Adding Value to the Recruitment Process

Written by Sanderson Recruitment | Blog | Posted 13/08/2012

For those of us in the recruitment industry, how many times have you heard clients say 'if only they added more value” or “it would be useful if you provided a service that gave us more than just a CV”.

“Same old, same old”, I hear you say, but surely they do have a point? Using a recruitment agency is expensive for almost any business and at the end of the day a client has a right to demand a lot more than just a CV and a ‘bum on a seat’.

The reality is that most recruiters would love to do more than just provide the CV and the potential bum on a seat. Most recruiters would like to understand much more about the client organisation, the department, the type of work they are likely to undertake, the culture of the organisation and the candidate prospects. Most recruiters, I believe, would want to effectively screen their candidates, offer genuine career advice and be the Consultant that their job title suggests.

Within my own organisation Resource Solutions Group Plc (RSG) we recently undertook an independent and comprehensive analysis into perceptions of the recruitment industry and the messages were very similar – a huge opportunity exists for recruitment organisations to set themselves apart from the crowd.

The research showed that there is a negative perception of recruitment agencies and that some clients feel that the agency offerings are largely indistinguishable from each other, as summed up by this quote: “They all promise you the earth and tell you how they are unique and can solve all of your problems, but they can’t. They work in the same way and deliver the same solution.”

According to the research, many clients perceive that if an agency had a better understanding of their industry, company culture and their existing workforce, they could improve their sourcing procedures. This would allow them to submit more refined lists of candidates, reducing the time that clients are required to input into the selection process.

So why is there such an obvious disconnect between agency and client, after all we appear to want the same?

Enter the ‘Business Prevention Officers’ or those that manage the PSL! How can an agency provide an effective service when one of the client metrics is “we will deal with the agency that gets the CV to us first”. Isn’t this point alone contrary to the idea of providing a full and comprehensive service?

So, if I spend my time properly screening my candidates; clearly understanding their requirements, goals and ambitions; ensure that all the facts are correct and provide a genuine short list of people who can do the job and more importantly will fit into the culture of the client workplace – there is a high probability that a competitor agency will already have “specked” in some hastily sourced CVs before I could do any of this time-consuming but important background work. In this market a candidate is not likely to turn down an interview from any source.

Add to this another scenario: the client runs a very large PSL tightly managed by HR. You are not allowed to speak to the recruiting line manager or anyone in the HR function. You get a standard job specification and a rough guide to salary package. You send CVs into an automated system (or black hole) where the only feedback comes if you are lucky enough to get your candidate an interview – no feedback whatsoever on the unsuccessful applications. If you were a candidate going through this process what would you think? Finally your performance is then measured on an Excel spreadsheet! Brilliant!

Unusual? Not at all. Sadly we see too many organisations using these ineffective processes for bringing talent into an organisation because they think an automated system and having no allegiance to one supplier means they have control.

A good recruitment organisation should work in partnership with a client to understand their processes, structure and culture. I understand that agencies must deliver real value to be regarded as a ‘partner’ not a ‘supplier’, so in order for us to step up to the play, we need clients to remove the barriers and give us the opportunity to deliver.

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