It might not initially sound that hard to find good people to hire. But after some time of trying to go it alone, many companies, particularly smaller ones, discover that locking down qualified workers isn’t necessarily an easy road.
Not only did the pandemic cause a major disruption in the U.S. labor market, but the rise of remote work, a general pushback on wages, and other factors have led to a tumultuous and challenging hiring environment for many organizations.
That’s where a talent acquisition consultancy can come in handy. If a company needs help sourcing, recruiting, hiring, or onboarding employees, they will likely benefit from partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in these areas. But which one to choose?
To make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best talent acquisition consulting firms out there today.
Why Work With A Talent Acquisition Firm?
There are many reasons why it’s advantageous for a business to partner with a talent acquisition firm. Let’s dive right into what talent acquisition consultants have to offer:
They are Incentivized to Produce Fast High-Quality Results
Since most TA recruiters aren’t driven by commissions like those who work for staffing agencies, there’s a bigger incentive for them to identify and place quality candidates who will stand the test of time. They’re not just chasing the next big paycheck; their interests align with the employer’s.
They Know How to Leverage Their Network
One of the key advantages of partnering with a TA team is the large network of qualified candidates they’ve cultivated over time who are actively seeking a job. This will naturally widen an employer’s reach, thereby increasing their odds of finding and landing the best talent.
They Know How to Balance Speed and Quality
A talent acquisition consultant will move quickly to fill positions but won’t sacrifice quality to do so. Why? TA consultants want to do more than just fill roles with top talent as fast as they can - ultimately, their goal is to help the employer develop a successful long term recruitment program.
They Bring Industry Best Practices and Expertise to the Table
When a company partners with a talent acquisition firm, it’ll benefit from its specialized knowledge, years of hiring experience, and implementation of recruiting best practices. Most staffing agencies and in-house recruiting teams lack this level of expertise and experience.
They Provide Candidates Who are Fully Vetted
Rather than simply filling roles as fast as possible, TA firms typically spend the time to thoroughly vet all potential candidates for the employer. So if an organization is looking to hire a new executive or trying to find someone for a niche role, they’ll have better luck partnering with a talent acquisition firm instead of a staffing agency or in-house recruiter.
How To Decide Who To Work With
Once an employer makes the decision to move forward with a talent acquisition firm, how do they decide which one to hire? There are multiple factors to consider from track records and references to a dedication (or lack thereof) to the candidate experience and employer brand.
Let’s discuss what to look for from a TA firm in more detail.
They Should Have Hiring Experience and a Proven Track Record
The right TA firm has been around long enough to build a solid reputation in the industry. They should have an established talent acquisition process in place that has worked successfully for past clients. Remember, if you hire them, their reputation will essentially become yours, so choose wisely.
They Should Have References (Both Good and Bad)
It’s important to talk to other companies who have worked with the talent acquisition firm you’re considering. Listening to their experiences will help you determine if they’ll be a good fit for your team or not. Realistically, the feedback should be a mixture of good and bad - but, in the end, the good should significantly outweigh the bad.
They Should be Obsessed With the Candidate Experience
Don’t forget that whatever TA firm you hire will ultimately be a reflection of your organization. So if the recruiter disregards the candidate experience, ghosting potential hires or acting unprofessionally, it’ll reflect poorly on you. Select a talent acquisition team that recognizes the importance of providing a consistently exceptional candidate experience.
They Should Follow Through on Commitments
The last thing an employer needs is to create a headache for their human resources team by hiring an unreliable TA firm. It’s crucial that you can trust your talent acquisition consultant and confidently place all your recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding responsibilities in their hands.
They Should Stay True to the Employer’s Brand
Talent acquisition firms work with many different clients. You need to find one that won’t confuse your company’s brand with others. It’s essential that your brand voice shine strongly through all candidate interactions so you end up with satisfied and long-lasting employees.
What To Expect From A TA Consulting Firm
There are several key deliverables that an employer should expect from their recruitment firm and its TA strategy. These are outlined in detail below:
Talent & Business Intelligence
Beware of any TA firms that don’t take the time to learn about your business, its culture, the industry, and exactly what your diverse talent needs are. Any TA consultant worth their salt will start by gaining a deep understanding of all these aspects before jumping to fill positions.
Planning & Strategy
Next on the agenda should be the development of a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy that is tailored specifically to your talent needs. Any talent acquisition firm that skips this step doesn’t have your long term recruitment needs in mind.
One of the benefits of using a recruitment firm is its already established, vast network of high-quality candidates. Given this is what TA consultants do day-in-and-day-out, they know where to find qualified leads - not just those candidates who have great resumes but the ones who are also motivated, are a good culture fit, and have relevant transferable skills.
Screening & Interviewing
It takes significant time over the course of weeks, months, and even years for in-house recruiting teams to screen and interview potential new hires - meaning less time and energy for their primary job functions. Your company's hiring managers will save both time and money by hiring a talent acquisition firm to oversee these laborious aspects of the hiring process.
Hiring & Onboarding
The right TA firm will extend job offers on their client’s behalf, make expert recommendations at the negotiation table, and be heavily involved in onboarding and helping to ramp up the new hire’s productivity. Unlike most staffing agencies, a talent acquisition recruiter won’t leave you high and dry the minute the candidate signs on the dotted line.
Metrics & Analytics
Be prepared for actual stats that show how your new hiring program is performing. Talent acquisition firms do a lot of measuring, analyzing, and reporting so the company knows exactly how its recruitment strategy is doing at any given moment. This also enables them to make data-driven adjustments and improvements to the plan in real time.
