Simon Hadfield – Managing Partner DMCG Global, Sydney.
It’s a funny game recruitment. I often refer to it as a grudge purchase as no one really wants to have to pay for it. I certainly didn’t when I was leading an agency. One year we undertook an audit and realised we had spent an astronomical amount on recruitment fees and decided to employee a full time inhouse recruiter. At the time I think we were one of the first to do it and it worked ‘ok’. For the more junior roles it was kind of successful but as the senior roles came up there was a view to do it ‘properly’.
The last 12 months have certainly been an interesting time. There is a huge amount of talent movement and despite the consensus being that it must be great for executive search and recruitment, it’s not that straight forward. The kids are inflating their salaries and the agencies are often over a barrel as they need to find solutions. Clients aren’t increasing their retainers but are also expecting more, faster. Combine that with the talent shortage already in place and the recent Freedom Day which could mean an exodus back to the homeland for many. Additionally, we have the visa challenges overseas candidates have for Australia these days and the global perception that we live in Scotty from Marketing’s lock down police state. Some of the talent who were on 4-year visa’s back when the 457 changed to a 482 are now coming to the end of their Bondi holiday. The last thing any of us want to do is place someone into an ill-fitting role due to desperation.
What I have noticed is the huge variance between how some agencies will interact with recruiters. On the upside they understand talent is critical so provide a written brief, clear salary bracket, agency benefits, performance review structures, an outline of interview process and quickly respond to emails and introductions etc. This is good for their brand and whether the candidate gets the role or not they can leave having an overall good experience. The recruitment partner is motivated and engaged as they know that they are highly likely to place someone if they’re working exclusively.
On the downside is the direct opposite to the above. Poor brief, engagement of every recruiter in town which demotivates all of them as they assume the others will solve it, no clarity on clients and after an average brief no real response to introductions. You’d be amazed how much this happens. Long term it is actually doing damage to the agencies brand.
Good recruiters understand that we can be a necessary evil, however if used and engaged well we can be a huge asset to your agency / business. There is great talent out there, you simply need to think carefully around how you land them, much like you do with your clients business.