The recruitment industry faces a plethora of challenges in modern day society, with high levels of competition between recruitment companies vying for new candidates. For prospective recruitment agencies, it is important to know how to handle these challenges and rise above the competition.
But just what are these issues? And how can they be tackled?
It’s a Saturated Market
Put simply, there are a lot of recruiters and a lot of recruitment agencies. The market is highly saturated with many businesses competing against each other for the same resources.
Recent studies have suggested that the recruitment industry is rapidly growing, with more than 37,000 recruitment companies in the UK alone. Coupled with an apparent talent shortage, the candidate pool is stretched thin across these multiple recruitment agencies.
Certain Sectors Face a Talent Shortage
According to ManpowerGroup, half of all large businesses in the UK report difficulty in recruiting. This is a staggering number and one that seems to be echoed across the entire recruitment industry.
A significant number of recruiters list a talent shortage as their primary adversary in securing new candidates, and a rise in recruitment agencies only makes this issue worse.
Peter Capelli writes that in the US, a lack of candidates with the skills employers want can be put down to the dynamic and ever-evolving world of business; the environment is constantly shifting, and candidates may not be keeping up.
This is particularly evident in business technology, where candidates trained in some software techniques may find their education outdated once new technologies are implemented.
So, with potentially less candidates and more agencies competing for them – how can the modern business recruit more successfully?
Tackling the Problem; Adapting Flexibility
While many employers will quote a talent shortage as the main issue faced by recruiters, Forbes’ Liz Ryan argues that this is not the case. Ryan believes it is employers who are missing the mark, and not doing enough to secure new talent. She makes the point that, for some employers, it may be easier to bemoan about talent shortages, rather than train competent and intelligent individuals who may not necessarily have direct experience in that sector.
Building on that point, recruitment agencies can significantly boost their productivity if they hire in a more intuitive manner. The notion of ‘the perfect candidate’ may sometimes be unrealistic, and not a true reflection of the talent available that could adequately fit the role.
Recruiters may need to be more flexible with their expectations in order to succeed. Recognizing potential is much more important than focusing on experience, and more success may be had in identifying talent that has the ability and drive to learn the skills they may be missing.
Adapting to Modern Day
A vast amount of engagement is now done online, and social media facilitates the chance to actively seek out new talent. Positive, guided social media campaigns can encourage the right people to apply.
Creating informative and engaging blog posts is a strong way of demonstrating to candidates that you can offer advice and are thought leaders in your field. Candidate testimonial pieces are particularly strong in offering social proof to potential candidates, proving that you have placed people in great roles which they are happy in.
The modern-day recruitment agency needs to be savvy and active, to stand out from the crowd. With so many agencies to pick from, the choice is with the prospective employee; recruiters need to acknowledge this and strive to draw recruits in.
Adapting Public Perception
According to stats published by IBM, 58% of candidates who had a negative experience with a recruitment company said they would not apply again in the future. It is perfectly plausible to expect these candidates to pass on negative reviews to others, which may affect future recruitment success.
Public perception matters. It is what initially spurs someone to either engage with or avoid an agency. If people perceive a company negatively, it can be very difficult to win them over.
Strong public perception is driven by doing the little things. Polite and courteous communication is essential, and it is always good practice to keep candidates up to date. A red flag for many potential recruits is a recruiter who does not respond in a timely manner.
In Conclusion – Rise Above
Recruiters are finding it harder than ever to discover reliable sources of new, skilled talent. Some industries face a shortage, and an oversupply of recruiters makes the sector incredibly competitive.
The power is in the hands of the recruit; they have the opportunity to pick and choose between agencies, and this is what should drive a recruiter’s approach.
Being open and more flexible with expectations allows a recruiter to consider talent that may be overlooked. Again, potential is a valuable asset – the ‘perfect’ candidate may not exist, but someone with the capacity to become one over time likely does.
Engaging with recruits and maintaining a positive public perception can go a long way to securing new business. It’s a competitive market; but with the right strategy, any recruiter can rise above the competition.
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James Craigmillar writes for Inspiring Interns & Graduates, the UKs leading graduate recruitment agency.