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Outsourcing Recruiting: What Questions Should You Ask Potential Hiring Agencies?

Trusting a recruitment agency to deliver the desired results can be intimidating. But outsourcing recruiting may be your best option if you're struggling to recruit and hire skilled candidates, like 80% of companies. Partnering with a trusted recruitment consultant lets you tap into their expertise, connections, and resources to find the best candidates. 

But how do you know you're working with the best hiring agency? 

Outsourcing recruitment to the top agency means asking the right questions. In this article, we'll give you the key questions you should ask a potential recruitment agency before hiring one. This way, you'll be confident that you're working with the best recruitment firm. 

What expertise do you have with recruiting in my industry? 

Your industry is unique, and filling positions within it requires expertise and specialized knowledge. You'll want to know how long a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firm has been recruiting in your industry and what the results have been. If you have vacancies that require specific qualifications or certifications, like in the medical field or trucking, you'll need to make sure that the recruiting team is familiar with those requirements and capable of finding you the talent that meets them. 

What type of benchmark data do you provide? 

According to recent research into RPO, 35% of employers want recruitment benchmark data against their industry or similar companies. However, the study reveals that less than 10% of companies receive this service from their RPO partner. 

Benchmark data is a powerful tool for evaluating how effective your recruitment process is and planning for future hiring needs. Look for an RPO partner that offers you meaningful, actionable data. Ask potential recruitment agencies about what benchmark data they'll provide and what insights you'll gain from the data. Understanding metrics like time to hire, cost-per-hire, and candidate quality will help you assess the agency's ability to meet your hiring goals. 

How will you support my overall hiring strategy? 

Most companies desire not only a recruitment team to source top candidates and fill vacancies but a recruitment partner to shape their hiring strategy. Inquire about how the agency plans to support your overall hiring and recruitment process. 

  • Will they deliver insights on market trends and provide guidance for future recruitment? 
  • Does the agency have any unique tools or resources that they can use to help you find the best candidates? 
  • Do they offer onboarding services or candidate development programs? 

Their responses to these questions should demonstrate their knowledge of your business and how they'll support your growth. 

How large and strong is the agency's talent pool? 

Today's global workforce isn't just job seekers who are actively looking for new opportunities—70% is made of passive talent who aren't currently job searching. Tapping into that passive talent pool requires a strong recruitment network and focused research. When speaking with potential recruitment agencies, ask them about the size of their talent pool and how they utilize various methods to source qualified candidates. 

Rather than spending weeks advertising job openings alone, a recruiter might already have the best candidate available. But you'll want to know how large the firm's talent pool is before partnering with one. 

Talent Pool Assessment Questions 

Ask about the size and composition of the agency's talent network and how they plan to find qualified candidates for your vacancies. Ask for details about their database structure and how they reach out to passive talent. A robust talent pool indicates the agency's access to a diverse range of qualified candidates, enabling them to promptly match the right individuals with your organization's needs. 

What are the agency's rates and fee structure? 

The cost of outsourcing recruiting can vary widely based on the firm you choose and its recruitment process outsourcing pricing model. You want to ensure the agency's recruitment fees remain within your budget. The different models you should be aware of include the following: 

  • The cost-per-hire model charges a fee for each hired candidate—which is suitable for quick role-filling.  
  • The management fee model involves paying a monthly or annual fee to cover all recruitment activities—ideal for continuous assistance. 
  • The cost-per-slate model sets a fixed price for each pre-screened group of qualified applicants, allowing internal recruiters to select hires. 
  • The cost-per-transaction model charges fees for specific services or additional offerings beyond recruiting. 

Understanding these models will help determine the best fit for your company's goals and budget. Ask potential hiring agencies about their rates, pricing model, and any additional costs or hidden fees. 

Outsourcing Recruiting to a Trusted RPO Partner 

Outsourcing recruiting can be a game-changer for companies and organizations seeking to streamline hiring processes and access top talent. However, selecting the right recruitment agency is crucial for a successful partnership. By asking the right questions, you can trust you're working with a recruitment team that will meet your business objectives and provides excellent service. 

Hire Velocity understands these complexities and offers customized solutions tailored to your business needs. Our RPO solutions address your talent challenges with a broad range of flexible services. Contact us today to learn more.  

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