recruitment marketing

Will the 21st century see the death of the traditional recruitment agent?

By May 10, 2016 No Comments

Join the debate at our breakfast event on 25th May when we bring together an expert panel to discuss the future of recruitment.

Times are changing when it comes to finding and recruiting the best talent. We’re all familiar with the well-worn path trodden by many organisations over the past few decades: post the job details on the company’s website; place an advert in a relevant newspaper, trade magazine or job board; engage the services of one or more recruitment agents to spread their net far and wide; and wait for the applications to roll in.

While gripes about the cost of these services and the suitability of some candidates weren’t uncommon, it’s a model that worked relatively well for organisations. This was particularly the case when the scales were tipped in the employers’ favour during times of economic turbulence and job insecurity. And it’s certainly a system that worked well for recruitment agents, who have gone about that task with varying levels of commitment to client and candidate satisfaction.

The people who have been let down most often by the traditional recruitment model are the candidates themselves.  All too often, prospective employees have found themselves unable to have a useful dialogue with employers. Stories abound of people being shoehorned into inappropriate roles, or shut out from positions they were more than capable of filling because they didn’t fit a recruiter’s ideal vision of the right candidate. It’s a situation that many jobseekers are no longer willing to tolerate, and a large number of employers are very much on the same page.

Businesses have to work harder to demonstrate why they’re an employer of choice

Welcome to an employee’s market

In our blog last week, we talked about the fact that communication between businesses and their audiences has evolved, from one-way dissemination of brand messages to a two-way dialogue. This shift is the result of increased access to powerful technology and online social platforms that have provided unparalleled access to company information and other stakeholders’ opinions.

Today’s jobseekers can get an accurate picture of an organisation’s culture and working practices without ever speaking to company spokesperson. They can read anonymous reviews from current employees on sites like Glassdoor, view branded content on various channels and interact with the business via social media. At the same time, the recent economic upturn has led to greater job security and more vacancies. It’s no wonder that jobseekers are increasingly picky about the roles they will consider, leading to reports that two third of companies are receiving fewer applications than they did a year ago and three quarters are struggling to fill vacancies.

In this employee’s market, businesses have to work harder to demonstrate why they’re an employer of choice. From career sites and blogs to employee value propositions and employer brand videos, organisations are finding numerous ways to produce and share content that communicates strong messages about why they’re a great place to work. Add to that the fact that many businesses have realised it’s often cheaper and more effective to foster direct relationships with prospective candidates via social media and you have a perfect storm for the traditional recruitment agent.

The one constant in this world is change

Is there still a place for external recruiters?

Disruption of age-old industries isn’t anything new. From the weavers and spinners who lost their jobs in the industrial revolution to the upheaval being wrought on the taxi industry by digital upstart Uber, the one constant in this world is change. The question now is whether recruitment agents can adapt to this new environment and find a way of offering real value to businesses and jobseekers alike. Or will they be cut out of the loop as technology allows companies to take greater control of the recruitment process?

That’s the question we’ll be debating at a breakfast event we’re hosting on 25th May 2016. We’ve brought together a balanced panel representing every angle of this topical and contentious discussion, chaired by HR Journalist of the Year Jo Faragher:

Meet the panellists:

  • Angela Hood, CEO of ThisWay Global – an international high-tech start-up providing businesses and individuals with affordable, diverse hiring solutions
  • Neil Dickens, co-founder of Intellectual Capital Recruitment – a specialist recruitment agency with contacts and offices around the world
  • Laura Wigley, global director of learning & talent at The Dorchester Collection – the luxury hotel chain using employer branding and social media to attract top talent
  • Joe Wiggins, head of communications for Europe at Glassdoor – the world’s fastest growing jobs and recruitment website

I’m the fifth panellist, offering my thoughts from the perspective of a creative agency that’s working closely with a number of clients to develop their employer brand and recruitment content strategy.

This central London event kicks off at 8.30am with breakfast and networking, and we’re expecting a lively debate when the panel takes the stage at 9am.

If you’d like to find out more about what the next few years might hold in store for talent managers and recruiters, or you have strong views to air on this topic, then sign up and join us on the day.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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