There comes a time in many organisations when more people are needed to help boost sales and spread awareness about the products and services on offer. Recruiting sales and marketing people to do this is an obvious response. While there are many different ways to go about hiring new team members, working with a specialist recruitment agency is a popular option.

This is for a number of reasons. You can save a lot of time and effort by transferring recruiting tasks to an external agency; you can benefit from the expertise and experience of professional sales recruitment people and your vacancy is likely to reach a larger number of potential candidates than if you try to go it alone.

So, once you have decided to go with a sales recruitment agency, how do you choose which one to engage? Just as you would expect to do with a new employee, there are several stages to go through to make sure that the agency you plan to work with is – and remains – a good match for your needs.

Know What You Want To Achieve

The most successful partnerships between companies and recruitment agencies are those with clear expectations on both sides about what is needed and how it should be achieved. So, before you start to look at different sales recruitment agencies out there, spend time working out what type of vacancies you have available, what you need your new recruits to do, when they should join you – and how much you can pay them. In these post-lockdown times, it is also important to work out whether your new salespeople will be office-based, home-based or expected to travel around independently.

Do Your Research

Once you have worked out what you need, you can start to research which agencies might be best placed to help you achieve it. Check them out online to see what services they offer – make sure that they cover the specific things that you need. Make sure that they cover the geographical area(s) you require too, especially if you are recruiting salespeople to work remotely in different places. Confirm fees, contractual arrangements and timings. Finally, look up what other people think of them. You can usually read reviews on third-party review sites, online forums and social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Ask around in your industry to see if any of your customers or peers have dealt with agencies successfully – or otherwise – in the past.

people company vetting recruitment a recruitment agency to see if it's a good fit

Explain Your Recruitment Agency Needs

When you have found your match, make sure that you explain exactly what you need from them in clear, simple terms, and that you are fully aware of what they can offer you, how much for and under what terms. Misunderstandings and conflicts occur when situations are not clearly explained and terms are not set properly from the start. It all links back to the expectations you identify at the very start of the recruitment agency selection process.

Involve Your Internal People

However much expertise and experience your chosen recruitment agency brings to the table, they won’t know as much about your own organisation as you and your internal teams do! Always involve relevant internal people in recruitment processes, from asking for help setting initial expectations and requirements to shortlisting potential agencies and liaising with them to identify and assess suitable candidates. Check in with your internal teams as the relationship with your new sales recruitment agency progresses to make sure they are happy with how things are going.

Remain Responsive

Keep regular communications going with your recruitment agency, especially when they are asking for decisions to be made around arranging interview times and appointing candidates. Keep the hold-ups to a minimum at your end so that the agency can get on with what they need to do to help you. Conversely, if you find that the agency is not being responsive enough, this could be something to make a note of in the final stage of choosing and working with a sales recruitment specialist…

Feedback And Follow Up

Finally, make notes of how you think the agency is performing for you and list any areas that are particularly good, or that need a different approach. This will help you decide if you would like to return to them when you next have a vacancy, or whether you would prefer to try someone new. The agency should be willing to receive your thoughts on their performance – they may even ask proactively for feedback and it is good to be able to provide them with a well-considered review.