What clients REALLY want.

This is what clients REALLY want from a recruiter.

The truth is that clients are deserting the recruitment industry in droves.  In many cases they are cynical about our value and skeptical about our ability to deliver anything they can’t get themselves. As we are all aware, they are building sophisticated systems, and hiring internal recruiting experts, specifically to cut out third-party recruiters. And the impact is real and being felt everywhere.

The RIB Report in Australia shows recruitment agency profits declining. The Plimsoll report in the UK tells us 20% of recruitment businesses are losing money, and half of those are on the “critical’ list.

So what is it that clients WILL pay us for? What do they actually want?

This video interview, with Greg Savage and Ted Elliot, CEO of recruitment ATS system, Jobscience gives us a lucid insight

Key points include

  • Clients are looking for something different to what they were previously prepared to pay for.
  • The overriding issue is access to unique talent. Corporates will use a niche recruiting firm, with proven methods to get hidden gems they can’t find themselves. The easily found candidate is not what they will pay a recruitment company for. Scrumming with five other agencies in a résumé race to represent the best of the job board-sourced candidates is not a business model that continues to work. Recruiters need to be expert at talent identification.
  • Recruiters need to build a talent community, including an integrated social media and digital marketing network so they can build a strong employer brand, engage with talent and can access people before they are ready to move.
  • While they don’t even realise it yet, in the context of massive skills shortages looming, clients will pay for the ‘the human element’ provided by recruitment companies with highly evolved skills in the craft of recruitment. There will be a premium for recruiters who have the ability to bring highly sought after talent to the hiring table. In other words, finding a person is one thing, but recruiting them, managing them and getting them to an interview with your client is a whole different skill set, as is the skill to negotiate the inevitable counter-offer.

What do you think?  What do clients want from the industry? What will they pay for? Please have your say in the ‘comments’ section.


About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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34 Responses to This is what clients REALLY want from a recruiter.

  1. Dennis November 26, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    It may be harsh, but I can tell you unequivocally as once being a job seeker and an employer and an employing manager, that recruitment agents are (usually, most unfortunately) quite incapable of recognising talent.

    They seem to be able to forward a Pepsi Rep as a candidate for Coke Rep position, which any algorithm via a job board can do to – hence the above-mentioned problem. In 30 years, I have NEV
    ER met a recruiter who actually knows how to interview.

    They are very good at efficiently finding a reason to recommend or not to recommend, which is usually just ex-post facto rationalisation of their initial snap judgment. Ironically, they consider that a skill and something acquired with experience.

    I realise this is a broad brush, and to be perfectly frank, I haven’t been interviewed in many years and never by the founder/principal – and all too often by what appears to be a young backpacker passing through. (And good on them for having a go.)

    So I guess this fall out is a predictable and deserved consequence of many years of incompetence. The exact same fate is befalling all AGENCY-businesses in many sectors, and it comes down to that root issue: What does the customer really want?

    The good ones will figure it out soon enough and the rest will become roadkill.

    • Alan Allebone November 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm #


      Please do not tar everyone with the same brush!

      Yes in my 38 years in recruiting I have met some but NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME Dennis.

      That is unfair and uncalled for.

    • William November 15, 2014 at 7:10 am #

      What absolute ‘tosh’ Dennis. “Deleted

  2. Phil N November 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Dennis – “In 30 years, I have NEVER met a recruiter who actually knows how to interview.” Really? Why do these blogs always attract dramatic trolls blaming their unemployment on recruiters. We are in the tail end of a worldwide recession and this has a large part to do with it. If companies aren’t growing, they aren’t hiring, and there’s plenty of candidates around. Once companies start growing again (hopefully!) and the candidates dry up then Clients won’t be quite so fussy and awkward, they will want the best candidate as quickly as possible before they take one of the other 3 offers they have on the table. Things have changed in the recruitment industry that are permanent but times are tough in all industries.

    • Joanne November 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Phil, I totally agree with you. All valid points.

