It was a few months ago - lockdown 1.0 (given lockdown versions are our timing point of reference now). We had a client who loved our contractor so much that they wanted them permanently on their team.
Our Consultant began to discuss the fees involved (not being a charity and all!) and the client (who despite being in an industry that had made a bunch of money during Covid) clearly didn’t want to pay another fee said:
“You don’t understand. The world has changed. I have people banging on my doors wanting work. I don’t need recruitment agencies anymore”.
While 99% of clients are not as “upfront” as this one - it is an interesting viewpoint, and likely one that many will have. So, here is why good recruitment agencies can help you right now:
Saves you time (perhaps your sanity!)
Currently, if you place an ad on a job board, you’ll get hundreds of applications within hours. Before you get excited, let me tell you that the majority are not really right, but have high expectations that they are. It is hard to find needles in haystacks normally - but the haystack just got about 5 times bigger. By partnering with an agency, they can deal with the haystack so that you are left with the shiny needles to choose from.
Frees you up to do your job.
Hiring in a recession is tough - everyone that applies expects a response from you and those who really need a job will put a hard sell on you as to why they can do the role. This takes a lot of time - so if you are recruiting yourself, consider it your full time job for a couple of weeks! By investing your time in the part of the process that matters you can free yourself up to get your day job done.
Helps you access the talent you want to hire.
Often the person you want to hire is still in a job and unlikely to be applying for roles on job boards. So, unless you also have the time to proactively recruit (and the ability to do so) - you should get a good recruiter to do the heavy lifting for you. Plus, often it is more comfortable for everyone to have someone in the middle of those conversations, as it's a bit less awkward initially.
Speed to hire.
Recruitment agencies (the decent ones) have good databases, and more importantly already established relationships with the talent you want to hire - they can move quickly. For example, our Accounting & Finance team turned around a Finance Manager 6 month contract shortlist for a mid size manufacturing firm in about 4 hours last week - that's hard to do for a company (let alone a single person recruitment firm), let alone someone who doesn’t recruit full time every day.
Saves brand damage.
Many hiring managers forget that when they are hiring they are also in sales and when a candidate has a bad experience (gets sent your crappy “dear john” email or just plain never heard back) - they remember. And in the future, when they choose to buy your brand or your competition, it is very likely that they will choose the latter. So, by using an agency, your brand can be protected and you can ensure that the recruiters can correctly market you and your role accordingly.
Using an expert reduces the risk of a ‘dud hire’.
No one enjoys making a bad hire - by using an agency, your risk factor goes down dramatically. Using our vast networks and relationships, there are not many people we haven’t heard of or know the background of, so are much more likely to ensure your new hire is a success.
Companies are still hiring!
I know it is unbelievably tough out there for a lot of companies and a lot of people. But many organisations are still hiring. So, please: don’t think that your competition has stopped looking out for good talent, because they haven’t. By partnering with a good recruitment agency, you can not only access the best people, but you can put your best foot forward in the hopes of hiring them.
Recessions are tough, but the rules are the same. The strength of your business depends partially on the strength of your service partners - accountants, lawyers, bankers, marketers - and recruiters.
If the quality of your team and access to talent is important or if reducing your workload or capacity in an already stressful environment is a priority for you - then partnering with a good recruitment agency is essential for you - recession or no recession.