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What is a recruitment consultant and what do they do?

A company’s talent is an increasingly valuable asset, and this trend is mirrored by an ever more complex hiring process. One major beneficiary of the situation is today’s in-demand recruitment consultant. 


Would you like to know more about this professional? What they do and what advantages they can bring? How much do they earn? Keep reading. We’ll explain it all here. 



How do you define a recruitment consultant


A recruitment consultant is an intermediary between an organisation looking to hire a new team member and the candidates applying for the job vacancy. 


Their job involves attracting qualified professionals for the position and selecting the best fit for the company. For this, they will need to create an appealing advert and job description, advertise on appropriate channels, screen the CVs, and organise interviews, among other things. They may also offer advice on salary ranges, recruitment criteria, and skills testing that can be carried out.


Additionally, the consultant is usually an external provider and a recruitment specialist. 



What skills and qualifications do recruitment consultants need?


A recruitment consultant’s training is usually either related to human resources or their specialist area. In other words, if they focus exclusively on recruitment for engineering roles, they may have studied for a career in this field.


However, in this type of work, it’s experience, not studies, that matter, as well as certain other skills and characteristics such as:


  • Good communication
  • Self confidence
  • Empathy
  • Goal-oriented
  • Negotiation skills 
  • Teamworking abilities
  • Creativity



The advantages of hiring a recruitment consultant


Recruitment agencies are in demand because of the advantages they can bring. Here are some examples:


  • Shorter time-to-hire: the consultant will be able to find a candidate for the vacancy more quickly without sacrificing quality. Normally they will have a database of professionals and tools at their disposal to speed up the process. 
  • Better chances of a successful hire: the candidate eventually selected is usually a better match for the company’s needs and as a result will remain in the position for much longer. The assessment procedures and interviews carried out by a consultant are usually incredibly exhaustive, which enables them to find the right candidate. 
  • Access to valuable market data: consultants have thorough knowledge of the labour market, so they can offer valuable advice and information. For example, adequate salary ranges, recruitment trends or essential skills, among others. 
  • Greater reach: it often happens that the perfect candidate is not actively looking for work, making it much more complicated to reach them. Consultants can find them and convince them to attend an interview. 



The disadvantages of hiring a recruitment consultant


Just like any service, subcontracting candidate recruitment to an external professional also has some downsides, such as: 


  • Additional cost for the organisation: working with a consultant involves fees on top of the selection process which already costs the company money.
  • Lack of cultural understanding: sometimes it is difficult for the consultant to grasp and communicate the essence of the organisation, as well as its culture and values. 
  • Negative candidate experience: occasionally, consultants are so focussed on making progress and filling vacancies that they forget to give candidates a positive experience and keep them informed about the process.



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The recruitment consultant’s main duties


The main role of the recruitment consultant is to find the perfect candidate for a job vacancy. A company will approach them for help during this process.


Their activities are divided between the following tasks:


  • Identifying and developing relationships with clients 
  • Designing selection processes tailored to the specific role 
  • Attracting candidates by advertising jobs via the right channels 
  • Assessing and responding to the company’s needs 
  • Screening CVs and applications
  • Finding and contacting candidates who are not actively looking for work
  • Informing candidates about the vacancy and interviewing them 
  • Negotiating contracts and working conditions 
  • Organising interviews, assessments and tests required to get to know each candidate  



The recruitment consultant’s toolkit


Consultants use recruitment software to simplify processes, reduce timescales, and deliver the best results for their clients. These programs enable them to manage all stages: from when the vacancy is advertised on different platforms, to organising interviews and subsequent screening. 


With Kenjo is it possible to advertise job vacancies on several platforms at once, which saves a huge amount of time. Even better, however, is that all candidate applications are delivered to our platform, from where they can be screened directly. 


You can also plan the whole selection process via this tool, including the interview questionnaires and assessments. Each candidate will have a record where the consultant, and any other potential interviewers at the company, can add comments. In this way, it will be much easier to make a decision when it’s time. 


Moreover, to ensure candidates have a good experience, Kenjo lets you automate emails to keep them informed at each stage of the process. 


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What is a recruitment consultant’s salary?


A consultant salary can vary greatly depending on whether they work for a company or are self-employed, and whether they specialise. However, according to Prospects, the average is as follows:


  • Trainees: between £15,000 and £20,000.
  • Middle management: between £22,000 and £35,000.
  • Senior management: more than £40,000.


We must bear in mind here that it is common for part of the salary to be commission-based in terms of targets or sales, so these figures are just a guide. 



How do you choose a good recruitment consultant?


Choosing a good consultant is as important as finding the right candidate. You invest time and effort into the latter, so why not the former too?


Here are some general tips for finding the right professional:


  • Meet them in person: the best way to find out if the consultant is a good match for your work philosophy is to meet them in person. Organise a meeting to understand their work methods and ask about some of their previous clients.
  • Check their past experience: it’s important that the consultant has been in their role for a while and already has many recruitment processes under their belt. In this profession, experience is essential to achieve good results. 
  • Ask for references: ask your colleagues in the sector for their recommendations or even if they have heard of the consultants you are considering. It is interesting to get second opinions and search for references.
  • Make sure they understand the market: although it’s not imperative, in most cases it’s important to hire a consultant who specialises in your company’s industry.



How do you measure the success of a recruitment consultant?


The best way to measure a recruitment consultant’s effectiveness is looking at the average time they take to find the right candidate for the position (time-to-hire). Every day that a vacancy remains unfilled, the company loses money. So, it is important that the consultant can speed up the processes.


The second metric to bear in mind is the length of time the candidates selected by the consultant remain with the company. There is no point in finding a new employee quickly if they no longer fit the position soon after joining. The key, therefore, is to balance speed with quality

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