When staffing your next high-level position, you need to choose a company that understands your company, your needs, and what you look for in a candidate. Often recruiting methods used within your company take too long and have poor results. Make sure your recruiting company doesn’t make the same mistakes. Here is what to avoid in your next search for an employee.

1. Too Many Generalizations

When choosing a staffing agency, make sure they have other clients or even specialize in your field. Newer staffing agencies may be testing the waters in different industries before they have a true niche. The tactics for recruiting manufacturers, IT workers, and operations managers vary greatly. If you are looking for a mechanical engineering headhunter, don’t waste your time on these young companies. Go to a reputable source that has a good history with their placements’ retention.

In an interview with a staffing company, ask them what they specialize in. These sorts of questions might catch them off-guard and you will know to move on. You should also ask about their work with a company of your size, as large companies hire at almost 2 times the rate of smaller companies. If there is a new company that you are interested in, ask what their plans are for working with your specific recruitment strategy. If they respond with a solid strategy, they may be the right company for you.

2. A Missing Cultural Component

Look into the cultural values of a firm before partnering with them. If the culture of your company is important to you (and it should be) then make sure the staffing agency shares that sentiment. You might want to speak with a newer hire to hear about how entry-level employees are treated. Ask about their quality assurance practices when sourcing new prospects. This will highlight what they find important in a candidate and let you know if they will be a good match.

After speaking with a new staffing agency, you should go online to find reviews and testimonials. If former employees of the company report poor culture, this is where you find that information. Reviews will often be the best litmus test for a new company. If other businesses report poor staffing choices and high turnover with their placements, you will want to steer clear of this company. Choose a culture that matches yours.

3. Poor Communication

Make sure to ask about their communication when dealing with your company. Will you have one agent assigned to you? Will you be pestered by recruiters trying to fulfill a quota? Again, answers to these questions will tell you what you need to know. Another good way to test this is to ask about their turnaround time. If they do not have numbers on hand, this could be an indicator that they are not proud of it. It could also mean that they have trouble maintaining a flow of communication with prospective employees.

If you are not provided with a business card or at least a phone number by the end of your interview, then this might not be the staffing agency you need. They should feel comfortable enough to want to follow up with you. Allow them time to offer this information, as well as pricing, the structure of their company, and other details you may need. Some companies are less upfront about their costs and you might have to ask them directly. If they haven’t told you by the time you are walking out, take that as a sign to move forward in your search.

4. Overabundance of Clients

You shouldn’t be the only client in their pool, but you should feel comfortable that they are not overwhelmed with work. This could lead to poor candidates being sent your way and lazy recruiting tactics being used. Ask how many agents work at the facility, and match that against the number of companies they represent. This will help you conclude their preparedness for a new client (you). If they come right out and address their size and how they manage it, that is a good sign of self-awareness.

Ask how long they have worked with their biggest clients. If they are a new company, this may not be relevant. If they are established in the industry, it is important to ensure their longevity. Their own retention with customers like yourself is a great indicator of future success. Just like you don’t want turnover in your company, you don’t want to bounce around from agency to agency until you find a good match.

5. Vague Process Explanation

The agency representatives should be comfortable discussing their recruiting process, even in the first phone call or meeting. Partnering with a staffing company without asking for a detailed explanation of their process is a big mistake. Some staffing agencies might just send out resumes to be approved in order to fill a quota by the end of the day. Others might forward calls if they have already communicated with you that day.

Make sure that they are willing to have an open line of communication about their roles as recruiting agents. Do they talk about a client they manage? Are they bringing up positive situations from the past? If they don’t, you might want to walk away. You can ask to speak to another representative who might be better suited for an explanation if you like the company otherwise. Their process is the way your employees will be screened. Keep that in mind before moving forward.

6. Dishonesty in Recruitment

This is another issue that you need to address by speaking with a client of the recruiting agency. If other companies have experienced candidates coming in with false information, then this is a recruiter to avoid. They may be advertising lower salary expectations than you can provide in order to get more candidates.

You may also hear stories or read reviews about recruiters sending in repeat candidates or unqualified candidates. This is another issue that you need to look out for when researching a company, especially for a high-level position. Having a lazy recruiter is worse than recruiting poorly in-house because these companies are supposed to specialize in recruiting.

7. Poor Research

When you walk into their office, the recruiter you are speaking with should know about your company. You should avoid choosing any company that sounds totally lost when discussing your specific situation. This can be identified when you ask about their recruitment process: if they are specific to your industry, this is a good sign.

After your conversation, expect them to ask to visit your facility or arrange a follow-up meeting. This is a sign of a proactive company that knows your industry. They should also have prepared questions about what you look for in a candidate and what type of candidate does well in the position. You’ve researched them, and they should do the same.

Trust your gut after you walk away. Staffing agency services should make you feel comfortable putting your hiring in their hands. If you walk away from a phone call with unsatisfied questions or missing answers, you should continue in the process of finding one. Choosing the right staffing agency is easy once you understand what to avoid. Look online for more tips on choosing the right recruiter.