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Selecting The Right Employment Agency In Singapore

Posted on 11/03/2015 by

Here’s how to ensure you are choosing the right employment agency for your recruitment needs.

Choosing and hiring the right person from thousands of resumes is critical for any company. Often, these companies will engage recruitment consultants to help with their hiring needs and lessen their headache.

When you hand over this important role to an employment agency, you want to make sure that you’re working with only the best in the industry. So how do you know if it’s the right agency for you?

Here are some tips for selecting the right employment agency in Singapore.

Check their credentials
There are errant employment agencies out there that flout labour laws, or help their clients do so. Or some may have had complaints registered against them. So first and foremost, do a check with the Ministry of Manpower to find out if the employment agency you are planning to engage has been blacklisted by the authorities.

On a more positive note, you should check the track record of the agency you are thinking of giving your business to – how long have they been in operation, what is their reputation within their industry, do they boast awards that testify to their excellence in business? The latter provides a good barometer because in order for the agency to win such business awards, their business operations would have been thoroughly examined by the judging panel against a set of stringent criteria.

Additionally, you can check whether it is an ISO:9000 certified company, as not many employment agencies in Singapore have such qualifications. This shows that the company has spent time and effort to build up its internal processes in order to qualify for the certification.

What’s their area of specialisation?
Some employment agencies specialise in certain industries so you may want to consider this if you have industry-specific needs.

Additionally, consider the category of position you need to fill. Is it a permanent, temporary or contract role? Or is it a C-level senior executive that you need to hire?

For example, at Achieve Group, we have several divisions that cater to these various categories. Our General Recruitment Division covers permanent, temporary and contract placements across various industries while our Technology Recruitment Division specialises in technology-based portfolios, and our Executive Search Division specialises in headhunting senior executives for top positions.

Screen their screening process
Check if the employment agency has a rock solid screening process. Do they use a set of criteria or standard operating procedure for shortlisting the interview candidates before presenting them to you? Or do they just forward you a whole bunch of resumes that haven’t been pre-screened?

A good employment agency will take the effort to do thorough checks before even presenting the shortlisted candidates to you, particularly for permanent positions.

At Achieve, we require all candidates to come down to our office and meet with our consultants so that we can screen them in person. We even make them sign an ‘Agreement of Service’ that outlines their liabilities should they change their mind after accepting an offer from our client. This demonstrates their sincerity in looking for a job as we have encountered some candidates that simply go for interviews to determine their market value.

Interview them
Before engaging an employment agency in Singapore, be sure to interact with their consultants at length to get a sense of whether they have the right aptitude in order to match the right candidates with your organisation.

Start by talking to them and finding out if they are up to date on all the latest employment laws and policies in Singapore. This will help you gauge their level of professionalism and how proactive they are in keeping abreast of the latest industry news.

And observe if they ask you a lot about your business, your corporate culture, and your people needs as this shows that they are interested in learning about your business so that they can provide you with the most accurate candidate match – instead of just “selling” their company’s unique selling propositions in order to clinch the deal.

We would also suggest that you go a step further to check the individual consultant’s own track record as you want to invest your time and resources in someone who has proven credentials.

Will they go the extra mile?
Recruitment is a complex process and there are things that can go wrong along the way through no fault of either client or agency. For example, a candidate may back out at the last minute. Find an agency that has clear standard operating procedures that addresses such issues, such as Achieve’s ‘Agreement of Service’. Don’t just get sold on the marketing spiel they spew in order to capture your business. Talk to them and ask relevant questions to find out.

It is important that the agency’s corporate values include virtues like integrity and open and regular communication with its clients so that any issues that crop up will be handled swiftly and with transparency. And in the event that the recruitment process doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, you will have peace of mind with an agency that will go the extra mile to help you resolve any issues.

Doing your homework meticulously will not only lower the fallout rates for your placements. It may even protect your company from facing any unexpected legal, financial or even public relations fiascos resulting from a wrong hire.

Ultimately, finding a good recruiter is like finding a dedicated and trusted co-worker who can help lighten your workload and enhance the performance of your human resource department, as an extended member of your team.