Recruitment agency still critical for IT and project management pros

Direct recruitment models may be popular with some multinational or even smaller organisations but there’s no substitute for the face to face contact between candidate and professional agency executive during the recruitment process.  And that’s according to job seekers themselves.

Three quarters of respondents to our IT employment market survey said they prefer to conduct the recruitment process using a combination of direct and agency approach.  Just 18 per cent prefer the direct model exclusively.

Recruitment agencies and recruitment websites were cited as the most popular channels used for job searches by 19 per cent of respondents.  Almost half or 49 per cent cited the effectiveness of recruitment agencies as excellent or very good, while just under one third or 31 per cent cited it as satisfactory.

LinkedIn has grown hugely in terms of its popularity as a job search tool with 17 per cent confirming its use as part of the process to identify job opportunities.  49 per cent of respondents also cited it as excellent or very good in terms of effectiveness.

However, while LinkedIn might be effective for candidates, our experience of working with employers tells us that its real effectiveness can be masked by high volumes and low quality candidate submissions.  There’s no doubt that using an internet-based tool such as LinkedIn opens up your vacancy to a wide audience, however, high volumes of poor quality resumes can create a huge overhead for HR administration staff in terms of filtering down this selection to a workable and realistic profile for the candidate pool.  The screening process can be unnecessarily lengthened in this regard.

Employers should weigh up the pros and cons of managing recruitment directly and ultimately make the decision to outsource or retain in house, based on the resources available to manage the process.

Experiences of individual recruitment agencies vary and there still appears to be an issue with maintaining high standards of engagement by agencies with individual candidates.  29 per cent of respondents said they experienced an agency submitting their CV for a position, without prior approval. This is down slightly from 36 per cent recorded in 2011 but is worrying nonetheless.

On a less serious note, perhaps, 43 per cent of respondents said their salary expectations had been misrepresented to a prospective employer.  This figure is up slightly on the 40 per cent recorded in 2011.

At Clarion Resourcing we encourage candidates to carefully scrutinise the agencies they work with.  Do they have a candidate charter for example that lays out the rules of engagement with you and outline their approach in helping you to develop your career?  Are they a member of the National Recruitment Federation which lays down standards for the recruitment industry?

By and large, the experience with recruitment agencies is a positive one with 46 per cent of our respondents saying that they were pleasantly surprised by the level of service they received from a recruitment agency in the last 12 months.  Let’s hope that those figures increase next year.

Clarion Resourcing’s survey was conducted online during December 2012 through emails, a LinkedIn advertising campaign and a pop up survey to all visitors to the Clarion Resourcing website.  A total of 103 individuals responded to the questionnaire.  One third of respondents are currently in permanent positions, one third are in contract roles and just over one quarter or 26 per cent are between assignments.  84 per cent of respondents are from Ireland with 9 per cent from the United Kingdom.

On February 25th, 2013, posted in: Blog by


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