  3. Jeremy Sanderson November 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    I’ve been in recruitment for around 14 years, running teams and recruitment companies. I know plenty of incredibly talented and professional recruiters with great integrity and a geniune drive to improve themselves and their game. Dennis is very wide of the mark. Of course it goes without saying that there are plenty of no-hopers and losers in our industry too, but recruiting is very Darwinian. Those who adapt to changes in the recruiting environment will ultimately survive and prosper. Those who don’t adapt don’t last long. Greg is right on the money with his comment about the need to create and sustain unique candidate pools. Clients are less and less willing to pay for candidates they can easily find for themselves, but this is still, and always will be a place in the market for those who add value by true consulting and skilled negotiation, resulting in good hires for the client. The concept that people won’t pay for something they can get for free is rubbish. Just look at iTunes! The point is about how you add value and make the clients’ job easier. Take their pain away, become a valued resource for them and they’ll happily part with their cash for the pleasure of doing business with you!

  4. Bobby Benson November 26, 2013 at 11:45 pm #


    Great point well made and given you have double the amount of experience I do, I certainly couldn’t have put it better myself. Recruitment IS Darwinian, that’s the word!

    Greg – thanks for the great blog as usual.


  5. Dennis November 27, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    So everyone with an opinion is now a troll?
    1. I did say it was a ‘broad brush’ generalisation.
    2. I did NOT say everyone was incompetent, just the ones I have met.
    3. I am not unemployed or looking.

    Coincidentally I found this quote today in a fabulous piece on “The Atlantic” no less:

    A mountain of scholarly literature has shown that the intuitive way we now judge professional potential is rife with snap judgments and hidden biases, rooted in our upbringing or in deep neurological connections that doubtless served us well on the savanna but would seem to have less bearing on the world of work.

    Maybe not so wide off the mark, right?

    • Phil March 26, 2014 at 1:38 am #


      Engage with me and I will change your mind by one, I have written a book on the Psychology of the interview, and all the way the brain discriminates and how to combat this in the interview.

      I use the technique with my candidates to prepare. I advise my clients how to interview
      and make decisions,

      I am a recruiter.

  6. Neil November 27, 2013 at 10:32 am #


    Three questions, for the benefit of all the readers here:

    (1) In your 30 years, about how many recruiters have you met?
    (2) Of these recruiters, how many have you actually sat with during their interviews?
    (3) What is your expertise in interviewing

    I think the issue here is a broad brush statement which paints recruiters with (a negative) “one size fits all” when in fact it comes across as unfair and not balanced. Some facts may help round out the contentions made.

    I look forward to a response in this forum.

    Neil (Brisbane)

  7. Emma November 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Hi Dennis

    I am so sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with recruiters. Unfortunately we do have a bad reputation out there and its a battle we face every day when building relationships with our clients and explaining to them (as well as showing them) the real value that we can and do add.

    Re interview skills, I think you are right in some respects. I am a medical recruiter but I do not have a medical background. This means that I absolutely cannot assess clinical competency. What I can do however is manage the process working in partnership with my clients to recruit the best person for the job. I have sat on many interview panels alongside my clients and offered them advice on motivation, culture fit etc

    There is so much more to a great candidate than a technical (or clinical) skill. Experience counts for nothing if you have been doing the same thing badly for years (I am sure there is a Greg Savage blog about this somewhere)

    I genuinely hope you have a better experience down the line with a good recruiter.
    I personally love my job and am very proud of what we do.


    • Andy January 8, 2014 at 8:17 am #


      I couldn’t agree with you more. I am an IT recruiter and have to fight the battle everyday to prove that I am credible. I too have worked with some great clients who have allowed me to listen in on interviews, which has had a huge impact on my ability to do my job. I still have limited knowledge around how to write code, the intricacies of software development, or what it takes to be a great network admin… however I do have a better understanding of what my client is looking for.

