Physiotherapy Recruitment Agencies: the Cost and Time Involved in Using Recruitment Agencies Are Too High, Say Small Firms

Copyright (c) 2011 Alison Withers

Finding the right person to fill a vacancy in a company can be time consuming and logically, therefore, it would make sense to leave the screening and short listing to an organisation with expertise in recruitment.

Yet a survey among small and medium-sized enterprises carried out in April by the British Chambers of Commerce found that only 3% of those responding regularly used a recruitment agency, while just over half used agencies occasionally and 46% said they would never use one.

Two thirds of those responding said high costs were their reason for not using external agencies and 11% said it was too time consuming. More than 40% of them estimated the cost of recruiting for one job at £2000.

Small businesses with less than 100 employees very often have limited resources and no HR department. Their recruitment process may be handled by people whose time is already short and who may not have the expertise needed to select the right candidate.

There are currently almost 2.5 million unemployed people in the UK, which includes more than one million young people. However, finding the right person for a vacancy, whether it is low-grade clerical or an executive PA is not only about selecting a person with the skills to match the job, but also about their soft skills and personality fit with the company. So trying to keep costs down by using a d-i-y approach could end up being counter-productive.

Tom Hadley, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Director of Policy and Professional Services, agreed that finding the right person can be extremely time-consuming but argued that this is often due to ongoing skills shortages and that this was one of the main reasons for using agencies with the experience and networks to source and filter appropriate candidates.

He said: “It is worth investing some resource and time in getting it right.

In reality the real cost of recruitment is getting it wrong.”

There are many specialist recruitment agencies with in-depth knowledge of the skills and qualities needed for specific types of work and they will be able to screen out unsuitable candidates before supplying a short-list for the company with the vacancy, saving them time in reviewing a deluge of CVs.

They are also informed about the current employment regulations for temporary and permanent positions and for contract work, which will ensure that the prospective employer without an in-house HR team complies with legislation and does not find itself having to rectify a costly mistake.

An efficient recruitment agency will also carry out its own interviews with candidates before accepting them onto their books and will also thoroughly research with the employer exactly what skills and personality they need to fit into the corporate culture.

To do this properly of course requires time from the client to ensure their requirements are accurately assessed, but this reinforces Tom Hadley’s point that investing in the skills of a recruitment agency could prevent the costly consequences of getting it wrong.

A recent survey has found that small companies say the cost of recruiting using a specialist recruitment agency is too high and too time consuming. But finding the right candidate to fill a vacancy requires expertise and the costs of getting it wrong could be even higher, argues Ali Withers.


Over 650000 visits to
… Kiwi Health Jobs. Of these, around 4500 were nursing positions, 800 positions were for senior doctors, and over 2500 were for positions such as physiotherapists and social workers,” says Mr Ryall. Since 2008, there have been over 1300 … Read more on (press release)

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