Checklist: Finding the Right Agency for You

Finding a new job in recruitment is tough.

How can you know that you’re moving to the right agency for you?

It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible.

Try to avoid buying in to the chat surrounding incentives or holiday trips. Instead, it’s important to look at agencies as a whole.

Think it’s easier said than done? Here’s a complete checklist to help you find the best overall agency out there.

How Does It Work?

Our checklist is simple to use and will give an accurate overall picture of any agency you’re considering moving to.

First of all, you’re going to want to draft up a shortlist of agencies you’re considering. Anything between 3 and 5 options is ideal.

Next, take a look at how each agency fairs among the below criteria. Research each agency fairly and score them accordingly. For example, if you’re comparing three agencies, the best agency for each criteria should score three while the worst scores one.

Once you’ve graded each agency, add up the scores and the highest rated agency is your best option.

(This isn’t a scientific method but we’re pretty confident it’ll work.)

The Checklist Criteria

If you care about a specific criterion more than another, don’t be afraid to give it double points. Use this rule sparingly, realistically it should only apply to vital points like location or salary.


Where you’re based is just as important as the job itself.

Let’s talk about your commute – it’s not just about how long it’ll take but also how expensive and how much of a hassle it is. Can you hack this journey 10 times a week for the next few years?

Have you checked out any local recruitment hotspots? Some towns have an abundance of agencies which are just as successful as those in the big city. It might sound a bit out there – but you don’t have to work in London!

Base Salary

Low base salary, high commission… Sound all too familiar?

Recently, more and more agencies have been moving away from this but some low paid roles still exist. It’s pretty much accepted that an £18k basic isn’t enough for anyone to live on.


You’ll need a strong commission structure in place. When choosing the right agency, ensure you know exactly where you stand. It’s important the company have a clear, transparent and easy to measure mechanism for tracking commission.

It’s eye opening to chat to candidates and hear about some of the awful commission structures out there. Some companies offer a flat 10% while others come with the ambiguous discretionary bonus.

Don’t stand for it! You should be taking home around a third of what you’re billing. Anything in that ballpark and you’re doing fine.

Training Schemes

Whether you’re just starting out in recruitment or are just hungry to progress within your role, training schemes at every level are vital.

Fledgling recruiters aren’t the only ones who need a bit of support. A management training scheme can fast-track that promotion and prove to those at the top that you’ve got what it takes to step up.

Targets for Progression

We always love a challenge! You should be given something to work towards. We might like to think it, but none of us are perfect. That dangling carrot is often enough for us to keep moving forward – especially when things get tough.


Do you really want to be working for an agency that makes you blag it every day?

Specialising in a market and investing in your knowledge of that market is vital for successful recruitment in today’s industry. Winging it just doesn’t work anymore.

Company Culture

The world of cut-throat recruitment is dead and buried.

Your working environment should be supportive, with a healthy dose of competition.

Look beyond the snaps from Ibiza on the company’s Instagram account, speak to your interviewer and ask them about what the culture is really like.


Who doesn’t love an incentive? We’re all guilty of getting drawn to the idea of holidays and free perks.

But, one piece of advice, don’t let them cloud your judgement. If an agency scores low in all other areas except incentives, think twice.

Size of the Team

Team size is a tricky one. There’s no hard and fast rule for what’s best, it’s all down to personal preference.

If you work in a startup, you could be an implementing factor in watching a company grow and develop. But with that said, you’ll also be made to work harder, have less job security and may not get paid as much.

On the flip side, large corporations can lose the personal touch. It can be very easy to fall into a role where you feel like just another number on their books.

Reputation of the Agency

The better the reputation, the easier it is for you to recruit.

If you’ve got candidates and clients who know and trust your agency, it’s a big step towards streamlining the conversion process.

If you know what you want from your next role in recruitment, we can get you there. By having discussions about what matters the most to you, we can collate the best agencies in your market for your next move. We only work with the very best clients and candidates. If you think you’ve got what it takes, submit your CV below. Alternatively, have a browse of our job board to get a feel for the type of positions we currently have on offer.

Upload CV or Linkedin Profile

Alternatively call one of our consultants for an informal and confidential chat around
market opportunities – 020 3031 1666.