That’s a good question, why do we need recruitment agents still?
If you believe everything you read online, recruiters are cowboys and have no respect for the people they work with. They add no value and they waste your time. Or do they?
Yes, it is true that there are some pretty abysmal recruiters still in operation, but I am certain this is in the minority and the majority of us are still recruiting because we are good at it and we’re serious about a long term career in our industry. We know we have to work hard to build a reputation in the marketplace and secure longevity.
And yes in-house recruitment teams continue to grow and as such recruitment agencies have been affected, with some of them closing their operations in niche areas and others looking to diversify to cater more holistically for the needs of their clients.
Employers are continuing to revert to their own advertising for jobs and for many large organisations, teams are created to take over the internal recruitment process. Employers want to manage their processes better, to avoid bad hires as much as possible, reduce the costs to hire as well as develop an expertise of their own company internally, to help them identify the right people for their business. So this should be the perfect solution for the job market shouldn’t it?
The job market is always evolving and for someone who is considering a career change, looking at direct adverts isn’t always the preferred option.
The reasons why many candidates choose to work with a recruitment company over direct applications is varied but very relevant in today’s job market.
- The good ones can offer choice and information about the company with whom they work which they may not always get when they apply directly.
- Recruiting consultants tend to specialise in a specific market whereas many internal recruiters are generalists and therefore not as knowledgeable about all the roles on offer. They may not always be able to answer your questions with how their company compares to other companies when looking at responsibilities, career opportunities and compensation rewards on offer. Frequently they resort to using external recruiters to help them with this as the internal pressure grows for them to fill the roles swiftly.
- For an employer, outsourcing recruitment to an agency means they benefit from the different skills set the talent pool this agency can offer. They know the job market, and can provide a generally more diverse shortlist from their database, as they are constantly resourcing, and they are well equipped to handle objections about a companies reputation or confirm or even help negate myths about a potential employer which could prevent them from applying directly.
- Additionally for a small growing company, a recruitment agency can bring the company to the attention of a wide audience of job seekers with whom they may never have made contact.
One of the most common complaints about recruiters is their commission based culture which means they fail to put candidates ahead of targets. Internal recruiters have targets too. They are incentivised and often rewarded for the number of jobs they fill per year and the savings in external recruitment costs that they bring to their business. The idea that only external recruitment agencies have targets is a myth. Granted we do all need targets to measure how successful we are however, if truth be told, if I were job hunting, I would rather work with an external recruiter who has built a number of long lasting relationships, has placed lots of candidates in different companies and who would not hesitate to provide a list of recommendations for their work.