The 9 Best Talent Acquisition Firms In 2023
The time has come to list nine of the top talent acquisition firms in 2023. Of course, we’ll start with MSH (ahem, ourselves) since we stand by our efforts and must vouch for our amazing process and services! But we strongly believe in everyone finding the right fit. Hence, we aren’t afraid to list the other notable recruiting firms out there so you can take a look and pick what’s best for your individual situation.
We’re going to cover the following TA firms:
- Korn Ferry
- Robert Half
- Heidrick & Struggles
- Spencer Stuart
So, without further ado, let’s get started. May the best firm win!
So what’s so great about us? The MSH approach places a heavy emphasis on business and talent intelligence, and we leverage advanced technology and innovative tactics to quickly create comprehensive and customized databases of viable candidates for our clients. MSH recruiters take the time to learn about their client’s brand voice, unique culture, and long-term goals so they can develop and carry out effective and measurable recruitment strategies.
Over the years, we’ve used our extensive background in hiring to deliver tangible results for companies like American Express, Conde Nast, Salesforce, AutoNation, and ADT, and we can’t wait to do the same for you!
From Our Clients:
“If i’m ever in an emergency and I need someone to step in to help cover my team, MSH is there for me and they’ve been very very good in finding the talent that we need.”
- Head of Talent for Professional Sports League
“I chose to work with MSH and they have been an integral part. I don’t have an internal acquisition team and i’ve hired 1000 people in 3 years…they’ve been a huge part of that growh.”
- Former Head of People at Fast Growing Healthcare Startup
- Enterprise and campus RPO
- Healthcare and medical role staffing
- Talent acquisition process design and management
- Talent intelligence
- Talent community builds
- Candidate experience and engagement
- DEI guidance
- Analytics and insights
- Vendor management
- Employer branding and value proposition identification
- Job profiling
- New hire onboarding
- SLA and EEO compliance
- Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry bills itself as a “global organizational consulting firm.” Founded in 1969, the management consulting company evaluates, measures, and benchmarks the mindsets and skillsets of its clients’ employees using its proprietary AI platform to determine what the client has and what they need so its recruiters can then fill in the gaps.
Korn Ferry acquired executive recruitment search firm Lucas Group in 2021.
Services Offered: DEI guidance, customer experience, organizational strategy, talent acquisition, professional assessments, succession planning, recruitment process outsourcing, executive search, leadership and professional development, intelligence cloud platform
- Robert Half
An international human resource consulting firm, Robert Half assists organizations with hiring remote, contract (temporary), and permanent talent. It primarily supplies workers in the finance and accounting, administrative and customer support, technology, legal, and marketing and creative industries.
Services Offered: remote, contract, and permanent placements in the finance and accounting, administrative and customer support, technology, legal, and marketing and creative fields, managed solutions, workplace research
- Heidrick & Struggles
Based in NYC, Heidrick & Struggles is an employment agency that provides diversified solutions in the areas of executive search, leadership assessment and development, team and organizational effectiveness, and culture shaping. One of their primary goals is to help companies recruit and develop exceptional leaders.
Services Offered: executive search, on-demand talent, CEO succession planning, executive coaching, leadership assessment and development, DEI consulting, culture shaping
The world’s largest privately held executive search firm, EgonZehnder identifies and develops leaders within organizations. The company also provides a framework for leaders to initiate disruptive change and build innovative company cultures.
Services Offered: CEO search and succession, DEI guidance, family business advisement, executive search and development, onboarding, leadership advisement in the consumer, health, private equity, services, financial services, industrial, technology and communications, public and social sectors
Manpower is a staffing agency that matches its clients to employment and development opportunities, in addition to providing career resources and education. The company partners with numerous associations and groups in support of many legal and ethical causes related to hiring.
Services Offered: career guidance, job-seeking assistance, process optimization, employment matching in the areas of corporate affairs, finance, human resources, information technology, legal, operations, marketing, and sales
A recruiting firm that specializes in the technology, finance, and accounting fields, Kforce connects companies with talent and oversees their hiring projects, both nationally and internationally. It sources candidates for contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire positions.
Services Offered: technology staffing, finance and accounting staffing, sourcing, onboarding, performance monitoring, strategy development, international staffing services, risk assessment, advisory services
A Swiss-French staffing agency headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Adecco connects job seekers all across the world to employment opportunities. The company has also developed multiple programs and partnerships that help underserved groups of people obtain temporary, direct hire, and remote jobs, including veterans, older folks, and those with disabilities.
Services Offered: temporary, remote, and direct hire staffing, international staffing, outsourcing, training, upskilling/reskilling
- Spencer Stuart
Spencer Stuart specializes in building high-performance executive teams and boards in the technology, media and telecommunications, consumer, financial services, industrial, education and social impact, private equity, healthcare, and professional and IT services industries. The company supplies business executives with candidates who can turn around businesses, create innovative cultures, and increase the impact of organizations.
Services Offered: executive search and assessments, boards services like succession, performance, and governance, leadership consulting, sustainability, employee experience and engagement, CEO succession planning, DEI, family business services
So there you have it! A curated list of the top nine talent acquisition firms in 2023 with MSH proudly in first place. While we think highly of the other recruitment companies that are represented on the list, and encourage everyone to find the fit that works best for them, admittedly, we are a bit biased. After all, when an employer is in need of an overhaul of its recruitment program and processes so it can save valuable time and money, we know just how poised and ready MSH is to take on that responsibility.
It’s vital that the TA firm you partner with gets it right so your organization can continually grow and scale with the top-notch talent it needs right at its fingertips. MSH clients benefit from our deep experience, advanced tools, comprehensive business and talent intelligence, measurable reporting, and obsession with the candidate and brand experience. Contact us today to find out more.