Research vs. Agency’s

What are most companies doing these days? Do you use a recruiting/staffing agency to fill contract and full time positions? Do you use research companies to help with candidate development and name generation?

My methodology has mainly surrounded either using research firms or direct sourcing of candidates for the open positions I recruit. Many of my coworkers use agencies as well and sometimes as a first option.

Personally, the research relationship is strong and you are able to change focus relatively quickly if the need arises. You can both focus on a market quickly and attack the key target accounts. It is a great way to split your time and have a wider approach in a shorter timeframe. I like making the first approach and driving a relationship and leverage networking for my activity.

Agencies are great but there are some unknowns with them as well. Are they strictly working on your positions? Do they completely understand the position, environment, benefits, or the dynamics of the team and company? I think having a strong point of contact to understand these areas are always beneficial especially for full-time positions.

Is this bad? Is one better than the other? I don’t think so. I think if everyone has the customer/managers best interest as the goal then it is perfect.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions.