The Growth Series

How to make the most of using a recruitment agency

We’ve all seen it on job adverts; ‘No agencies please’. You’re no doubt hoping that you can handle any recruitment yourself and save the expense of having to use a recruitment agency. It‘s true that in these days of social media it’s much easier to publicise and share job vacancies. If your company already has a good profile on LinkedIn, for example, with a strong following, self-hiring will be much easier. You should get your team to share any vacancy on their social accounts too, as a way of spreading the net further.

Nevertheless, if you’ve tried to go it alone and are still struggling to fill a particular role, it may be worth calling in the experts.

Be clear about what you can offer

The huge growth in mortgage lending has led to a shortage of brokers. Figures suggest that the total number of brokers has fallen from around 30,000 before the financial crisis to approximately 12,000 these days, with about 4,000 IFAs writing occasional business. This means there won’t be a queue of super-talented candidates knocking at your door. You are likely to be competing against a number of other firms for the same candidate.

Help the recruitment agency by being clear about the salary, commission structure, working environment and working hours you are able to offer. Give them a picture of your brokerage’s culture and values. If you’re going to work with them on a regular basis, get them to come and see your set-up.

Be clear about the type of candidate you’re looking for

This is where detailed job descriptions come in. Take a look at our Mortgage Broker/Consultant and Mortgage Administrator templates here. Being able to clearly explain the type of roles and responsibilities required and the level of skills and competencies expected, will mean the recruitment agency is more likely to send you candidates who are a good fit. The advantage of using an agency is that they will have a wide pool of pre-registered candidates so use them to find the best talent. With business levels increasing, experienced candidates are less likely to walk away from sizeable pipelines, which is where a recruiter can assist as they may have already made contact in the past. They may know of people who aren’t ‘actively’ job seeking at the time but who turn out to be interested if the opportunity is right.

Use them to narrow down the field and save time

Enlisting the help of a recruitment agency is obviously more expensive than doing it yourself but if in the long run they speed up the whole process, it will save you money in terms of your valuable time. They will vet the CVs before they land on your lap and can ensure that no timewasters slip through the net. A specialist recruiter will also be skilled at separating the wheat from the chaff and identifying the best talent.


Recruiters will always be ready to negotiate from the outset. Never take their first price and always haggle. You should be able to get a good discount especially if you are using them regularly.

Next steps

There are different types of recruiters, general ones and specialist mortgage broker ones. So how do you decide when to you use one? Sometimes it will be the only viable option if you don’t have time to recruit and your reach is limited. Bear in mind too, that a third party may have a better insight into what is motivating candidates to move than they may have shared on their application.


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