      I believe recruiting should be a true partnership between the client and the recruiter / recruiting firm. Too often in my brief (less than a year) experience, I witness the lack of any type of partnership. Clients give no feedback on candidates that didn’t get the job (except that they didn’t get the job), and recruiters over-coach and over-prepare candidates for what they can expect. I’d much rather be in a partnership with my client, whereby I am not just recruiting, but am also doing the initial screening/filtering of the people that I know the client doesn’t want. I shouldn’t feel the need to coach or prepare someone for an interview if I’ve done my job in that regard.

  8. Clarke November 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I think leave Dennis alone. If that is his opinion that is OK. I think I know what he is saying and hes right. Recruiters dont interview to the same depth or ability of a hiring manager (IT Manager, Project Manager, Dev Manager). How could they. That isnt their job (in most cases). Their role is to do screening to a certain level. Its up to the client to take that deeper. If we could interview to the same depth then we would probably be IT Managers and not recruiters. Where I think he is wrong tho is to underestimate the gut feeling a recruiter gets and how important that is. Believe me that is a skill. Ive seen enough junior recruiters to know it comes only with time.

  9. Warwick November 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    I totally get where Dennis is coming from, in my experience with recruiters the bad outweigh the good, and there is a significant amount of mediocrity. I judge this in my time as a hiring manager and candidate.
    And therein lies the reasoning for me becoming a recruiter, to be a true value add for my clients and rise above what is currently on offer.
    I serve a niche market (construction sales) based on my experience and skills and offer my clients a specific talent pool targeted towards their skill requirement. I am gaining clients and getting repeat business and the formula is not far removed from Greg’s blog.

    • Freyja White November 28, 2013 at 6:24 am #

      Thank you Warwick – agree with your comments. I also work in a niche market and know I add value to both my clients and candidates. Some of my best candidates come from referrals from successful candidate placements who are generous with their confidence in their ability to trust I will listen to their wish list and bring them a realistic better job.

      For me the key to interviewing is to “know your product” then listen and probe until you get a clear picture to weigh and balance both client and candidate needs. Yes, I see the market getting tougher as the boomers retire and leave a smaller candidate market to work with – but for those of us who keep improving our recruiting skills – this will work in our favor on both sides of the table.

  10. Miguel Adams November 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Sure any job board algorithm can pull out a Pepsi Rep candidate for a Coke Rep opportunity but it isn’t going to give you any real insight into the person behind the name.

    What are their real reasons for leaving? What does their ideal next role look like? Are they looking for just another job or career progression? Are they driven by money or opportunity? Do they prefer working for large multinationals or SMEs? What did they most enjoy/dislike about previous roles? What soft skills do they bring to the table? If they had identical offers paying the same, what factors would influence them towards one or the other?

    This is just a snippet of the kind of questions a decent recruiter should be asking. The exact nature of the questions will be driven by the job brief: by this I mean a frank and honest conversation about the skills required to do the job yes, but also the personality and disposition which aligns best with the department or corporate roadmap – not some flimsy “spec” containing a few buzzwords ready to be fed into a job board algorithm.

  11. Cindy November 28, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Greg – always enjoy yor blogs and generally agree. With a 60% reduction in recruiters resulting from the ‘great recession’ here in the U.S., it’s amazing how many people/agencies have jumped back in the game.

    I have been in the business for 30 years (started at 10!). I’m a niche sole proprieter. In tough economic times companies large and small resist paying fees. Currently, clients are paying retainers for specialty searches. The value they expect from me:

    1. trust
    2. results they can’t source on their own
    3. consultative relationship – not sales
    4. honesty
    5. mutual respect

  12. Brian Kevin Johnston November 28, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Bingo… INFLUENCE And PERSUASION Is All That Is Left, And HIGHLY VALUABLE Skill Set..

  13. Navid November 28, 2013 at 10:14 am #


    I agree that companies have started to cut costs and as a part of this measure they are looking at recruitment costs.

    But there are a few very important issues at play here:

    1) In a similar way that we are seeking and competing for business, our clients are seeking and competing for business and in a similar way that a better recruiter / headhunter means better business profitability, a better team of employees mean better business performance.

