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Using a recruitment agency to find employees for your start-up

It's more expensive but calling in the experts can get better results

There are a lot of recognisable high street names: Select, Travail, Manpower, Hays, Reed, that can provide you with both part-time and permanent staff. And in theory, they all deal with all levels of companies from small operations to national businesses.

With most agencies you can chose how to contact them initially – by phone, email or in person at your local branch. You will then need to detail what type of staff you are looking for and the kind of salary you are looking to pay.

Agency staff will be able to advise you on the current employment rates if you are not sure – or indeed if you are paying wildly over or under the odds. And it is likely that you’ll have to undergo some kind of credit check just so the agency knows you can pay the bill.

If you don’t have premises, you can interview at the agency but they will need to come and view your offices to check they are suitable for the potential employee. It also helps for them to see the culture of your company, the people and environment to help match the applicants.

Once you have agreed exactly what the job description is and what the conditions and the salary are, you will have to sign an agreement. This just ensures that the candidate is getting the job they have applied for. But it is important from your point of view that you have the position clearly defined at this stage to avoid difficulties later.

This is also importantly when the agency fee is set. They may take a percentage of the candidates’ annual salary – say 20%. However the amount will vary according to the level the person is coming in at and how hard they were to find. After you have recruited someone, there will probably be a period during which that is refundable – but only a few months.

So it is in your interests not only to choose carefully but also to work with the agency to ensure you and your new staff member is happy in the first three months. That way, it will be money well spent not wasted.

Pros
If the agency wants your fee it is in their interests to find you someone good therefore the support and guidance you receive should be good
Cons
As part of the process your finances and premises will be investigated and questioned if not up to standard – this would not the case with just placing a job advert

Contacts: Hays: www.haysworks.com Manpower: www.manpower.co.uk Reed: www.reed.co.uk Select: www.reed.co.uk Travail: www.travail.co.uk

All sites have nearest branch finders.

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