Just let me recruit!

By Andrew Mountney

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I know I’ve blogged about it before but again as we face a surge in candidates registering from agency looking to move in-house it’s worth looking at the group’s skills and motivations. Much of what I wrote last year about the transition still stands for the candidate pool and for potential hirers and the agency sector itself. The motivations of this experienced group of recruitment consultants is well worth taking a look at right now. Why? Well there are long-term ramifications for both…

Despite how far in-house recruiting has come there’s still a common view amongst hiring managers in corporates (even those who’ve trodden the same path) and certainly those left in the agency world that moving in-house is a sign of failure, that the recruitment consultant couldn’t hack it, gave up, couldn’t sell anymore… WRONG…

The overwhelming majority of those we’re meeting at the moment have a number of common traits:

They’re good agency recruiters who’ve been well trained in a branded business
They’re strong on delivery and sourcing used to managing key accounts
They’ve been and continue to be high revenue generators in their firms (relative to colleagues)
Their clients have significantly cut the volume of roles going out to their PSL and they are rarely getting many roles to work on
I’ll come back in another blog post on what this major change means for the recruitment consultancy industry, particularly the larger generalist firms but here’s what it means for the consultants themselves.

They are not doing their job and given the perception of agency recruiters that they’re just in it for the money what you will actually find is they’re really in it for the placement and they just want to recruit!

For the RPOs and growing in-house functions who want to continue to grow their percentage of directly sourced candidates this represents a moment in time opportunity where a pool of experienced and talented recruitment consultants are available, flexible in terms of role and financial expectation, and accessible in a way they were not two years ago and will not be in two years time.

Again I’ll come back to the future but something all in-house recruitment leaders should be thinking about right now is where will future team members come from because the reality is in a couple of years time the natural pool from agencies will be smaller and I suspect less skilled! Now there is a great chance to bring in strong sourcing talent who will be loyal to those give them opportunity and challenged by the transition. Of those who can make the move direct employers are also best placed. Agency recruiters view of RPOs who should be their natural next employer is low, many will not even countenance an application to RPO firms due to their experiences as providers to them yet we always advise this is likely to be the best first step on a career changing path.

This isn’t about “failed” sales people wanting an easy option, frankly if you recruit for a bank and the fifty roles that would have been released to agencies can be filled direct in a week there’s not much any sales person can do. This is about a “talent pool” (sorry I said it) at a tipping point in their careers and corporate direct employers have a great opportunity to hire them right now.

One final thing… Any in-house recruiter out there who has the opportunity… Take the time if an agency recruiter asks what it’s like on your side of the fence it’s worth explaining as they probably want to be there!

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