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Large vs. small recruitment agencies and what ‘boutique’ actually means

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from our clients and their businesses, it’s never to cut corners when it comes to talent.

It sounds like a cliché but only because it’s true: if you want to be the best you need to hire the best team. Choosing to use a recruitment agency to find the right people is the first and most simple step – choosing the right agency however, is a bit more of a challenge.
At PA Business Support we’re proud to call ourselves a ’boutique’ agency – okay, we realise that a lot of agencies say that. In fact, we realise that a lot of agencies say the same things, to the point where it all appears very grey and uniform. So how are we different? Let’s look at some of the things you’ll hear when talking to recruitment agencies and how we actually mean what we say:
“A tailored approach”
This is something you’ll hear all the time, but let’s think about it: with large agencies, just how possible is a ‘tailored approach’ when you have hundreds of consultants managing dozens of vacancies, all trying to hit targets (and get their commission) or be out of a job? That’s not our business model. We actually limit the number of vacancies we’re working on at any one time in order to give yours the attention it deserves.
Your priorities, challenges, needs and timeline defines our approach – not the other way around. We spend a considerable amount of time on you, as a client, to properly understand the role you’re trying to fill and adapt our approach accordingly. That’s one of the key benefits of PA Business Support vs. other agencies.
“Quality over quantity”
We don’t try to compete on quantity – the big agencies boast huge candidate pools and have large advertising budgets. So instead, we focus on quality, spending much more time researching and identifying the perfect fit. We don’t send candidates to interview for lots of different vacancies either. In fact, we’ll only ever put a candidate forward for a role if we believe they’re truly right for the job – not if we think they ‘might’ be right.
“We’re relationship driven”
We understand that the person you’re bringing in is a long term investment. Ultimately this is a relationship; it’s about compatibility and trust. You trust us to find someone who is going to bring real value to your business and we make sure that our candidates know what to expect. We will have had extensive contact with them, we’ll know their career history inside and out, and we will make sure that they’re compatible with you and your business. With this approach, neither you nor the candidate feel like a number.
“We put the client/candidate first”
This is something you’ll hear all the time and not just from recruiters – be wary. What this means to us is that we believe good work and successful partnerships are a win-win for all involved. So, instead of trying to persuade or ‘sell’ for short-term gain, we focus on aligning ourselves to the client and the candidate’s needs. Understanding the role, the candidate, yours and their motivations and both parties’ professional objectives, all contribute to making a match that will last and flourish.

So, hiring the best team means hiring the best agency to find that team. Listen to the words recruiters use and see if any of the above sounds familiar. Ask them to qualify what they’re saying: they should be able to tell you why they’re different, and why their approach works. That is, if they’re anything like us (which we secretly know they’re not!).
If you want talent that will truly enhance your business, and want to make sure that your role is getting the attention it deserves, then talk to us.

Get in touch 

A bespoke approach to Executive & Personal Assistant recruitment in London & Home Counties
6th Floor International House223 Regent StreetLondon, W1B 2QD
Company number: 09244730 VAT number: 202 4357 50