The changing face of recruitment

The recruitment industry – and the way that people find their next role – has changed dramatically in the last few years. The scaling of technology has had both positive and negative effects on the way that businesses seek new talent – and, like in any other industry, we’ve had to adapt our value proposition to roll with the punches.

I’ve built a reputation through giving the right advice – rather than the advice that just benefits Better Placed. It pains me to say it – but, unfortunately, gone are the days that you can register with a single agency, then sit back and let the job offers roll in! In recent years, my advice has always been: speak to a few good agencies, but also apply directly. I’ll explain why below.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen many brands lean towards a direct recruitment model and leverage platforms like LinkedIn to draw in applicants. Recruitment service levels have justifiably got a bad rep over the last few years – we’ve all got a horror story to share! As a result, I can completely understand why a company may feel their investment is better put in to technology.

There are some fantastic pieces of kit in the market – and we use them every day – but the consensus from candidates is that, if you’re leaning too heavily on tech, the recruitment experience suffers.

That being said, it’s undoubtedly the most cost effective way to hire someone. In challenging times like these, companies will often look at recruitment as an operating cost, rather than an opportunity – and it’s at that point that the technology can become a crutch.

Conversely, there are plenty of businesses that are willing to pay a premium and appoint an agency like Better Placed, knowing that – yes, we’ll leverage all the gadgets and gizmos at our disposal – but we’ll also dive deep in to our network, headhunt passive job seekers (who very rarely apply to adverts) and positively challenge the brief, ensuring they have the very best person at the end of the process.

These businesses also appreciate that candidates have more access and choice than ever before – and, as a result, they need an external partner to communicate their unique selling points and stand them out from the crowd.

At Better Placed, we have a guiding principle. We call it The Real Network.

It’s like this: we believe that great placement isn’t about hurling masses of CVs at clients you don’t really understand. Rather, it’s about matching candidates and employers through deep insights and strong networks. You can’t do that reliably unless you take the time to create an understanding of both candidates and employers which goes well beyond the superficial.

So unlike some other firms, we always try to go beyond online relationships and get to know people in the real world. Talking and listening, preferably face-to-face, rather than just emailing, twittering, IM-ing or whatever else happens to be the preferred online channel that week.

We try to take the time to understand what really makes an organisation a great place to work. Similarly, we try to establish what candidates are really about, rather than lazily taking their CVs at face value. Understanding the ‘real’ side of things helps us to satisfy our promise of fitting people to organisations, not just CVs to jobs.

We believe that there are enough businesses out there that see things the way we do. Our value proposition doesn’t suit everyone, but I’m proud to say that the people who’re drawn to our model love what we do and will often work with us time and time again.

Whilst we work with a diverse range of cracking brands – we’re currently in partnership with the likes of Virgin, Avios, Samsung, B&Q, Great Ormond Street and Tesco – our relationships are deep, not wide. We make a conscious effort to take on fewer briefs; charge a little more; and deliver an experience to both candidate and client that’s positively different.

Of course I’m a little biased… but I believe that, through going the extra mile, the initial premium of a recruitment fee is worth its weight in gold!

If you’re reconsidering your recruitment strategy, or you’re looking to make a strategic hire, then please feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you and, regardless of whether we’re the right agency for the brief, we’ll always do our best to help.