Eden Scott’s founding director, Chris Logue has the viewpoint that the recruitment industry is sometimes its own worst enemy in how it presents itself. He would love for one day to see that recruitment agencies are considered alongside the like of lawyers and accountants, in terms of being trusted advisers.
Logue said: “I think we're a long way away from that in terms of the public perception of the industry. With awards like The Drum’s Recruitment Business Awards and a focus on quality and great service, it has got to be a good thing in getting us there.”
Talking to The Drum, Logue discusses what is on the horizon for recruitment and how the political and economic turmoil has damaged confidence within the industry.
What is your perspective of the industry in its current position?
I think in the industry, like many others, we are strongly connected to the state of the economy. Clearly there have been uncertainties for many years and the current state of the global and local UK economy, will be one of the biggest factors affecting the recruitment industry and the degree of confidence out there.
With the political and economic turmoil there has been, that has definitely damaged confidence and it's an environment where it not just about a need to hire someone, it's about whether you can afford to keep that person. Clients and organisations are being much more careful in their hiring plans and making sure every hire is a necessary one. That impacts on the volume of vacancies out there.
What has been the most innovative thing you have seen from the industry this year?
The industry is evolving. When job sites first came out it was said that they would be the death of recruitment companies and everyone would recruit directly throughout them. But that hasn't been the case. Job sites are now starting to decline and I think there's much more of a move towards networking and the use of LinkedIn and other social media environments.
Certainly, we are seeing that as a company. Our placements through social media and other routes are now well ahead of the job sites and databases. There's also a bit of an increase in internal recruitment.
Once upon a time, internal recruitment was not particularly well regarded as a place for people to go. That's certainly not the case now. I think there's a lot of very talented internal recruiters and a lot of other recruiters move into an internal role. I believe that created, something from a recruiting agencies point of view, a really strong competitor within the market place. It's something we have to be conscious of because it can be a double edged sword competitor but also a partner.
What do you think are the key trends right now?
I think what's happening is more and more recruitment companies are being asked to fill difficult to fill jobs that are hard to find candidates for. They are having to go the extra mile to justify their fees and show they can fill roles that companies and organisations can't themselves.
In terms of trends in general, the use of LinkedIn is significant and the use of networking and referrals. We're finding that referrals, compared to two years ago, have gone from 20% of our placements up to 35%. We, as an organisation are spending a lot more time building our networks and, not necessarily asking for referrals but hopefully by the service we've provided gaining referrals.
I think candidates are being more selective about who they send their CVs to and who they want to operate with as well. The brand is becoming really important for consultancies.
Where do you see the industry going in the next 12 months?
I don't see any great turn in the marketplace, I guess Brexit is the biggest uncertainty on the horizon. I don't think that's likely to be resolved in the next 12 months but if the talks go well and there is a returning confidence that the relationships between UK and Europe is going to be a strong and sustainable one, then hopefully that will boost the economy and boost confidence, therefore boosting recruitment.
If there starts to be a real uncertainty, for example, organisations starting to pull out of the UK or set up significant offices in Europe, then it could be a very difficult time for us.
As a judge for the The Drum's Recruitment Business Awards 2017, what do you want to see from the entries?
Differentiation is the key for me. It's very easy for the world of recruitment to appear the same to clients and candidates. So, how do you ensure that your organisation or brand is perceived as different, or ideally better than the competition? How do you attract both clients and candidates to speak to you first or only?
It would be interesting to see if anyone has come up with a way of really engaging with candidates and ensuring that not only they join and stay with you, but they are also recommending you to others.
The other key thing is with staff. It is an industry with quite a high turnover and a lot of movement from agency to agency. It will again be interesting to see how companies have dealt with that advent and how they plan to retain, develop and ensure that people want to stay with companies for a longer term.
How important do you think these awards are important to the industry?
The awards are very important to the companies entering them, they spend a lot of time on their applications and I think they, based on last year's awards are absolutely delighted for those that win and for those that are nominated.
There is clearly a plethora of awards ceremonies in all industries and sectors and it takes the time to build up a reputation. What I like about these particular awards, is that people had to put in a really detailed professional proposal and they took a lot of time doing so. It wasn't a cut and paste job where they sent in a standard presentation.
Chris will be a judge on the business panel for the The Drum Recruitment Business Awards 2017. Heading into its fifteenth year, the awards seek out the very best of the recruitment industry and rewards them.
Entries for the awards have closed but you can request for an extension. You can enter your business now and showcase some of the fantastic work you have been doing over the past year.
Sponsors for this year's event is: total Jobs, The Drum Jobs, TINT, The Drum RAR and The Drum Network.