Recruitment specialist Ricky Martin presents his top tips for working with a recruitment agency in aesthetics
Hiring for a job position is possibly one of the most stressful parts of working life. For business owners or those in charge of recruitment you want to ensure that you find a perfect match to represent your brand however, for positions within the medical aesthetic specialty where potential employees must have a specific set of key skills it can often prove to be particularly tricky.
As well as this, you might be a small business that does not have the time and the resources to put the most effort into the recruitment process.
Although many businesses successfully manage their own recruitment, agencies can be extremely useful to alleviate the stress of working through the entire hiring process in-house.
This article will look at how recruitment agencies work, providing you with tips for streamlining the in-house recruitment process for your aesthetic business, as well as advice on how you can work with a consultant if you are searching for a job.
Recruitment agencies work by connecting candidates and employers through the information they each provide. The job of a recruitment agency is to ensure that they showcase the best potential candidates, whether it be full-time, temporary or contractual employment. It is therefore the role of the agency to seek the ideal match of a particular position and select a potential candidate in as short a time as possible. 1
For the candidate, the process starts when they share a CV with the agency, alongside personal and contact details. The candidate will then be designated a consultant, who will be their main point of contact. It is important for the candidate to leave a good impression with the consultant handling their profile, as it will make it far easier to sell the candidates to potential clients if there is a genuinely positive relationship between the two. Therefore, it is extremely important for the candidate to not only match the skills profile, but to also be personable and possess excellent social and communication skills.
The consultants will analyse the candidate’s details and contact employers with positions available that are a potential match. Typically, agencies will advertise the position on their own website, in order to have candidates contact them directly, rather than their client, to discuss the application process and whether they possess the necessary skills to have a positive impact in the role. The positions can either be advertised on the regular recruitment sites online, on the company website or they may not be advertised at all. This can place candidates who use recruitment agencies in a unique position to access sought-after positions that some may not know are available. This is because recruitment agencies usually have pre-existing relationships with the clients who are advertising the position, and therefore they may be given exclusive rights to fill the position.
Recruitment agency fees are normally taken as a percentage of the candidate’s first annual salary, for example, it could be a 20% amount, paid by the client, as the recruitment agency does not charge its candidate for its standard service. This rate is normally negotiable dependent on the skillset of the position and the amount of business the agency does with the client.
Finding the right candidate to fill a position in a specialist industry is a difficult task as qualifications and experience are critical to any role. For example, if you are searching for a new aesthetic doctor for your clinic, you may be looking for someone with a medical university degree, who is registered with their governing body, with more than 100 aesthetic procedures completed, a membership to a professional body and a post-graduate medical qualification. However, finding someone with these specific skills and experience can involve sifting through a vast number of potential applicants, and therefore can significantly delay the hiring process from an in-house perspective. Agencies can therefore save a business a lot of time.
Recruitment agencies commonly prepare candidates with the necessary interview skills prior to the interview process. Areas covered by recruitment agencies include advising candidates on industry trends, CV tips and advice, career coaching, interview preparation and salary benchmarking.2 These services are not only beneficial to candidates, but the clients as well, as it further increases the speed and ease of the hiring process. Many firms also offer interview preparation. This could include online resources that state commonly asked questions and presentation advice or sometimes candidates are invited in for a mock interview. The benefits of doing this are that the candidate will be prepared for any questions asked of them.
When interviewing candidates that have been prepped by recruitment agencies, clinics can be prepared to ask more detailed questions about the client’s experience and how they would be suitable for their business as they will have all basic information already. Some businesses may also require a roleplay scenario or certain tests or trials during the interview process. This would generally be agreed prior to the interview to allow the candidate to prepare appropriately.
CV advice can include tips on what is important to highlight for specific roles. Potential candidates’ CV and other important documentation will be presented in the best possible way for the client to read. This is usually a document that gets straight to the point, is of a suitable length and shows the best qualities of the candidate immediately, so it’s easy and fast to establish whether or not they are appropriate for the position.
After the interview process, recruiters will also negotiate the salary for the potential new employee, as well as other standard company benefits, such as pension contributions. What will usually happen is the agency will state the original offer from a business to the candidate, and then if they are unhappy, they will discuss what they would like and negotiate on their behalf. This ensures there are no direct disagreements between the employer and candidate so a quick agreement can be reached.
Typical salary negotiations could be based on the industry standard rate (perhaps if the advertised job is less than a standard rate), or a candidate may ask for a higher rate of pay if they have a more experience than advertised. The agency will thoroughly research the average pay for the position before salary negotiations start in order to recognise the ideal offer for the candidate. Additionally, if a candidate asks for something to be added to the package, such as a pension scheme, the recruiter can ask the question to the client, however it is the recruiter’s responsibility to make the candidate aware of risks it could possibly pose. In some cases, it could result in a withdrawal of a job offer.
During salary negotiation, the agency will be aware of the salary the client wants to pay, and the going rate for the position in the industry. I would say that generally you should have a bracket in which you’d be happy to accept and what you would like to push for.
It is not uncommon for agencies to continue their work after the position has been filled by handling the paperwork and other formalities to ensure the candidate is given a hassle-free start and smooth transition in their new position.
Many recruitment agencies offer what’s commonly referred to as an ‘on-boarding process’,3 whereby they follow the candidate until they are settled in the position. This could last for days or even months. In the on-boarding process, a recruitment agency essentially acts as an extension to an organisation’s HR department. This is to guarantee both the client and candidate are happy in the new arrangement and that all pre-agreed criteria are being fulfilled for both parties.
Although recruitment agencies aim to streamline the recruitment process, some difficulties may still arise. For example, if a candidate turns out to have been dishonest in the application process, or is unsuitable for the position and leaves soon after employment, agencies may offer a rebate of their fees. However, this is a very rare occurrence, as the candidates put forward by the agencies have been thoroughly vetted in order to confirm that the qualifications they have listed are all proved genuine and the experience has been gained.
It’s essential that candidates communicate their skills and expectations clearly with recruitment agencies to ensure they are put forward for roles which match their desired criteria. Recruitment agencies screen candidates to ensure that those suggested to the client have full awareness of the role and industry in question, as well as an understanding of how their previous experience fits the role. This is done by requesting key referee details, qualifications and accreditations in order to eliminate the possibility of a candidate being dishonest in their application.4
Similarly, a business should communication their needs in an honest and direct way to ensure the job description represents their needs accurately so that candidates fall into a role they are expecting. Should there be a breakdown in communication between an agency and a business, a misinterpretation of the role could occur and an agency may not put the right candidates forward for the role. If this occurs, the agency will work with the client to swiftly resolve the issue and provide high quality candidates for the correct role.
The vetting process that a recruitment agency has in place can make it easier for businesses looking for the right candidate and can save them a lot of time and hassle, especially if they are a small business. Of course, there are always complications that can arise and although you can be successful in recruiting in-house in aesthetics, the potential time saved by having an agency involved could be beneficial for your business.
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