    The pool of top candidates is not infinite, in fact it is extremely narrow. Internal recruiters, linked in, seek etc etc are not a candidate factory. At best they can find one. So it is basic math, that if the pool is very limited, unless if the client is willing to go with below average performers what makes them think that internal recruiters can suddenly become the holy grail of recruitment?

    2) Internal recruitment, linked in, seek are nothing new. In fact I believe to a degree they are an essential part of the process or else companies would have gone bankrupted if they paid a fee for every single employee.

    But get this, it never was about finding a good candidate, it is about getting them to trust you and sign up and that requires prior knowledge and relationships. In a typical situation where an internal recruiter has to hire based on the demands of their business but a specialist headhunter only works in a particular technical niche, it will almost always be the headhunter that can not just find the right candidate but get that candidate to sign up with their client and thats 90% of the job.

    If it was just about finding good candidates, for any given job in my field of practice I can name at least 10 top candidates, but the question is what can a company do to sign any of them up? Finding them on linked in and calling them up to tell them they should join your company because you pay well and have mufti Fridays and after work drinks unfortunately is not going to cut it. Chances are they won’t even send you their resume.

  14. Sue Montgomery December 13, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    I have had 2 clients who both have degrees and experience in their respective fields, along with a long list of quality attributes be told by a recruitment manager they are unemployable.

    This has had a significant impact on their confidence, and stopped them looking for work.
    We worked through this in their coaching sessions, so I become very aware of the damage that these words had done.

    I was shocked that someone in recruitment and also a management position would use this language and have that approach when they are dealing with people who are unemployed, which is a challenging place to be.

    A few months later I was in an employment agency for a meeting with a management team and I was waiting in the reception, but I could hear recrutiment officers on the phone to prospective canditates about different jobs. I could only hear one side of the conversation but the language and tone that I could hear was disinterest and disrespectful.

    I realise not all people working in this field are the same, I also realise they would have to communicate with people who dont want to work.

    With all the issues of unemployment I think recrutiment agencies have a huge opportunity to shift from just trying to place peole in jobs to empowering them to take ownership of their unemployment. Recruitment agencies could start by training their employees (starting at the top) on effective communication skills to engage with clients and canditates and build trusted supportive relationships. That would be a positive place to start.

    • Phil March 26, 2014 at 1:45 am #

      Interesting comments Sue, I find it incredible that in the world we live in today recruiters would survive with these virtues, lack of empathy and consulting skills –
      I breathe a big sigh! I think the best thing to do when one works with a recruiter is to check their references on linkedin as a starting place. But the reality Is like everything in life there’s good and bad , and you got to turn a few ugly stones before you find your ..item that includes recruiters, hiring managers, HR etc. I never hold anything against those who despise recruiters , some of these folks are my best clients and offer the best opportunity to demonstrate how to differentiate

  15. Amanda May 16, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    There’s something very critical that most candidates just don’t seem to take into consideration. (Dennis?)

    Who pays the recruiter?

    Are you “the candidate” paying the recruiter a premium to place you? Therefore incentivized to correct your resume, suggest marketable traits, market you to their clients.


    Is the client paying top dollar to make sure they see the types of candidates they’re looking for?

    I’ve supported various industries and especially in a poor economy the list of requirements for any open role is long. The higher the unemployment rate, the longer the list and vice versa. So therefore, if the hiring manager from Coke says, “Amanda, I ONLY want to see candidates from Pepsi”, do you expect me to defy my client’s wishes because you are a quick learner or have the necessary sales skills? If the answer is yes then I’m afraid I don’t agree with your level of devotion to customer service.

    Now, in this case, I happen to be very candid. I will share with the candidate that unfortunately my client has a very precise background they’re looking for. I will also discuss your background with my client, “I spoke with a great candidate today, has all of the traits we’re looking for except, he worked with Fanta. Would you be willing to take a look?”.

