As employment trends continue to shift with both permanent and contract jobs on the increase, it seems that the recruitment industry is expanding to help meet that demand. Last year saw the highest number of newly launched recruitment agencies on record, according to data obtained by Clearly PR & Marketing Communications in January this year and a review again in May showed that although at a slower pace, that growth is continuing: http://www.clearlypr.co.uk/recruitment-industry-growth-continues/
The data reveals that "4,529 new recruitment businesses were registered between January and December 2016 – an increase of 13.7%, up from 3,984 over the same period in 2015." Whilst so far in 2017, 900 recruitment agencies have set up which "brings the total number of recruitment agencies in the UK to a record-high of 27,788 – a three-fold increase since January 2012, and a rise of 18,158 in just five years."
In a Competitive Market, not Everyone Plays Fair
Recruitment is a fast-paced industry and driven by high numbers of quick turnarounds -as soon as jobs come in, they need to be filled. Unfortunately, this puts a lot of pressure on the consultants that work for these recruitment agencies and this can lead to bad practice as consultants resort to using 'creative' tactics to hit their numbers.
A popular tactic that frustrates both candidates and companies, is for recruitment agencies to claim to have a relationship with a client that they aren't actually working for at all. The consultant will look around for available jobs on company sites, post them on their recruitment agency site as if they are recruiting for that client. Good candidates will then send their applications to the agency thinking they are applying for the job. The recruitment consultant contacts the hiring company saying they have a number of strong candidates interested in their vacancy. Unfortunately, in most of these cases, the company refuses to look at the applications because they would prefer to recruit themselves. The candidates lose out here because they think they have applied for the role but instead end up losing the opportunity to apply altogether.
Not put off, some consultants then sometimes send the good CVs they have received from this fake job posting, off to companies on their list without the candidate's permission or even knowledge. That personal information is owned by the candidate, not by the agent yet suddenly the candidate has no control over how they are being presented and to whom. Their CV won't have been tailored to that particular vacancy and so this could damage their chances of applying to jobs independently or through other agencies because the company has already seen the non-tailored CV.
Companies too get frustrated with those recruitment agencies who clearly show they don't understand the roles they're recruiting for. Some agencies don't do enough or even any background work on the candidates they contact. They don't cover the basics like ensuring that they are working in a similar industry or role that they are trying to fill or that the skill level matches (are they junior or experienced for example), sending inappropriate jobs to candidates and speculative candidates to companies, is frustrating for everyone.
Bad Practices Tarnish the Recruitment Industry Image
Whilst these tactics start off as 'creative' they seem to easily lead to misleading behaviour and this puts the relationship and trust between the recruitment agency and their clients and candidates in jeopardy. This in turn, gives recruitment agencies a bad reputation and whilst this behaviour is by no means industry-wide, nevertheless the recruitment industry as a whole gets a bad name, sadly affecting how all recruitment agencies are perceived and meaning the good agencies are getting lost.
Commenting on those figures published in January this year, showing the recruitment industry to be performing well, Paul Mackenzie-Cummins, managing director of Clearly PR & Marketing Communications, advises "But to stay ahead in the ever-increasingly competitive recruitment landscape, recruitment business owners need to consider how they are perceived and positioned in their market. Gone are the days when agencies could rely on their 'name' or track record of success to help win new clients and candidates. Today, savvy recruiters are those who understand the need to be seen and heard by the right people, in the right way and at the right time." https://www.recruitment-international.co.uk/blog/2017/01/over-4000-new-recruitment-businesses-registered-in-2016
Good Agencies Can Finally Stand out from the Crowd
There are a lot of good recruitment agencies out there that genuinely enjoy what they do and are good at it. They provide a valuable service to both candidates and clients and thrive off the fast-paced nature of the job using, honest, inventive and resourceful ways of securing new business whilst placing their relationship of trust at the core. But with the bad experiences sticking in people's minds, how can we govern the misleading practices and enable these good agencies to stand out so that candidates can choose them?
Rated Recruitment is a unique, new job board comparison site, where candidates can compare recruitment agencies and agencies can post jobs to the candidates they need - all in one place.
Here, the attentiveness of all those good agencies that work hard to understand a candidate's motivations, history and aspirations, will be noticed. The consultant that is open and supportive during the entire process and doesn't push you towards something that might not be in your best interest, will be praised. And the agency that listens to and remembers every client /candidate to ensure the highest likelihood of a successful match, will be trusted.
Why? Because at Rated Recruitment, recruitment agencies are rated by candidates on key areas such as; the amount of work they provide, the rate of pay they secure for them etc. In effect, they're promoting the good agencies; if they're blown away by good customer service, they'll let other candidates know. Word of mouth in a trusted community is powerful promotion and will help those hard-working agencies get noticed. Recruitment agencies have the chance to respond to each of their reviews, giving the opportunity to address any candidate concerns and reassure them. Here once again good agencies can stand out and show they're listening and that they're working for them.
Rated Recruitment has become the ideal place for candidates to start their job search, as they can find several agencies without searching around and can then compare them. With so many registered, recruitment agencies can post to candidates they might not otherwise have access to, ensuring that the good agencies are reaching a wider audience. The agencies can pitch to this wider candidate audience through their agency profile, giving an insight into the agency. This introduction lets candidates know how they can help them and why they should choose that agency.
A Move to Govern the Recruitment Agency
We're not suggesting you're going to run into unscrupulous recruiters at every turn, far from it. But by candidates sharing their experiences of recruitment agencies they've worked with, it makes it easier to distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly. Rated Recruitment was set up to let the hard work of good recruitment agencies speak for itself through reviews and ratings. With their agency profile agencies can promote who they are and what they do and get noticed more easily. That way we can enable more people to benefit from their services and eventually, connect more people with great opportunities, making it easier all around for the candidate, recruitment agency and the employer.