How to Take Control of Recruitment Agencies

Dealing with recruitment agencies does not have to be as painful as it is for many companies. Having spoken with many frustrated business owners they generally always have their own personal horror stories. As a former internal recruitment manager, I know from personal experience that it is possible to develop strong relationships with agencies however, as the client, you must take control.


Set Your Own Ground Rules

One method I know that works with great effect is to get agencies to agree to your own Code of Conduct. In this you lay down some best practice that will place you in the driving seat and ensure that if you have engaged multiple agencies, then you have some ground rules to fall back on, as and when things go wrong.

In the Code of Conduct you can set expectations in terms of what constitutes an agency having qualified the candidate, what information you wish to see as part of their summary so that you have a standard report and how you manage a situation where there is a disagreement as to which Agency represents a specific candidate. In the document you can also overcome the issue that agencies have very different rebate terms by outlining your own terms which should be fair and reasonable.


Reputable Agencies will embrace the Code

Of course agencies may choose not to agree to your code however, from experience, if the terms are reasonable then the good agencies will. If they don’t then there will be plenty of others to approach however do make sure and do your homework and choose your agencies carefully. I am also confident that reputable agencies will be happy that there are ground rules in place as they too know that not all recruiters are equal. I have a few personal examples of competing against agencies where they have submitted a candidates CV without speaking with them. Meanwhile I spend time fully qualifying them in terms of skills, experience, culture fits etc. and guess what, the company (who have felt obliged to accept the other agencies terms) have their hands tied to accept the candidate from them.


Creating Your Code of Conduct

Creating your own ground rules can be time consuming however I assure you it will be time well spent. To help you with the process I have ‘one I made earlier’ which I am more than happy to share with companies that wish to reduce the risk of dealing with agencies.


For your Free Recruitment Agency Code of Conduct please email me on


I am also happy to speak with any companies that have questions regarding best practice when engaging with agencies. Having worked on both side of the fence, I have significant experience which I hope will be useful.

I am passionate and committed to reducing recruitment horror stories so let’s work together to raise the bar, one Code of Conduct at a time!


Careerz Limited, based in Canterbury, offer specialist recruitment services across Kent, London and the South East.

For further information, please call John Adams on 01227 656 888 or or 0208 0990 888 or visit

Think we could find the solution for you?

We are always on hand to answer your questions and advise on the most efficient solution. We can be contacted using the form below, or for a personal approach call us on 01227 656 888

    Attach Document

    Sign up. News, advice and more...