    Bottom line, sometimes they will, and sometimes they won’t. This is not a lack of skill in interviewing, this is following your clients’ wishes because at the end of the day they put the food on your table.

  16. Lee McClane June 3, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    I think internal recruiters can be a false economy.

    Where do the internal recruiters usually come from? Agencies.

    It looks great on paper but you usually end up with someone who is average and looking for a comfort zone.

    If they couldn’t cut it in the world of direct recruiting why would you want them to hire exclusively for your business?

    If an agent could cut it in directing recruiting would they really be prepared to give up the financial reward for a lower paid job? I don’t know any internal recruiters out there who are making big commission fees each month.

    Clients can do exactly the same job as a recruiter, there is very little that is unique apart from experience. And this is the hook; if you are recruiting for an industry of which you have previously worked in, for roles similar to the one that you carried out, then you can add value.

    The problem is the so called specialist recruiters who have six months experience straight out of Uni who are KPI’d to death. They do, because they are told, and they are told not to think. This works, we know best, check out my car and my postal address! This could all be yours if you “do”.

    This industry is sustainable for the niche recruiters, always has been, always will be. And if the above becomes extinct then we can all drink champaign.


    • Benjamin Teh November 15, 2014 at 5:24 am #

      Hi Lee,

      Have you ever been a internal recruiter?


      • Lee McClane November 16, 2014 at 3:20 am #


        I’ve posted again below in relation to Matts question which is the same as yours and covers most of the ground.

        Sorry I forgot to reply directly.

        In short, no I haven’t. But if you read my posts below you will see why I don’t believe that it makes any difference.

        What you are never going to get away from is that for the most part internal recruiters will have been trained by a commercial external agency. They start life as trainee consultant.

        There is no fundamental difference other than one can handle pressure better than the other. The internal recruiter will often need the help of an external recruiter – fact. A consultant will always prefer to hire directly for the managers and avoid an internal recruiter, they don’t need their help. You see my point?

        Without a financial target and client autonomy they are a glorified resourcer.

        By all means make your case Ben, I’ve made mine. By all means check me out on LinkedIn.


  17. Rob July 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    As a first year recruiter, I started off as many people with the wide eyed illusion I was going to help every person I came accross. After 7 months I believe the complete opposite. Not everyone is worth putting in a good job. And that’s the problem. Most people that go into recruitment I believe, and it has been my experience, want to help people! But we end up being abused by clients, messed around by candidates and screwed by the press for being overpaid liars. I have foun people lie, cheat and out right deceive you to try and get a role. Clients try to play recruitment companies off against each other to get the best price and end up losing good candidates in the process. And oh gets the blame for every failure? The recruitment consultant! Everybody wants us to get them a job, but no nobody wants to pay us to hire for them.

  18. Matt November 14, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Lee, I’m guessing you’ve never worked as an in-house recruiter, otherwise you’d realise it’s a completely different ball game to agency recruitment. You’re comparing apples to pears. I spent five years of my career as an agency recruiter and was consistently a top performer before moving into management and turning the worst performing branch into the most profitable one within three years. I got fed up with the sales regime, the KPIs and constantly having to discuss the money. I’ve spent the last three years in-house and haven’t looked back.

    To suggest in-house is a ‘comfort zone’ is far off the mark. It’s true that many agency recruiters look to move away from the sales side, but there is nothing wrong with that. There’s a wide range of challenges an in-house recruiter has to deal with instead e.g. you must fill every single role (two to three easy fills per month won’t cut it here), you have to be involved in adding real value via employer branding strategies, talent management, succession planning, headcount control etc. An in-house recruiter will ultimately become a business partner to the company’s management team.

    Cold calling is not enjoyable, and you have to mentally enjoy it and be willing to take the rejection. But it doesn’t compare with the brain power required to be a successful in-house recruiter. It’s a far more difficult gig. I have full respect for genuine agency recruiters out there btw. But they’re few and far between unfortunately.

