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Six ways to measure the effectiveness of your recruitment partners

By Donna Newton on 20 Apr 2015

Building a close working relationship with a recruitment agency, helps to create trust, and honest and open communication, which in turn helps them to find you the best possible staff. Many organisations now have preferred supplier lists (PSLs) or work with just a few suppliers.

However how do you ensure the recruitment consultancies you work with are really effective? Here we look at six ways to measure their effectiveness.

Quality vs. Quantity

Many organisations do not understand why an agency would send over CVs for candidates who clearly do not match the requirements of the job and/or person specification. Unfortunately some agencies do work to targets for the number of CVs that must be sent to all jobs, or they have consultants who are not experts in your field so do not really understand the requirements of the role.

The right recruitment partner will take the time to get to know your organisation and ensure they can make the right selections for you. By building a relationship, they should be effective and fully informed about the impression you are looking to make on candidates and be able be advocates of your brand. They should only ever send your CVs for candidates who they truly feel can handle the role. This may result in fewer CVs, but the quality of these candidates should be higher, saving you both time, money and resources.

It is also equally frustrating if you feel an agency is not sending you all the candidates they have that do match your requirements. For example, some recruiters are reluctant to put forward candidates who are currently temping with them, as they will lose that temp. One of the things our temporary workers particularly like about TPP is that we do keep them informed of permanent roles that may be suitable for them and put them forward for these roles, even if it means we’ll have to find another temp.


An easy way to measure your supplier’s overall performance is using ratios, such as number of CVs sent over vs number of interviews arranged, and number of interviews to candidates actually placed. By measuring these you can see whether an agency has demonstrated a clear understanding of your requirements and have a good track record of matching candidates accordingly.

For example, an agency with a CV to interview ratio of 3:1 has sent over one candidate suitable for interview for every three CVs supplied, and is outperforming another agency with a 6:1 ratio.

Interview to placement also shows that the candidates are of high quality and have been well prepared for interview by their consultant.


How compliant are your recruitment partners? The Recruitment and Employment Confederation have recently revealed that nearly 200 agencies have been denied membership for failing to meet its compliance standards. Cutting corners with compliance can damage the reputation of both the agency and your own organisation.  For example if a candidate was found not to be eligible to work in the UK, not only are you culpable and fined, an individual at your organisation can be too if they are found to be at fault. Compliance checks also check references against dates on CVs and for any general issues that arose in their last employment. These checks do not take long to do, but are much quicker and cheaper to sort during the recruitment process than after hiring someone.

A good recruitment consultancy would take compliance very seriously and do their own regular audits to make sure they are maintaining standards. TPP are members of the REC and have achieved REC Audited Status, the gold standard for recruitment and the only specialist not for profit recruiter to have this, which demonstrates our adherence to the highest standards in customer service and regulation compliance.

Placement success

When making a new permanent hire, you obviously want a candidate that is bought in to your company and committed to stay. Although sometimes things don’t work out, it is worth measuring the number of candidates placed by a recruitment consultancy, tracked against length of service and retention levels. How committed are the candidates to your organisation and how well has the agency matched them for long term productivity.

Candidate satisfaction

How does the candidate rate their experience with the recruitment consultancy? In a candidate driven market, it is important to ask candidates about their experience with an agency. Points to ask about include after-care following a placement, did they keep in touch? Did they offer support to the candidate with any issues? Did they agency prepare the candidate adequately prior to interview and did they keep in constant communication? Would the candidate use that agency again?

At TPP, we measure our candidate care with surveys to all candidates and clients we work with. This is important to us to ensure we are offering an outstanding service to all.

Sector Support

Is your recruitment agency truly committed to working with the not for profit sector, or is it just a small part of their business and they are only interested in generating a profit. One way to check an agency’s dedication is to look at what they do to support the sector outside of their recruitment services. Do they offer free advice and support? Do their own staff volunteer or work as trustees?

At TPP we are committed to the third sector and have set up a project called TPP Giving Back, offering various additional free services to not for profit organisation.  This includes, use of our boardroom, advertising volunteer roles for free, free seminars, career and interview workshops, mentoring programme, cpd voucher.