How to Work Effectively with a Marketing Recruitment Agency

27 June 2017 by Mark Fallon

How to Work Effectively with a Marketing Recruitment Agency


Sorcha Coleman Career Advice, Marketing, Interview Advice...

STAGE ONE:  Your Brand Extension

Once you have chosen your Marketing Recruitment Agency of choice, you must recognise that this agency are an out-sourced extension of your Brand.


These recruiters are selling the Smurfit Kappa story to the market, so you need to ensure that this story is accurate, honest and attractive to future employees. They are talking to a market of highly experienced professionals and you want them to be effectively delivering your message in a way that will create a desire in the market where Smurfit Kappa is an organisation where professionals want to progress their career.


                Why work with Smurfit Kappa?

  • Provide the agency with an insight into the Successes So Far and the plans for the future, where Smurfit is going and how commercially successful Smurfit Kappa is, and will continue to be.


  • If feasible, upon agreement with your agency of choice, provide an introduction with your agency account manager(s) to a range of key stakeholders within the business.


  • Sales Pitch: Go through the products and services that Smurfit Kappa provides to your market, highlighting your competitive edge, your major clients and depth of your global reach.


                Provide your agency with an insight into the culture of Smurfit Kappa.

  • What are the values of Smurfit Kappa and of these values, what is very clear and visible throughout the organisation?


  • What is the profile of your high performing employees – what is it that makes them so successful in their job?


  • What is the general age profile within the team that this role sits and the organisation overall?


  • Is there a ‘hot-desk’ system in place, do many people work remotely,


  • Is there a strong social element to the organisation? Any activities, sports teams, social committees?


Physical Attributes: Provide the agency with a tour of the building, show them where this person will be based within the building, the team that they will work with. Show the agency examples of your product/service.





The hiring manager and HR (if applicable) need to have a clear understanding of your requirements for each specific role and be as transparent as possible with the recruitment agency throughout the entire process:


Why has the role come to market?


  • Is this a new position or a replacement?
  • If it is a replacement, why did the previous employee leave?
  • Is it as a result of a re-structure?
  • Are the requirements of the role likely to change throughout the hiring process?
  • Have you got internal sign-off for this position to go to market?



What does your ideal candidate look like?


  • How many years’ experience do they need?
  • What sector backgrounds can you consider?
  • What level of ownership/management/TTL experience do they require?


What are the top three ‘technical must have’ skills that this employee will absolutely require?


What technical skills are desirable but not essential?


Provide a clear and concise job description – this should include:


  • Information About Smurfit Kappa globally and locally
  • Why you should consider a role with Smurfit Kappa?
  • What are the Key Responsibilities within this role and the Key Requirements the candidate must have?
  • What career progression can this role offer to the employee?
  • Salary with full package details.

Brief your agency with a face-to-face meeting with the hiring manager and if required, the HR Manager who is managing the process.


Be realistic with your timeframe – set out a timeline, starting with the date that you need this person in-situ and work backwards:


  • Set a date for when the hiring manager (and HR if required) meet with the agency to go through their screened and selected candidates (if this cannot be done face-to-face, then skype or phone conversation)
  • Set aside specific dates in the calendar for when the interviews can take place.
  • Agree the interview process from the outset – how many rounds of interviews there will be and what structure will be carried out at each interview stage e.g. competency-based, presentation,
  • Will there be a requirement to carry out a psychometric test?
  • Are you happy for the agency to carry out the reference checking?
  • Always allow for the chosen candidate to have a notice period before they can join Smurfit Kappa.



As an agency begins the search for the ideal candidate, there will always be some queries that arise during their search and screening process. The hiring manager needs to provide the agency with direct access to them via phone/email, in order to maintain clarity throughout the process.

If the requirements of the role are likely to change throughout the process, keep the agency updated on this. Always remember – they are an extension of your brand; clarity and transparency will provide a positive experience for the candidate.



After each interview, provide the agency with sufficient feedback for the candidates you have met. For candidates that you choose not to progress with, concise and constructive feedback to the agency, will always be appreciated and allows for maintaining a positive experience for the candidates in question.




You do not want to lose your chosen candidate at the final hurdle, so being able to act efficiently at this point, will help to secure the offer. A draft contract or offer letter should be provided when the offer is extended out to the chosen candidate. Allow for a period of negotiation and for queries to be addressed by the candidate. The most important factor is to keep momentum at this stage and to be available to the agency to address these queries.