Hiring a Recruitment Agency

What's in it for Me?

Ellisa Monk

Hiring as a small business owner is a challenging task and one that takes time. Writing the job description, advertising the job in the right places, reviewing resumes and cover letters, interviewing multiple candidates often multiple times and then handing the offer process takes time away from the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business. This distraction could hurt your company in unanticipated ways; therefore, finding an external solution to help with your hiring needs could be prudent.

A recruitment agency is a company that you can outsource your permanent or temporary hiring needs to. They work with employers and potential employees with the objective of matching the best candidates with the right companies.  

The advantages of working with a recruitment agency

As a business owner, one of the biggest advantages of using a recruitment agency would be timesaving. Working with an agency that you trust, that has the tools in place to find candidates, that has a network in the area you want to hire and is able to do a lot of the heavy lifting on screening, interviewing and shortlisting candidates means you can spend your time on other important matters. Additionally, because the recruitment agency does this all day, every day, the process is more likely to be quicker than you doing it yourself. This factor alone could limit losses you may incur by not having someone in the position you are trying to hire for.

Another key advantage is flexibility. You may find yourself in a position where you need more staff, but not permanently. This could be due to peaks and troughs in workload, maybe you want a lean permanent headcount, or maybe you are hesitant to commit long-term to a permanent employee. Recruitment agencies can assist you with temporary staffing needs allowing companies to have access to people resources when they need them.

In today’s market, finding a candidate with a niche skillset is challenging; however, working with the right recruitment agency can make this easier. Recruitment agencies often specialize in focused industries, job categories or geographical areas and have the connections, tools and candidate pool of potential candidates looking for new opportunities. They will be able to provide you with insights, expertise and information about the niche skill set you are looking for that could increase your chances of securing the right candidate and save you money and potentially stress in the long-term.

Finally, working with a recruitment agency more specifically for temporary needs can reduce your risk legally as the recruitment agency is the temporary candidate’s employer and the agency assumes many of the liabilities for you.

Considerations before working with a recruitment agency

There are a handful of factors to consider when deciding to use a recruitment agency for your hiring needs.

The one that is asked by most companies before anything else is the cost. Typically, recruitment agencies charge anywhere from 15%-30% of the first year’s compensation of a candidate for a permanent hire, and 20%-100% of the hourly rate for a temporary worker. Fees are typically decided based on the type of service you need from the agency. When evaluating whether the cost of the fee is worthwhile, you need to also consider how much does it costs the company to have the position vacant, as well as the hourly rate for yourself and any other existing employee for the hours spent going through the hiring process independently. Taking these potential costs to the business into consideration could save the company more in the long term.

There can be a misconception that employees that are supplied from a recruitment agency are of lower quality than finding someone directly. Candidates choose to work with recruitment agencies for a lot of the same reasons companies do. They might need a recruitment agency to help them find the jobs they can’t find themselves due to not having the time to find the opportunities or not having the network, connections or expertise to market themselves.

Finally, to get the best result from working with a recruitment agency, our recommendation would be to spend time getting to know the agency upfront as well as allowing the agency to get to know you and your business. Transparency, honesty and relationship building are important first steps to ensure the recruitment agency can represent your company and brand correctly in the market to find you the best people.

Making the decision to work with a recruitment agency can be apprehensive; however, finding an outsourced recruitment partner can save you time, reduce strain on your business, and provide a service that can add value to your business and is cost-effective is absolutely possible.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Olympia Trust Company, Olympia Financial Group Inc., or any of its affiliates. The author’s views and opinions are based upon information they consider reliable, but neither Olympia Trust Company, Olympia Financial Group Inc. nor any of its affiliates, warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such.

Ellisa Monk
Senior Vice President, Western Canada at Hays

Ellisa Monk has eighteen years of recruitment experience, sixteen of which have been spent working for Hays. In 2006, Ellisa joined Hays in the UK to work within the Construction & Property division and then moved to Calgary, Alberta, in August 2010. Presently, Ellisa’s job as SVP, West Region involves overseeing highly talented recruitment teams in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary. Her position comprises of leading the day-to-day operations, the career development of staff, and most importantly, the service delivery Hays provides our clients and candidates. In these offices, we have the capability to provide organizations with temporary permanent, project, RPO, MSP and payrolling services across the construction, property, accounting & finance, technology, office professionals, sales, marketing and mining sectors across Western Canada. Ellisa is also on the board of Directors for Hays Canada.