How Recruitment Consultants Can Thrive and Survive

Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in Human Resources and Recruitment. Many question the role of external recruitment partners in both the current and future hiring landscape. In most developed job markets we’ve observed many enterprises place an emphasis on both reducing recruitment costs and improving the quality in the way they hire.
The obvious signs include the emergence of the internal recruitment function, the liberalisation of external candidate databases (LinkedIn), the rise of new candidate sourcing technologies, and the push away from legacy applicant tracking systems towards more user-friendly tools.
With all of these new tools, many recruitment professionals may be concerned about whether they have a legitimate place in the hiring ecosystem, there are arguments both for and against and we will eventually see the industry downsize in headcount, but not go extinct. Those who remain will inhibit the following traits and strategies to continue to add value to their clients and candidates.

Chase greenfield recruitment markets

Globally we talk about digital transformation. We’ve seen new markets and explosive recruitment growth for candidates that employers can hire to bring their businesses into the┬ádigital age. These markets are already being serviced and more recruitment organisations are pivoting to set up desks in these “candidate driven” recruitment markets. For a recruiter to not only survive but thrive, they have to play the role of a modern day economist and understand what will continue to shape the job markets in the geographies they service. In our market (Hong Kong) a robust finance infrastructure and high cost of space mean that the banking and financial services recruitment markets are over-serviced, leaving some sectors malnourished. A smaller recruitment sector isn’t a bad thing if you’re the only fish swimming in the pond.

Know which employers place the highest value on recruitment professionals

The reduction in recruitment placement charge rates is an ongoing trend and, unfortunately for consultants, the best playing cards are now held by the employers. In most cases. Gone are the days when a key account could hold up a recruiter’s desk, larger corporations have invested heavily in optimising their biggest cost base, staffing. Hiring a new look Human Resources function that is aligned with the commercial objectives of the business has meant a trimming of the “fat” and increased attention towards retaining top performers. Job pipelines for recruiters get smaller and conversations about business terms become price driven, if you don’t go lower with your fees someone else will.
The new look recruitment consultant will hunt out clients where their value is realised and sought after. These clients exhibit the following traits:
  1. Well Funded
  2. Have no HR department or a small and transactional one
  3. Have just launched business operations in your geography
Unfortunately, finding these businesses isn’t easy and it takes some extensive research abilities, all of the tools are out there for the recruitment consultant to find these businesses but there is no one size fits all approach.
Sales and marketing recruitment value
As access to candidate information increases for employers, the value proposition of a huge candidate database doesn’t communicate the same value as it did in the past, the modern day recruiter knows that taking a sales and marketing heavy approach to the recruitment process is what will ultimately deliver optimal results for both clients and candidates.
Don’t confuse sales with “second-hand car sales”, the modern day recruitment consultant will be a master of information exchange, placing the right information in front of employers and candidates in order for them to make educated decisions independently. Being able to establish credibility through advanced knowledge will put more weight on any advice given by a recruitment professional throughout the hiring process both with their candidates and clients.
The field of recruitment is looking exciting in the developed world and the days when an individual could just walk into a consultancy, sit at a desk and close search mandates successfully are getting shorter. The new look recruiter will be someone who not only exhibits the best in interpersonal skills, but also someone who is tech-savvy, researching by nature and someone who can not only place professionals but hunt out the best job opportunities in the market.
If a recruitment consultant isn’t going to change with the market around them then they can always set up a practice in developing economies!'

Author: richdonnejobable

Richard Donne a member of, Hong Kong and Asia's only data driven jobs website. He has a background in search and recruitment across financial services, supply chain and procurement as well as other niche markets.

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