want to see – rather than having any applicants filtered out. You’ll also see the CV as written by the applicant; some agencies will change CVs from their candidates. Remember to mention your job vacancy on your website, on LinkedIn and to tweet about it if you use Twitter.
- Cons – your time! Do you really have time to do it all? Do you have the right experience – have you written job adverts before? Do you know where to advertise? Recruiters will know the best place to advertise and can save you a great deal of time.
- Pros – the right agency will know your market place and where to find the right candidates for you. You might be looking for someone who hasn’t even realised they’re looking for a job, so they won’t be registered on websites or googling vacancies. Your agency will know where to find them and will save you time and leg work. However, it is worth investing time to provide them with a good candidate brief. It is also good to build a long term relationship with your recruiter so they completely understand your needs, so they only introduce you to candidates who have the right skills and competencies as well as a cultural fit.
- Cons – it can be expensive. You’ll need to negotiate terms as most agencies will ask for a percentage of the wages you’ll be paying. They may want a percentage of the base salary or the total remuneration. Some will ask for a fixed fee, particularly if you’re head hunting for a senior role. This will usually be paid in instalments. Until they’re proven, you won’t know if an agency will deliver or not. Get a recommendation about who to work with and set aside time to build a relationship with them. They should also be prepared to invest time getting to know you and your business. Don’t believe them if they say they can guarantee to fill the place in a week!
DIY recruitment can work for smaller businesses and save you money. Make sure you really know what you’re doing and how to do it correctly.
If you decide to outsource, give the work to just one or two agencies, so you can build up a relationship with them. Don’t ask dozens of different agencies to work for you, as they won’t all be able to get to know your business and the sort of people you’re looking for.
Practical HR – How Not to Use a Recruitment Agency
“We need a new Salesman,” thought Bill to himself one Monday morning. Brian left recently – he was sacked for misuse of social media – and Bill thought it might be time to replace him.
How best to do this? “Should I pay a recruitment agency to find someone, to save me some time?” he asked himself. He knew exactly the sort of person he would like to join the team – someone who was good at sales! He still had Brian’s job description, so it should be easy to let the agency know who he was looking for.
There were a number of recruitment agencies local to Bill’s business, so to make sure he attracted lots of good candidates, Bill sent his requirements to four of them. “Whoever finds the right person first will win the fees,” thought Bill. “Should make them work hard for me!”
Two of the agencies replied to Bill’s initial request, asking for more information – one even wanted a meeting with him! Bill was sure that he’d sent them everything they needed to know, so decided that he would only speak to them if the other agencies didn’t find him a new Saleman.
And then he sat back and waited ... and waited. Eventually, one of the recruitment agencies started sending him CVs from their candidates. Bill was not impressed – none of them seemed to have the right sort of experience. Why were they bothering to apply for his job? Why was the agency even sending them through to him? Didn’t they know who he was looking for? Answers on a postcard, please!!
Employment Law Update
Every year in April and October, a number of changes are made to Employment Law. Here are some recent changes that you need to know about, if you employ staff.
Shared Parental Leave – in the past, mothers could take 52 weeks of maternity leave and receive 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay. Now they can decide to share the leave with their partner. This means that if you are the employer of the partner, you could still find yourself having to give them parental leave, if the mother decides to go back to work early. To make sure your business is prepared for this, know how many of your key members of staff this could affect. Having a contingency plan for what it could cost you. Acas has produced a guide to help you find out more about this, which you can download here.
Criminal Records – from 10 March 2015 Section 56 of the Data Protection Act 1998 came into force. It makes it a criminal offence to require someone to access and provide information on their criminal record. Employers have been known to make it a condition of employment. The practice is referred to as ‘enforced subject access’, and the Information Commissioner’s Office has now produced guidance on how the prohibition operates.
New statutory payments – the Department for Work and Pensions has announced the new rates for statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay for the tax year 2015/16. Click here to see the new rates.
If you have a question about any issue covered in this newsletter, or any other employee concern within your business, do get in touch.