Agencies have two worlds to deal with – companies are looking to hire the best talent and at the same time, jobseekers are looking for the best opportunity. They earn their fees from the companies and hence their loyalty and priority lie with the employer organizations, referred as clients globally. They make their best efforts to understand what the client is looking for and do their best to meet those demands. Sometimes they encounter unrealistic demands and get pushed around until they are able to influence the client otherwise.
Recruitment agencies want a steady supply of talent to carry out their business of searching the best in the market. Moreover, they want candidates to open up, share information freely and express their mind completely to them. This is normally a tall ask, especially when a candidate is not actively seeking a job change.
How do they deal with this complex situation?
Agencies are not designed to receive Jobseekers well.
Candidates have their own reference points and accordingly set their eyes on certain kind of jobs and salaries. Some candidates want to get away from their current jobs badly; and some look for their first job. All of them reach a recruiter and seek their help in finding their dream break.
It is not very easy to reach a recruiting company because they do not have a desk who is tasked with the responsibility of attending to jobseekers. They have either an email id or a webpage to accept applications from jobseekers. Recruiting agencies do not have a working system to find a job for a candidate.
A mere handful of recruiters care to receive an incoming call from a candidate, listen to the desires and thoughts of a jobseeker and suggest an opportunity in case they have one or two of their job orders match with the skills and experience of the candidate.
Rarely a recruiter spends time with a jobseeker without the sight of an imminent opportunity of placing the candidate and earning revenue for the agency. Just in case a candidate is lucky to reach such a recruiter, he or she could have a realistic chance of being assessed for a real position or a speculative position in one of the employer organizations.
They focus on filling their open job order.
The job of a recruiter is like that of a salesperson who has to relentlessly pursue a set of activities each day and has to achieve the assigned target for the week, month and the quarter. Here, performance history doesn’t bear much value unless you have achieved your numbers last month and last quarter.
A recruiter brings in the revenue for the company only if the candidate reports on duty and sticks on to the job for a while. More often than not, the job orders on the table of a recruiter are not exclusive. Moreover, employer organizations evolve and morph their specifications as they keep meeting candidates during the recruiting process. A candidate who seems to be a perfect-fit based on initial specification of the client, gets rejected in the final interview with the client. Similarly, we see cases where someone rejected by the agency reaches the employer through someone else and gets the job offer. This shows, there are variables such as market forces, candidate’s mind and the line of thinking of the client. These are outside the control of the recruiter and hence, the work environment is all about speed, accuracy and outcomes.
Agency recruiters focus on filling the orders they receive. If something doesn’t seem to get filled due to some reason, they move on to the next assignment with the hope of filling it up.
They love transparency.
Agencies are in the constant search of companies who want to focus on their core business and value an expert who can find talent for them. Some companies use a mixed approach to hiring – they have an in-house team and at the same time, they use recruiting agencies. In-house team recruits relatively easy positions, drive administrative tasks such as internal referrals, co-ordination among recruiting agencies, candidates, interviewers within the company and other third-party providers such as background verifiers, assessment companies and so on.
Agencies are happy when an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) project is awarded to them because it offers them access to the interviewers within the company and they are able to clearly understand the job profile, candidate profiles and the style of assessment adopted by the interviewers. They get to see the outcomes of their efforts transparently. Similarly, when they get the briefing on a position directly from the line manager and the feedback on an interview directly from the interviewer, the process becomes transparent for the agency. They can course-correct easily and deliver high degree of efficiency. Transparency is at the heart of this complex engagement!