The recruitment industry isn’t always viewed fondly. Hundreds of thousands of jobseekers use recruitment agencies every year to help them take that next step in their career, and yet, it’s not unusual to hear complaints about the industry. There is a misconception that all recruiters only care about getting a ‘sale’ – placing their candidates, regardless of their suitability for a role.
Is that really what the public thinks, though? That’s what we decided to find out. Our latest Recruitment Report looks at how trusted the industry is, what candidates want from recruiters, the impact technology is having on service, and much more.
We discovered that 92% of jobseekers trust recruitment agencies, despite their less-than-glowing reputation. This is good news for an industry facing more challenges than ever before.
To discuss these issues, and see what recruitment experts found of the report, we launched our new research at a recruitment panel event. Here are some of the top takeaways.
Increasing demand, decreasing candidates
One of the biggest challenges currently facing the recruitment industry is the lack of candidates available to fill job roles.
“Demand is increasing, but available candidates are decreasing. The candidate shortage isn’t going to disappear,” said Tom Hadley, Director of Policy at the REC.
Barbara Kolosinska, Company Director at C&M Recruitment, argues this isn’t a new challenge. “This has been going on for some time and increasing,” she noted. “We need to be more creative and smarter in how we generate talent.”
A greater focus on customer service
Recruitment businesses can’t help everyone, but with so much competition for quality clients and candidates, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the competition. James Cumming, Managing Direct of Re:find, wants his business to be useful to candidates even if they cannot place them. That means providing helpful materials, such as guides and tools, as well as advice and guidance. After all, that candidate could become a client one day!
“The future of our industry is to become world-class at customer service,” explained Tom. “The jobs market is not going to change.” Tom suggested that if a recruitment agency can’t help someone, they should point them in the direction of someone who can. That way, the candidate still goes away believing they received a great service.
Building trust with independent feedback
Despite the importance of ratings and reviews, few recruiters collect client and candidate feedback. Less than a fifth of respondents told us they’d been asked by a recruitment agency to give feedback on their service. Many of the recruitment agencies that do ask for feedback, are doing it themselves, rather than through an independent source, and the reviews aren’t always public, for fear of receiving negative feedback.
Before signing up to Feefo two years ago, Michael Page collected feedback themselves. “We wanted to work with a platform like Feefo because we wanted something more independent,” Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at PageGroup explained. He noted that one of the biggest differences Michael Page has seen since switching to a trusted reviews platform is the response rate – candidates and clients are more likely to leave feedback, which means greater insight. Nick receives every Feefo review, and ensures action is taken on negative feedback to solve problems and create a better experience for their clients and candidates.
Re:find also uses Feefo reviews to build trust. “As a small firm our biggest challenge is nobody knows who we are,” said James. The first interaction their clients make with their brand, is via LinkedIn or the website. “For us, Feefo is very helpful as the ratings are right at the top of the website.”
AI is here to help, not replace
One of the biggest messages that came out of the recruitment panel is that new emerging technologies shouldn’t be feared but embraced.
Tapping into his pre-recruitment days, Nick explained: “The best programmers of drum machines are drummers, because they know how to drum. You have to embrace the tech rather than think ‘oh my god, it’s the end!’.”
He added that websites like Monster and LinkedIn were once pegged as recruiter replacements, that hasn’t happened. Instead, technology is enabling recruitment consultants to spend more time speaking to clients and candidates.
DeeDee Doke, Editor at Recruiter Magazine, agreed that apps and artificial intelligence (AI) won’t replace humans. “Whether you’re a candidate or a client, at some point you want to have an interaction with a human.”
Download the Feefo Recruitment Report
Find out more about how jobseekers today look for new jobs, what they want in a recruitment agency and how they feel about new technology in the Feefo Recruitment Report. Click the button below to get your copy!