- Global Pharma News & Resources

Which Recruitment Consultancy?

Which Recruitment Consultancy?


Which ever side of the desk you’re on you will be familiar with the principle of the trade-off between the cost of recruitment and the cost of failure to recruit the right person – never more in the spotlight than now.
Last Updated: 27-Aug-2010

A few points to consider when choosing a consultancy for either your PSL or a one-off assignment, compiled by Nigel Haigh, founder in 1989 of Haigh Recruitments Consultants, specialists in recruitment within Healthcare Communications.


What’s the Strategy?


“The management of any and all the strategies, processes, procedures and technologies that facilitates, supports or communicates the sales and marketing function with the customer, can now be identified as Customer Relationship Marketing”.

What, I hear you ask, has a definition of CRM to do with the selection of a Recruitment Company?  To the specialist recruiter within this sector I believe it should mean everything:


CRM is at the heart of your company’s communication and customer retention strategy.  Shouldn’t your suppliers understand what you do?

CRM is what your company practices in its day-to-day communication with its customers.  Shouldn’t your suppliers work to the same principles?

People like to work with people they trust and respect.  Wouldn’t you prefer to work with and build relationships with individuals who work the same way?


What about Implementation?


Which ever side of the desk you’re on you will be familiar with the principle of the trade-off between the cost of recruitment and the cost of failure to recruit the right person – never more in the spotlight than now.  The realignment of company strategy to embrace the costly and logistically fraught strategy of CRM - so costly those major business initiatives not only is made by the Board but often reach National headlines.  In this environment HR professionals need to be sure that they are getting all the help they need.  What other factors could they look for that a potential partner should be providing?


Certainly sector experience, and industry experience may be important too – here are a few more to consider;


Code of Practice:  Have they got one – is it trade association endorsed?

Flexibility:  Can the consultancy display this approach to its relationship with you?  Are they willing to modify the service to give you what you want and when you want it?

Expertise:  Do they know what you are talking about and further are they able to add value to the recruitment process?

Methodology:  Without vested interest will they recommend the best recruitment solution or the one that suits them? Frequently the only service they provide.  Strange coincidence that Database Recruiters recommend Database, Selection say that Ads are the only way, and Search consultants say that everything else is not credible!

Relationship:  Will you enjoy an empathetic relationship on a personal level with your recruitment consultant?

Client List:  Demonstrable PSLs, Blue Chips and long-term relationships help.

Consultants’ remuneration: Yes you can ask.  Low basic salaries and high commission are not good news for you – cold calls, multiple send outs and closing the sale at the end of the month the three biggest problems. 

Step over the Threshold:  Unwilling to do so? ….. BAD NEWS.

Candidate Briefing:  “What we like about your candidates is that they are prepared and we don’t waste time on getting them up to speed on basic information”.


This is by no means an extensive list but none the less will sort the serious professionals with your long-term interests at heart from the get a quick placement merchants.


So to the future – What’s coming?


The EU Workers Directive, The Employment Agencies Act update, The Privacy in Electronic Communications Regulations (11th December 2003), The CAP Code, All Party Parliamentary Internet Group and Telephone Preference Service for Businesses.  This is just a selection from our legislators.  What about business practices?  Client Intranet sites , on-line shared databases, on-line directories, client direct, spam, unsolicited CVs, limited budgets, the short-list service, changing fee structures (from Search down), broadband uptake.  These are just a few observations.


Clients must ask themselves if the service they require can be delivered in-house as cost effectively as outsourced.  Can they comply with the vast array of legislation that is either here or looming fast in the new year.  Come to that, they need to reassure themselves their recruiters can as well. 


A few examples: From the 11th December, emailing a CV to a client speculatively without the specifically sought consent of the recipient to do so in advance will be illegal:  Sending the details without the specific consent of the candidate (in advance) to send their details to a specified company will be illegal.  If a company has registered with the Telephone Preference Service (and some are registering 10,000 lines at a time) headhunting an employee of that company could get you into hot water in the new year.  Do you know the exact legal status of the company - there is a difference in the application of these statutes; Partnerships, sole traders, or limited liability?    Many large companies are members of the Direct Marketing Association: have recruitment managers taken the code of practice into account in their recruitment strategy?   Temp to perm, recruitment fees will become a thing of the past if the Employment Agencies Act goes on the statute in its “final” Draft.  The EU workers directive is a major piece of legislation.


Companies of all shapes and sizes will struggle with the implementation of some of this – what will happen however is that the bad practices will be wiped out.  As clients you will have the right to demand the service you want from the people you want to deliver it.  PSLs and Sole Supplier agreements will have meaning.



The message must be clear – fundamental changes are coming.   Recruitment managers selecting one or more recruitment companies to work with in the long-term have their work cut out selecting partners.   They must look for clear advice on how best to recruit and trust the specialist’s judgment.  A relationship that is based on a sound working knowledge of each other’s business.  Poor service or “unsuitable” candidates are hardly likely to result from a good CRM strategy and increasingly will have to be delivered by companies flouting the legislation. 


Can their recruiter embrace change and produce innovative solutions? That is the question.



Over the last 12 years Haigh Recruitment have evolved a unique range of services across Healthcare Communications, Marketing Services, Telebusiness and Technology in order that they can not only talk but deliver a total solutions package to the HR professional or Line Manager.


Nigel can be contacted at Haigh Recruitment on 020 748 748 44 or by email on He would welcome any comments or observations on any aspect of the above;


Haigh Recruitment Consultants

115 Crawford Street



020 748 748 44