Written by Adam Richardson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Managing Director and Owner of AR Resourcing. Adam has 19 years’ experience recruiting professional and technical disciplines across the built environment industries.
The number of internal recruiters has significantly increased over the past decade - more organisations have them and the teams are better staffed both in terms of quality and quantity. Many internal recruitment teams are every bit as professional and competent as their consultancy counterparts, progressive organisations have realised recruitment is a role in itself and not an add-on activity for HR assistants and managers.
So, what is the role of recruitment consultancies in this modern era? And is it still worth budgeting to use a recruitment consultancy?
As internal recruiters will tell you, finding good candidates isn’t as simple as switching on a tap or doing a quick search on LinkedIn. It is time-consuming. Sadly, for companies, and happily for recruitment consultancies, there will always be peaks and troughs in any organisation’s hiring plan. Using recruitment consultancies to cover peaks inactivity is far more cost-effective than staffing an internal recruitment team to a level where there is the capacity internally to work any and every role all the time.
Internal recruiters are typically expected to work a broad range of roles from marketing to finance, blue-collar roles through to board level positions. No individual can have in-depth knowledge and established a network for that wide a spectrum of roles making the briefing process and the search inefficient. Furthermore, putting candidates with the wrong skill set in front of the hiring manager has a cost – reputationally for the organisation, reputationally for the internal recruitment team and a physical cost of time wasted for everyone involved in the recruitment process. A specialist recruitment consultancy will grasp the nuances of technical roles and is often better able to identify and engage candidates with the right skillset and experience to compare with generalist recruiters ensuring hiring managers’ time is well spent.
SPEED AND CHOICE COMBINED
Specialist recruitment companies will have a team of recruiters actively looking for candidates in their niche as well as a database of opted-in candidates. Their consultants will be immersed in the sector, actively maintaining networks and targeting the best candidates. They will spend years developing relationships with top talent and those candidates will rely on their recruiters to flag up any opportunity which is a good fit for them culturally, technically and for their personal development. This means that not only will a recruitment consultancy be able to find the hiring manager a choice of appropriate candidates quickly, maximising the chances that all candidates will still be available at the offer stage, but also the calibre of those candidates is often higher.
Finding unicorns (candidates with an incredibly rare skillset and/or experience) is time-consuming and for an internal recruiter 99% of the effort is wasted as candidates who don’t meet the criteria will typically be a pointless “byproduct”. However, for the recruitment consultant, the “byproduct” may be of interest to other clients and therefore a valuable revenue source making the project worthwhile.
Recruitment consultancies will be working across multiple clients and an even greater number of candidates. This provides insights into market trends that are hard for internal recruiters to match. A recruitment company should be able to help you with salary benchmarking, understanding best practice retention strategies, a knowledge of which companies or divisions are hiring or shrinking, which skills are becoming increasingly scarce etc.
The rise of in-house recruitment teams has been a good thing for the recruitment sector. It has driven up standards and got rid of many of the cowboys who gave recruiters a bad name. Ongoing competition and collaboration with in-house teams will continue to drive improvements on both sides of the fence which can only be a good thing for candidates and our paymasters.
We know that so long as we remain focussed on pushing ourselves to deliver even better service, organisations will continue to be happy to pay us a fair rate for the value we add and we will continue to be able to choose which clients we work with.