Today’s guest blogger is Alex Fraser, Marketing Director at London based recruitment software supplier Engage Technology Partners. Engage provides a cloud-based platform that allows collaboration of clients, recruitment agencies and contractors throughout the recruitment supply chain process.
Recruiters are always looking for better ways to serve their clients. But sometimes it’s important to step back and look at the big picture: how are clients using recruitment agencies and what really matters to them?
To get a sense of how UK businesses really perceive the recruitment industry, we questioned 100 medium-to-large employers across a range of industry sectors.
Our respondents work directly with agencies and typically use a large volume of contingent workers or have frequent recruitment needs, so they know what they need and what they don’t.
A number of obvious themes emerged from the responses, providing a clear picture of what clients want from their recruiter partners. Here they are:
- Quality, not quantity
The vast majority of respondents made it clear that the quality of the candidates that recruitment agencies provide is the most important factor in whether or not they’ll work with them again. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s worth remembering that a thorough initial sift is worth the extra time for you, your clients and prospective candidates.
- Compliance made easy
The second most prized service provided by recruitment agencies was dealing with compliance and minimising the risks associated with it. Agencies can leverage this by taking care of as many of the required checks as possible and then making sure the necessary documents are digitised and easy for the client to access. No fuss, no lost papers, just a simple, transparent process for all involved.
- Deep client knowledge
Employers want a recruitment partner who knows their business inside and out. If recruiters truly understand a company, they can provide candidates that are a good culture fit as well as being good on paper.
- A valuable niche
Our respondents were ambivalent about recruiters fulfilling a wide range of roles. Many used a variety of agencies to address different needs. This creates an opportunity for agencies to embrace specialisation providing they can deliver on compliance and candidate quality.
Client servicing lives and dies by its relationships. It’s important to remain honest and transparent with your clients by keeping the lines of communication open throughout the entire process.
- Easing the admin burden
Clients looks to recruitment agencies to make the hiring process as pain-free as possible. Simplify their experience by giving them quick, easy access to candidate information and make it easy to quickly execute tasks like posting briefs, approving time sheets etc. This is where the right technology platform comes into its own.
Clients wanted easy but efficient communication, with communication ‘in-app’ being cited as an advantage in some software.
The overall picture from our survey respondents was promising. Clients were largely pleased with recruiters’ services, even as they craved a more streamlined administrative process. Even those who had issues stressed the importance of recruiters: 81% either agreed or strongly agreed that agencies played a key role in their success, a testament to the value of longstanding client relationships.
These key outcomes are also very encouraging for Engage. We help agencies maintain transparent and open communications; with the client, agency and contractor all collaborating on our cloud-based platform and communications managed entirely in platform. We provide compliance processing, all automated, including a sophisticated ID checking solution used by banks and airlines. Also, the client enjoys real time visibility of all temporary workers, their location, conditions, and costs providing transparency and accountability throughout the hiring and invoicing processes and reinforcing trust in the agency.