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***UPDATED***Im looking to fill a new role in my company – what are the pros and cons of using a recruitment agency to help with this?

There are some good recruitment agencies out there that specialize in the fashion and textiles, understand the roles, and can take some of the “leg-work” out of recruitment by handling sifting candidates and doing first interviews.  If you’re a small company, this can be a big help.  The downside is there is obviously a cost for their services.  Fees can differ considerably between agencies, so it is worth checking thoroughly exactly what the agency includes.  A list of specialist agencies is available at, then select “potential recruit” and “fashion and textiles recruitment consultancies” in the drop-down boxes.

Linda Florance, Chief Executive, Skillfast-UK

Recruitment can often be seen as an art rather than a science. Before choosing how to you want to manage your recruitment ask yourself a couple of key questions:

What expertise do we have to be able to attract and hire the best talent - and do we have that expertise?

What resources and skills will we need and how much time will it take to make sure we can fulfil our resource and skill requirements going forward?

How much time will it take to be able to undertake all the associated recruitment activity tasks - advertising, managing responses, screening applications, checking of work permits, interviews, assessment centres, offers - and do you have the resources/time to manage this effectively?

Are there business risks (i.e. managers spending too much time on recruitment and not necessarily being able to recruit effectively or legally) to managing recruitment in-house?

The above should help clarify your thinking and help you decide whether you want to manage recruitment in-house or outsource the activity.

The best recruitment agencies will spend time in your business understanding the context of the role/s you need to recruit, help draw up job descriptions, , check work permits, advise on market rates and oversee the recruitment process with regular updates to present you with a list of candidates who will meet the requirements of the role, broker the offer to preferred candidate and check how the successful candidate has settled in during their induction. Where you either don’t have the in-house expertise or resources or you need to recruit a high volume of new employees, outsourcing your recruitment can be a highly cost and time effective solution.

Nadine Jones, Consultant


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