    Re: money if that’s your main priority then it’s true most top billers in an agency will earn more than an in-house recruiter. But in-house pays far better than most agency recruiters give it credit for. Many in-house recruiters are also able to benefit from casual wear, flexibility to work from home, stock options etc. At the end of the day though, in-house recruiters are building a company and going on a journey which is far more rewarding than hitting a KPI or earning a bit of extra commission. That’s just my two cents.

    • Lee McClane November 16, 2014 at 3:32 am #

      Hey Matt,

      I posted below to your question but I forgot to reply directly.


  19. Lee McClane November 15, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Matt, it’s hardly comparing apples to pears is it?

    Internal recruiters perform exactly the same job as external recruiters so it’s the same job under a different guise.

    Recruitment is not rocket science and i fully understand the role and challenges of an internal recruiter. My last company was a 38 billion turnover Japanese manufacturer and all of our internal recruiters had previously worked in agency.

    The reality is that most internal recruiters have previously worked in agency and had limited success, but I say most – not all.

    Internal recruiters are seen as a more cost effective alternative to external agency fees, but this can prove to be a false economy because they usually don’t have the experience to challenge senior management on recruitment policy. A good external recruiter on the other hand often will.

    You often see clients go from agency to internal recruiter then back to agency. It makes me laugh when I see internal recruiters using external agencies, I mean what is the point in employing them if they need external help?


  20. Lee McClane November 16, 2014 at 12:04 am #

    Matt, you claim that it talkes superior brain power to be an internal recruiter, but how many internal recruiters do you know who have been trained in house?

    The reality is that they have almost always been trained to do the job by a commercial agency, that’s a fact that can be supported by LinkedIn and a CV search on Indeed.com. It’s a familiar pattern, agency to agency to internal recruiter. This fact kind of makes a mockery of your superior brain power claim.

    If you add to the mix the fact that most internal recruiters at some point will seek the assistance of an external agency for support then there is little reason to believe that they have superior intel or brain power.

    In relation to benefits, do you really think that commercial agency don’t offer stock options, flexible hours and casual dress codes? Because I can tell you Matt that they do and this can be supported by the job ads on the internet.

    Salay wise it’s average at best for an internal recruiter for all of the above reasons. Why pay top dollar for someone who comes to the negotiating table in a weak position? It just doesn’t happen Matt. On average they are earning mid twentys at best.

    As for building a company and going on a journey well again I will through it back out there because during this process they will almost certainly call on the help of an external agency. So I guess that journey is being planned by senior management on partially driven by external support.

    Cold calling is not something that anyone really enjoys. But it’s required to achieve the end goal, and if you stay focused and are determined it falls by the wayside when the goal is achieved. And that’s really the difference between success and failure in a sales environment. It’s all about staying focused.

    It’s by no means a slight on you Matt, but overall you can’t hide from the hard facts and I don’t see how your a points really stack up.


  21. Matt November 16, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Lee, I think if you ran a survey and asked recruiters who have experience of working in both areas they’d tell you a different story. I don’t think you really understand the differences.

    Most good agency recruiters will spend circa 50% of their time on business development. That’s a good 20 hours per week. In-house recruiters do not cold call at all and will spend this time on other areas building out and supporting the talent acquisition function (I mentioned just a few of them in my previous post but there are many more). You can’t argue it’s the same role when you’re doing different things half of the time.

    There is an overlap in sourcing and candidate management. When it comes to sourcing though most agencies will rely on job board advertising and their own database. In-house recruiters will have recruiter access on Linked In (most agency recruiters don’t and Linked In will not give agencies the same access rights for fear of spamming and diluting the quality of the service) and they’ll be using specialist and niche sites to source candidates, boolean searches, running internal referral events, running external events to showcase the company as a form of pull recruitment etc.

