Within the last 10 – 15 years the job market has been completely transformed by the internet. Online application forms and dedicated internet jobs boards have revolutionised the way that job seekers can apply for roles. As such, businesses with vacancies often find themselves inundated with CVs and cover letters whenever they advertise an opportunity. It used to be that applying for a new role was a time consuming process which required serious thought and effort, but in today’s job market it is quite literally as simple as a click on a mouse.
Of course, this has its benefits. The more people that apply, the more likely a company is to find the right person for the job. The more exposure the company can achieve through online jobs boards and social media, the stronger their brand becomes and the more recognisable their business is, in turn meaning that they are more likely to attract the best talent.
However, the ease with which we can now distribute our CVs means that HR Departments and management teams across the world are flooded with irrelevant, unsuitable applicants whenever they open a new vacancy. No matter what kind of qualifications, experience, skill set and characteristics are listed on a job advert, people who do not meet the criteria will always apply. This was undoubtedly true before the digital landscape took control of the job application process, though the magnitude of the problem has grown uncontrollably for many businesses since they took to advertising their roles online.
So why turn to a recruitment agency?
Simply put, specialist recruitment agencies have access to candidates that most ordinary businesses do not. When a company enlists the help of an agency in their hiring process, they are gaining access to experience and expertise that has been honed over the course of a number of years, as well as an extensive network of industry contacts and an array of highly specialised recruitment tools and resources.
Most recruitment companies, for example, will do their utmost to attract the very best talent in their chosen market to work with them on an exclusive basis. For a candidate, they represent the most credible, professional option that they have to find the right role in an increasingly competitive job market. For an employer, they represent the most reliable and efficient means of making contact with the strongest candidates in their field. That’s why, when an agency works with a client and with a candidate on an exclusive basis, they are in an unrivalled position to make the introduction and to manage the hiring process through to a successful conclusion.
Furthermore, recruitment agencies are able to make use of a highly specialised, carefully selected and expensively assembled set of tools and resources. Aside from a professionally trained, highly knowledgeable, specialist consultant, the employer will also gain access to a vast network of industry contacts, a host of online recruiting programmes and an extensive candidate database. Effective use of these resources ensures that a good recruitment agency will not only be able to attract the best active candidates, but also the best passive candidates – those who keep an eye on the job market for any interesting opportunities, but who aren’t necessarily desperate to make a move. It is the latter that most hiring managers want access to, and working with an agency is their best way to ensure they can be reached.
Approaching passive candidates, however, can be damaging to the reputation of a business when they are seen to be poaching the staff of their rivals. Acting as a representative of their organisation, a hiring manager can cause lasting harm to the way that they are perceived when they are seen to approach surreptitiously the best talent among rivals in their field. As such, the discretion that recruitment agencies can offer to their clients is valued just as much as their resources and their technical skills. A recruitment consultant is able to float the possibility of somebody working for one of their exclusive clients – where it might otherwise be difficult to find a way in – without expressly stating who it is they represent and therefore jeopardising the delicate business relationships that exist in their industry.
For these reasons, then, the number of businesses turning to external agencies to handle their recruitment processes is steadily increasing. Large enterprises want guarantees that they will be successful in seeking out and attracting the best talent in the job market to come and work for them. But they just do not have the knowledge, expertise, resources or time to do this themselves.
Agencies can therefore provide them with an unrivalled knowledge of the state of the employment market, partnered with years of experience in attracting and hiring staff within their industry. They have networks of contacts, industry clout and specialised resources that are designed to make it as fast and efficient as possible to find and recruit the best people in their chosen market. All of these factors combine to ensure that the use of a recruitment agency will ultimately save the end employer precious time, making their onboarding process more efficient and freeing up the hands of the hiring managers to continue working on the things that they are best at.