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SME Business Owners: How to Maximise your ROI with a Recruiter

Author: Charlotte Quaife

Published date: 2021/08

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A good relationship with a recruitment consultant is like having a sommelier to select the best wine for your tastes.

Sourcing the best wine is complex. Do you buy from the supermarket? The local Dan Murphy’s? The specialty wine shop down the road? With thousands of options, they all provide varying levels of quality, price, region and variety of grape. Recruitment is the same! With 7,300 recruitment agencies across Australia, it all comes down to identifying your preference and building the relationship with your expert, to get your successful pairings.

Engaging an expert (in wine or staffing!) can be an extremely effective solution if managed well. In my experience, reaping the best ROI takes a partnering approach where both parties come to the table and engage in open communication channels. By following these steps, you can ensure a healthier strike rate, repeated long-term successes, and avoid the compounding exorbitant costs of poor hires.

Selecting the Right Consultant

  • - Work with someone that specialises in your industry and really has their finger on the pulse. The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” really applies here. 

  • - Choose a consultant that aligns closely with your values, they will share a similar lens to you when identifying a good candidate

  • - Look for those who demonstrate interest in understanding your business and are looking for a long-term partnership rather than a quick fee

  • - Avoid those who simply play a numbers game and rely on a quick CV flick to connect employers and candidates. These recruiters add little value beyond what you are able to achieve through direct advertisement of the role.

Develop Personal Connections

  • - Recruiters are often working 10 – 20 jobs at one time, so consider your recruiter to be an extension of your HR team and treat them as such, and in return (I guarantee) they will prioritise your jobs

  • - Avoid adopting a transactional “us vs. the recruiter” view of the relationship – if you take this approach, the recruiter will follow your lead – discouraging collaboration


  • - Give the recruiter as much info as you can! Be open about why other candidates have been unsuccessful. For example, if the company is unorganised tell the recruiter so they can focus on finding someone who thrives in chaos

  • - Set expectations up front - do you want an agency that will provide you with 10 profiles that you then have to do the selection, or do you prefer them to have done it for you? 

  • - Provide feedback on candidate submittals in a timely manner – my rule of thumb is within 24 hours of receiving a CV. A recruiter may have spent hours or days sourcing, so the quicker you are to provide feedback, the more likely the candidate and the recruiter are to stay engaged with your opportunity

  • - Avoid the ‘boy who cried wolf’ dilemma - shifting goal posts for roles that are on-again off again make a recruiter’s job difficult and less likely to engage your roles in the future

Use 1-2 Agencies

One of the most frustrating things a recruiter can hear when they call that perfect candidate who replies: “I’ve already heard about that role from 4 other recruiters”

Using multiple agencies can negatively affect your business and success in filling a role in many direct and indirect ways. By only using 1-2 agencies, you can:

  • - Avoid good candidates being put off as the company appears desperate

  • - Avoid recruiters not prioritising your roles (they will have other roles they can fill with less competition so your position will likely go straight to the bottom of the list)

  • - Avoid candidate ownership issues and wasting your time doubling up on briefing agents, coordinating interviews etc.

Having your own personalised sommelier for staffing solutions can unlock so many positive long-term benefits for your company, including a healthy recruitment cycle, a streamlined hiring process and an overall win-win environment for all parties involved.

If this article was helpful and resonated with you and you'd like to know more about our processes at Fetch, please feel free to reach out to Charlotte Quaife our Residential Construction Senior Consultant. Connect with her on LinkedIn