New guide to building stronger partnerships with recruitment agencies


New guide to building stronger partnerships with recruitment agencies

There is still a demand for recruitment agencies, but the way in which HR and reward interacts with them could be improved. To offer new insights into developing positive relationships and promoting collaborative working between HR professionals and recruitment consultants, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation have published a new guide.


The CIPD’s annual recruitment, retention and turnover survey in 2007 revealed that only 36% of employers evaluate agency performance. This finding highlighted the need for increased understanding and better working relationships between recruiters and employers.

What the guide covers

The guide provides practical advice and case-study examples to demonstrate how HR professionals can build and foster productive partnership relationships with agencies. It also sets out advice for agencies on how to become the agency of choice, deliver their clients’ needs and build credibility in the marketplace.

Nicola Monson, Research Associate, CIPD said: “Tracking down talent and individuals with the right skills and experience presents employers with a real challenge. Adopting partnership relationships on a more consultative basis with recruitment agencies will place HR in a much stronger position to overcome their toughest recruitment difficulty and achieve their number one resourcing objective."

She added: “Today’s economic climate also strengthens the need for greater focus on achieving added value, which in the HR-agency relationship requires closer collaboration between the two parties to deliver strategic goals.”

The guide also points out that recruitment agencies and HR practitioners will need to embrace future developments and emerging resourcing techniques such as a wider use of technology, expansion in global markets and agency specialisation if they are to tackle hard-to fill skill groups and stay ahead of the competition.

A final word

“The guide marks an important ‘next step’ in the professionalisation of the recruitment sector. Importantly, it pulls the future focus of recruitment away from transactional activity to the provision of services that add real benefit to employer organisations.  Developing a more detailed understanding of how added value recruitment services actually deliver ‘bottom line’ benefits is in the interests of both large and small employers and is key to business competitiveness.” - Roger Tweedy, director of research, Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Want to know more?

Title: The Relationship Between HR and Recruitment Agencies: A guide to productive partnerships, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Availability: A full copy of the 42-page research report is available on the CIPD web site at

A web-based tool is also available to CIPD members at

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has over 130,000 members and is the “leading professional institute for those involved in the management and development of people”. To find out more visit

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation is the trade association for the UK’s private recruitment and staffing industry with a membership of more than 8,000 businesses and over 6,000 recruitment consultants. More details are available at