Choosing a recruitment agency

Deciding which recruitment agency to work with is often a difficult and always a significant business decision. A good agency can add value to your recruitment process by:

• Introducing you to strong candidates you otherwise could not have found
• Informing and strengthening your recruitment strategy
• Guiding you through the interview and hire process
• Helping you to think creatively about how to fulfil your requirements

A poor choice of recruiter can damage your brand and your business.

How to Start

  1. Look for an REC member agency. REC members cover all sectors and regions of the UK, are subject to regular inspection, adhere to a Code of Professional Practice, and have had their professional references checked. There is a directory of member agencies at
  2. Look within your sector. In particular, if your placement requires specialist skills, such
    as medical training, a specialist agency will not only understand your business better but
    will have the most relevant set of registered candidates. REC’s sector group members offer
    specialist advice on a wide range of discrete business areas. Go to
  3. Look within your region. For many businesses, it is important to work with agencies who
    understand their local market. The REC’s member directory allows you to search by postcode or by region, and we have Regional Directors appointed in each area who can advise you further.
  4. Ask about the Consultants’ Specialisms and Experience. Once you’ve identified some relevant agencies in your area, ask them about their consultant’s experience and recruitment specialisms. For example, certain consultants could specialise on specific sectors within the agency.
  5. Ask about Equality and Diversity. With the UK’s changing demographics it is essential to reach out across the full range of candidate to find the best candidate. Ask your prospective agencies about their equality and diversity policies. If they are signatories to the REC’s Diversity Pledge, or have undertaken the rigorous assessment of the Diversity Assured Recruitment Model, this is a good indication that they are serious about these issues and have developed good practice .

What Are the Benefits of Working with an REC Member Agency?

  • Member agencies are regularly, independently inspected so you can be sure that their basic practices have been approved as safe and legal.
  • Member agencies sign up to a code of practice, mandating that they must live up to the principles of:
    Respect for Laws
    Respect for Honesty and Transparency
    Respect for Work Relationships
    Respect for Diversity
    Respect for Safety
    Respect for Professional Knowledge
    Respect for Certainty of Engagement
    Respect for Prompt and Accurate Payment
    Respect for Ethical International Recruitment
    Respect for Confidentiality and Privacy
  • Access to the REC’s Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure. This provides you with a route through which you can take action if the agency fails to live up to its promise under the Code.
  • Your agency receives regular briefings and updates on changes to the law and to best
    practice in recruitment, so you can be assured their knowledge is up to speed with
    the changing environment.