    I’m not sure why you laugh when in-house teams using agency. Firstly they’re giving you business. In a market where companies are using agencies less and less. Secondly there are a number of reasons e.g. for contractors or temps it just makes sense to use agencies. For perms, the onus on in-house is to do as much of it directly as possible. But an in-house recruiter can only cope with filling so many roles, and there are times when an extra pair of hands is required. Specialist roles also may come up where an agency who specialises in a certain sector will be better equipped to fill it occaisonally e.g. Salesforce Developers.

    You’ll find that most businesses would use agencies more and pay the fees if the quality was there. Unfortunately it’s not as most agencies haven’t moved into the 21st century when it comes to sourcing and aside from headhunting firms they generally don’t have the gravitas or respect to attract the best candidates.

    The biggest problem with agencies is that’s it overrun with cowboy recruiters and ‘managers’ who don’t really know what they’re doing, don’t understand how to interview properly, how to assess culture fit etc. and only care about doing ‘deals’, billing, hitting KPIs, throwing mud at the wall, praying for no rebates etc. Clients and candidates copped onto this years ago. It’s a shame that they’ve given the industry such a bad name and automatically tanish the good agency recruiters (there are lots of them out there I know) but it’s the truth unfortunately.

    • Lee McClane December 22, 2014 at 12:11 am #


      I don’t need to run a survey I have fifteen years of sales experience an I owned a recruitment company. During that time I had onsite recruiters working with my clients 24/7 as part of our managed services and they performed the job of a resourcer.

      Good recruiters will not spend 50% of their time on business development. Switched on recruiters are candidate driven, that’s their product and it is much easier to business develop on the back of a quality CV as this alone will open more doors.

      Once a consultant has built up a network of client contacts over the first quarter they will then spend the majority of their time speaking to candidates. That’s how business is done Matt. Given the choice of ten good CVs or ten vacancies the smart money is on the CVs, you would take those every time.

      What’s the point in constantly cold calling businesses if you don’t have anything to offer? Better to have the CV and then phone.

      The days of just advertising a vacancy on the job boards are long over. We are all fishing from the same labour pool, and LinkedIn has changed the way the market works and Facebook intend to compete with a business service sometime in 2015.

      I’m not sure why you think LinkedIn restricts agencies because it doesn’t. LinkedIn is based on individuals and everyone has the same access rights be it for the free or subscribed version. You are talking nonsense on this point.

      Again you list all the things that an internal recruiter can do, but who trained them? An agency that’s who.

      I don’t even get the title, how are they an internal recruiter when they don’t recruit? In an agency a person who has no client contact is called a resourcer. The management recruit, HR manage the offer, the internal recruiter matches CVs to vacancies and is the first line of contact. They don’t recruit or make any real decisions they are glorified resourcers in my opinion. A recruitment consultant, consults with both parties and the client recruits, the title is accurate. And do me a favour with the Talent Acquisition line because it’s just 2014 flannel for the word “recruitment”

      What you have described above is a dog average consultant / agency set up. Nobody makes money in those set ups except the directors. There are consultants the world over making 100k a year, do you really think they work in they way that you have described Matt?

      A word on headhunting. Anyone who sings from the roof tops or heavily brands around this phrase is not true to the term. Headhunting takes place every day, and most smart recruiters head hunt at some point. They are simply engaging in a search an selection process, but it does not mean that they have been retained on an advanced fee by the client.

      That’s the difference, the retained fee. Head hunting is nothing special but where a fee has been retained with a percentage paid up front you can be sure that the consultant is well connected and experienced beyond most of the others.

      Internal recruiter or resourcer?
      Trained in house or by an agency?
      Misleading title or accurate?
      Paid less or the same?

      We know they get paid less.
      We know they don’t recruit anyone.
      90% are agency trained
      10% are trained in house, by agency trained people.

      You can’t deny these facts. You can tweak those numbers slightly but it’s there or thereabouts.


  22. Neil Boton November 16, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

    “Scrumming with five other agencies in a résumé race to represent the best of the job board-sourced candidates is not a business model that continues to work”

    Dead right, Greg.

    Otherwise known as “Who moved my cheese?”

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