Recruitment Agencies: How Useful Are They?


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In 2016, the UK recruitment industry grew 9% and increased its value to £35.1 billion — and of the 23,980 registered agencies, 9,565 have more than £250,000 turnover every year. It’s clear that recruitment business is booming right now, but just how useful is it? Are recruitment agencies a worthwhile investment?

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as of August 2017, there were also 8.81 million people who were unemployed and not actively seeking or available for work. However, there were approximately 1.44 million people in the UK who were unemployed but actively seeking or available to work. This figure was 52,000 fewer than figures up to May 2017 and over 215,000 fewer than the year previous. Could recruitment agencies be partly responsible for this progressive improvement?

Badgemaster, supplier of button badges, investigates:

When applying for a job, an employer’s first impression of a candidate is long before the interview. The average time spent looking at a CV is five to seven seconds, one spelling or grammar mistake and your CV will be thrown away. Furthermore, 76% of CVs are ignored if your email address is unprofessional.

At interview stage, it is just as important to continue to give a great impression. Although the average interview is expected to last around 40 minutes, 33% of hiring managers admit that they know whether they would hire the candidate or not within the first 90 seconds.

It is also important for a company to impress during the hiring process, too. A positive hiring process is the best way to make a great impression to candidates — with more than half of employers (56%) reporting that a candidate rejected their job offer in 2012. According to Collingwood Search, 56% of candidates who felt they had a positive hiring process experience said they would seek employment with the company again in the future, 37% would tell others to apply there, and 23% would be more likely to purchase products or services from that company.

So how can recruitment agencies help? According to Collingwood Search, in 2016, there were six million job openings, however, 80% of them were never advertised. Recruitment agencies advertise positions on behalf of you — and have access to a database of candidates looking for jobs like yours. Social media is a great, free way to advertise vacancies — 93% of recruitment companies use social media to assist with the recruitment process.

When advertised correctly, on average, around 118 people apply for any given job, but just 20% of those applicants get to the interview stage. For an employer, or hiring manager, that is a lot of CVs to read through and find suitable candidates for interviews. Recruitment agencies act as a middle man between you and a candidate, meaning they can ‘weed out’ the candidates they believe to be unsuitable — saving you valuable time.

The average permanent recruitment consultant places around 21 individuals in jobs a year — and in 2014 alone, 600,000 people found new, permanent jobs through a recruitment agency. According to new data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the industry helped almost one million people find a permanent job in 2016/17 — generating around £4 billion. The temporary employment rate is significantly higher, generating £28.2 billion from temporary placements in the same period of time — with the average temporary placement lasting around 17 weeks.

Recruitment agencies are an investment to many companies — most recruitment agencies will take a percentage of the hired employee’s salary if the vacancy is successfully filled. The amount they charge depends on the annual salary of the vacancy. However, the investment saves you time in the hiring process, gets your vacancies access to some of the top job boards, and in front of the right candidates for the job. You must ask yourself, which is more valuable to you: time or money?

The recruitment industry is growing year on year — and with expert knowledge in the department, it could be the key to finding you the best candidates for the vacancies in your company. Whilst recruitment agencies can be expensive, it is an investment that could make your company a better version of itself today — remember that without the right staff, your business could actually be losing money. It is important to invest in your most important assets — your staff!



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