How agencies’ lack of dedication is hurting smaller clients

BY THE TALENTDASH TEAM | January 25, 2017

The life of an agency recruiter is a busy one but is a lack of dedication towards individual candidates and clients affecting their business? And could this be the reason that smaller clients find it increasingly difficult to find good candidates?

A couple of weeks ago we discussed how a candidate-centric recruitment process could benefit both the candidate and the company hiring. The post seemed to hit a nerve, and after some great feedback, we started to look a little deeper into the various ways that candidates and clients feel that recruiters could improve their lot.

One of the chief complaints we came across is the agency recruiter’s lack of dedication not only towards their candidates but also their clients. But why is this happening? Surely everyone in the business understands that candidates and clients all deserve their consideration in equal measure. So what seems to be the problem?

The Cause
We’re all human, and yes that includes recruiters who often put in superhuman efforts to place right people in the right job. So as humans we can only do so much, and with just 24-hours in a day it is sometimes necessary to prioritize one task over another, bump one client to the head of the queue, or leave one candidate waiting.

The ability to prioritize accurately is a skill that often leads to disgruntled clients and candidates who don’t understand why they rarely see positive results if they see any at all. And usually, this boils down to one thing; money.

A recruitment agency is a business, and when a business faces a decision, their bottom line is often the deciding factor. Take the two hypothetical clients below as an example.

A. Large multinational company
Huge recruitment budget
Higher salaries/commissions
A lot of potential for further job placements

B. Small to medium sized locally owned business
Less money to invest in hiring process
Lower salaries/commissions 
Unlikely to have more than 1-2 job placements per year

A good recruiter will dedicate just as much time and effort to client B as they do to client A but when push comes to shove, which it invariably does, they may have to choose one over the other. Every business school in existence would recommend following the money and unfortunately for client B that is what often occurs.

The Effect 
While this can leave many candidates feeling frustrated, it’s usually the small to medium sized business (client B) that feels the worst of the situation. 

Those that express an interest in a position with client B will have no hope of securing the position if their recruiter is more focused on client A. However, they are in the enviable position of being hireworthy. In fact, the recruiter may try to push the candidate towards companies of client A’s size and significant financial muscle. It might not be an ideal situation for the candidate, but at least there is still the chance of employment. 

Client B, on the other hand, is left with a growing sense of abandonment. They invested heavily (considering their size) and have yet to see any results. These smaller clients don’t have money to waste and as such, feel extremely let down by the whole recruitment experience. What other options are available to them? Should they hire another recruiter and invest in some more ads? Or should they cut out the middle man and hire their own staff? 

The Solution 
Fortunately for a candidate, the solution is simple; keep looking for other jobs. The client, however, doesn’t have it quite so easy. 

In an ideal world the recruitment agency in question would quickly realize that ethically speaking, they made a rather large mistake in ignoring their client. They would then work double-quick to find a solution and put forward suitable candidates for interview. 

But this isn’t an ideal world. 

In reality, there are three options for the jilted client.
1. Restart their recruitment drive with a new agency
2. Manage the recruitment process in-house
3. Give up

Okay, we’re obviously joking about giving up so let’s take a closer look at the first two options.

Hiring a new agency
This is a path of uncertainty. Who’s to say that the next agency or even the one after that won’t take the same approach as the original inattentive recruiter?

This approach will also cost more money and a hell of a lot more time and considerable effort. From finding the new agency to briefing them on the position and company’s ethos, the hiring process will undoubtedly feel like it’s lasting a lifetime.

The advantages, though, are that once the initial briefing stage is over, the client no longer has to worry about the recruitment drive. And if the new agency puts in the effort, finding the perfect candidate is a distinct possibility.

Unfortunately for some, there are too many ‘ifs’ involved here.

Managing the recruitment process in-house
For larger companies, this is a given but for smaller companies with fewer resources, hiring an in-house recruiter simply doesn’t make sense at all. From a financial point of view, it’s better to train current staff to manage the recruitment process.

Administrative staff can sort through the resumes, replying to initial emails while management level staff can help narrow down the list of candidates to those with potential. They can then oversee the initial interview stage themselves. If second interviews are necessary, then c-level staff can take part as they would often do if an agency handled the recruitment drive.

The downside though is that much of this process takes time and the company will inevitably have to pull staff from current projects to focus their efforts on recruitment.

This is where a talent scanning platform such as TalentDash can help a company immeasurably.

Hiring managers, while undeniably good at their jobs, may still lack the right training (and the time, especially when the organization is in a rapid growing stage) to identify potential candidates from a sea of resumes and social media profiles. This is particularly true if those hiring managers are new to the role or industry. But in a talent scanning platform, they have an easy to use tool that will help them create a talent pool from which they can take their pick.

A further benefit would be the collation of potential candidates’ data regardless of whether they are hired or not. This data will give the company a head start when they next begin a recruitment drive and allow them to build a stronger recruitment strategy and ultimately make better decisions.

Both the option of using a recruitment agency and having an in-house recruiter have their pros and cons, but in a world where once bitten means twice shy, we guess that many companies like client B would choose to go it alone and manage the hiring process themselves.

Regardless of using an agency or in-house recruiter, why not  with TalentDash to have a headstart with an overview of the TalentPool. Not only is it free to create an account, you will also have a free preview of 8 candidates of your 1st search. Don’t wait and #MakeThatDash with us now!

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